Addie on the Inside

Addie on the Inside

by James Howe

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

In this “artfully crafted” (Publishers Weekly) companion to the bestselling The Misfits and Totally Joe, Addie Carle confronts labels, loss, and what it means to grow up.

The Gang of Five is back in this third story from Paintbrush Falls. Addie Carle, the only girl in the group of friends is outspoken, opinionated, and sometimes…just a bit obnoxious.

But as seventh grade progresses, Addie’s not so sure anymore about who she is. It seems her tough exterior is just a little too tough and that doesn’t help her deal with the turmoil she feels on the inside as she faces the pains of growing up.

Told in elegant, accessible verse, ADDIE ON THE INSIDE gives readers a look at a strong, smart, and sensitive girl struggling with the box society wants to put her in. Addie confronts experiences many readers will relate to: the loss of a beloved pet, first heartbreak, teasing…but also, friendship, love, and a growing confidence in one’s self.

You Are Who They Say You Are

They say in the seventh grade
you are who they say you are,
but how can that be true?

How can I be a /Godzilla-girl /lezzie loser /know-it-all/
big-mouth /beanpole /string bean/ freaky tall/
fall-down /spaz attack /brainiac /maniac/
hopeless nerd /*bad word*/brown-nosing /teacher’s pet/
showing off /just to get
attention –
oh,
and did I mention:
flat-chested…

How can I be all that?
It’s too many things to be.
How can I be all that and
still be true to the real me
while everyone is saying:

This
is
who
you
are.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416913856
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 07/24/2012
Series: Misfits Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 235,589
Product dimensions: 5.26(w) x 7.46(h) x 0.66(d)
Lexile: NP (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

James Howe is the author of more than ninety books for young readers. Bunnicula, coauthored by his late wife Deborah and published in 1979, is considered a modern classic of children’s literature. The author has written six highly popular sequels, along with the spinoff series Tales from the House of Bunnicula and Bunnicula and Friends. Among his other books are picture books such as Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores and beginning reader series that include the Pinky and Rex and Houndsley and Catina books. He has also written for older readers. The Misfits, published in 2001, inspired the antibullying initiative No Name-Calling Week, as well as three sequels, Totally Joe, Addie on the Inside, and Also Known as Elvis. A common theme in James Howe’s books from preschool through teens is the acceptance of difference and being true to oneself. Visit him online at JamesHowe.com.

Read an Excerpt

You Are Who They Say You Are

They say in the seventh grade
you are who they say you are,
but how can that be true?

How can I be a
Godzilla-girl
lezzie loser
know-it-all
big mouth
beanpole
string bean
freaky tall
fall-down
spaz attack
brainiac
maniac
hopeless nerd
*bad word*
brown-nosing
teacher’s pet
showing off
just to get
attention—
oh,
and did I
mention:
flat-chested
(that’s true)
badly dressed
(says you)
social climber
(such a lie)
rabble-rouser
(well, I try)
tree-hugging
tofu-eating
button-wearing
sign-waving
slogan-shouting
protest-marching
troublemaking
hippie-dippy
throwback
to another
time and place?

How can I be all that?
It’s too many things to be.
How can I be all that and
still be true to the real me
while everyone is saying:

This
is
who
you
are.

© 2011 James Howe

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Addie on the Inside

by James Howe

ABOUT THE BOOK

For Addie Carle, seventh grade means her first real boyfriend, DuShawn, and a chance at popularity. But on the inside, she’s still passionate about her causes—especially tolerance and no name-calling. And she can’t quite put the social stuff ahead of her convictions. Dating DuShawn and being (kind of) part of the “cool” crowd may become casualties of her outspoken idealism. Despite the hurt, Addie comes to realize that she needs to be herself. This powerful verse novel companion to The Misfits and Totally Joe lets readers see inside the surprisingly soft and uncertain soul of perhaps the most outspoken “Gang of Five” member, Addie.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

1. Addie on the Inside is a novel written in verse—a group of poems that, together, tell a story. Have you ever read a verse novel before? Describe what is different about reading a verse novel instead of a traditional prose novel. What does verse lend to Addie’s story?

2. To whom is James Howe addressing the prologue, which begins Addie on the Inside? Why do you think he does this?

3. Who are Addie’s best friends? Why are they her best friends? What characters make Addie’s school days tougher? Why do these characters challenge her?

4. How does Addie describe Becca Wrightsman? In describing Becca in this way, is Addie guilty of being a little bit like her? How are Addie’s feelings about Becca different from her feelings about another popular girl, Tonni?

5. Addie’s family has strong ideas about social justice and environmental stewardship. Does your family have firm convictions about political or social issues? Do these beliefs affect the way you or family members eat, dress, or otherwise behave? Explain your answer.

6. How does having DuShawn as a boyfriend affect Addie’s social status? Describe their relationship. What are the good things? What do they argue about? What does their relationship reveal about how Addie and DuShawn feel about social status?

7. What happens during the GSA meeting to upset Addie and her friends? What do Addie and her friends decide to do to support those whose voices have been silenced? Do you think it is a good plan? Why or why not?

8. The power of words is an important theme in the novel. Describe at least three situations in which the way words are chosen or used has a strong impact on Addie and/or on you, the reader. How do you think the verse novel form helps to highlight this theme?

9. Why is “think before you speak” very good advice? Discuss places in the novel where the outcome might have been different if the character had heeded this advice.

10. There are a number of poems in which Addie makes observations and reflects on several of her teachers and other adults in her life. How does she view these adult figures? How does Addie imagine them to be on the inside or in their private lives versus how she sees them in their public lives?

11. Find several examples in the novel where Addie feels sad about growing up. How are her relationships with her friends and family changing? Do you ever wish you were younger, or that things were simpler? What advice might you give to Addie?

12. Why has Addie’s grandma come to visit? What changes is Grandma experiencing? What happens when Grandma takes Addie to buy clothes? What does this tell you about both of these characters?

13. What happens when Addie tapes her mouth to show solidarity for those who have been silenced? How do her teachers and friends react? How does Addie struggle with her own actions?

14. How does Addie express her grief over the death of her cat, Kennedy? How do Addie and Grandma express their compassion for the lonely remaining cat, Johnson? Have you ever lost a pet? If so, share how it made you feel.
15. Describe Addie’s relationship with her grandmother. Do you have a similar special bond with a grandparent or adult in your life?

16. Why do Addie and DuShawn break up? Do you think that their different races have anything to do with it for Addie? For DuShawn?

17. What does Addie learn about Becca in the final chapters of Addie on the Inside? How does their relationship change? How does this affect the realizations that Addie makes about herself at the end of the story?

18. What kind of person do you think Addie will become? What kind of person do you want to be?

ACTIVITIES & RESEARCH

1. James Howe uses many different types of poetry to shape the story of Addie. Make a list of the different forms, such as haiku, couplets, shaped poems, and list poems. (Hint: The Academy of American Poets offers many resources, including this online list of poetic forms: http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/197.) With friends or classmates, discuss the ways in which the different forms are related to the parts of the story they reveal.

2. Choose your favorite poem from the novel. Using either the same title, poetic form, or final line from your chosen poem, write one of your own.

3. Reread the poems “You Are Who They Say You Are” and “Every morning I wake up worrying.” Make your own list of “who they say you are.” You don’t have to share it. Just be sure it is at least fifteen words long. Make a list of things that worry you. You don’t have to share this one either. Just write it down so you can look at it. If possible, share one of your worries with a friend or parent.

4. Grandma is very much a product of her time, including the music and musicians she loves. Ask a grandparent or other adult to list their five favorite musicians or albums. Listen to the music. Write a poem that describes this person, using their musical choices as one way to show their character.

5. James Howe dedicates the poem “What If” to a real-life bullying victim, Phoebe Prince. Go to the library or online to learn about Phoebe’s short life. Research other young people who committed suicide because of bullying. Prepare a presentation about them, including their photographs, information about their lives and their deaths, and if and how these deaths are related. Include your feelings about what happened to these young people, as Addie does in “What If.”

6. With friends or classmates, discuss the possibility of forming a GSA or other school group to help students who are being bullied, teased, or ostracized. What else might you do to prevent bullying in your community? Write a short essay describing your research, your class discussion, and your ideas for making your community safer for people who are afraid to speak out. (Hint: Visit www.nonamecallingweek.org to learn more about what you can do to encourage tolerance.)

7. In addition to “What If” the author wrote two other poems in Addie’s voice based on real news stories” “What We Don’t Know,” and “TEENAGE GIRLS STAND BY THEIR MAN.” Find a news story to which you have a strong emotional reaction and write a poem about it in your own voice.

8. Create a visual art piece to show your solidarity for those whose voices have been silenced. If desired, combine your work with those of friends or classmates to create an exhibit. What will you name your exhibit?

9. Design a poster, button, or bumper sticker using the final lines of the novel, “I am who I choose to be.” Wear or display it proudly.

10. If you have also read The Misfits, partly written in prose and partly in dialogue like a play, and/or Totally Joe, written as an “alphabiography”, discuss why the author may have chosen to use so many different literary forms to tell these interconnected stories.

11. Write a poem or series of poems about yourself on the inside. Then write a poem in the “inside voice” of someone else. Choose someone who is a challenge for you, someone you don’t quite understand or even like. Try to imagine what it is to be that person and write sympathetically from his or her point of view. If your poem is going to be shared with others, do not choose an actual person. Instead, choose a type of person you find very different from yourself.

12. In a small group, choose several poems from the book—poems you find especially funny or moving or insightful, or to which you respond personally in some way. Find a way to present these poems as reader’s theater. You might also consider turning one of the poems into a song and performing it as a solo piece or with a group.

This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

Customer Reviews

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Addie on the Inside 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
skstiles612 More than 1 year ago
I loved the way this was written in chunks in verse. This is one of those books every teacher needs to have on their shelves. The book is a great look at middle school life and how students bully each other without thinking they are bullying. It is a great look at how words hurt and how one student, Addie, copes with it. I loved Addie's character. She starts off sounding as if she has a shell built around her and doesn't care what others think about her. Slowly the layers are peeled away so that we can see her true heart. This should be mandatory reading for all students.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is written in verse, which if students haven't been introduced to may seem odd to them. However this is a great read for 7th grade and up. It is about the life of a 7th grade girl and the struggles young girls go through with boys, friends, bullies, ect.... I would certainly use this at the beginning of the year to discuss bullies and other life changing events for kids this age. What sometimes seems so dramatic in their world is usually not all that bad if they talk it out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great book. Addie (the main charactor) is a brilliant young lady who is on the un-popular side. She's hiding in her own little corner for most of the book but in the end, opens up to the world, one step at a time. This book has a great way of showing how you can use poetry in an amazing way. A great book for teens and preteens but not for children. This book does have some bad words and boyfriend/girlfriend related content that younger kids don't need to read about. Overall, this book should be on everyone's bookshelves. A great book full of every type of emption/feeling.
l_manning More than 1 year ago
Told through poetry, Addie on the Inside is all about Addie Carle, a young woman on a mission to make the world a better place. She's having to deal with a lot of stuff- lack of development physically, overabundant development mentally, first boyfriend, fitting in socially, and so many other things. By the end of the book, some things have drastically changed for Addie. However, nothing will ever change her sense of justice and desire to do some good for the world. I love that authors are experimenting for young adults and writing in verse. It's a great way to show that self expression can be done in many different ways. That being said, I'm not sure this book was entirely successful. It was a bit difficult to get into the story. Of course, I have not read any of the other books with these characters that preceeded this one, so that may have been part of the problem. Sometimes I felt like Addie didn't read like a girl to me, and to be honest there were times I didnt' really like her at all. I understand her need to champion the causes she believed it, but at times she came across as rather pretentious. Addie did seem to soften up some as the book went on, so I began to like her much better towards the end. I guess there were just too many hard edges on her at the beginning of the book. I think is a good book for teens who are activists looking for a kindred spirit. They will certainly find much to admire and possibly emulate. I appreciate the author's experimentation using verse to help get to know Addie better, and as things changed for Addie she because a character I had much more sympathy for her. There are probably a lot of people who will feel really moved by Addie's story, I just wasn't one of them. Galley provided by publisher for review.
amusingmother on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't read The Misfits. I'm certain it was wonderful. I do know that James Howe has an uncanny connection to the 7th grade girl. The girl who is uncertain and trying to fit in while doing what she knows is right and feeling misunderstood and grieving the end of her childhood yet yearning to be an adult... Obviously, I might still have some unfinished business from my own adolescence.There are simply too many gems to address so I will touch on only a few.I loved the prose. Written in poetry form, the feelings and experiences are concise and artistically painted. I felt Addie's angst and it was well placed.Addie's connection to her grandmother was simply beautiful. In her social travels, she found she was most at home with the eccentric old lady that truly understood her and cheered her on. I've found that I value my children's relationships with their grandparents more than ever. It grounds them.Kennedy and Johnson, Addie's cats - seem to have a radar that hones in when a 13 year old girl needs a good cry. That happens to be the moment when one or the other settle upon Addie's lap and calm her nerves with the rhythmic purr and kneading. Okay, I added the kneading. Some things I still understand even though this was true for me when I was 13 and still is now that I'm significantly older than 13.The complete and utter devastation of feeling like a social pariah. The laughs, the name calling, the shunning.Addie is a calm girl. She takes the end of her romantic relationship with DuShawn with poise.Until she gets home and throws herself on her bed and cries and cries.In order to properly address heartbreak and a 13 year old girl, the author should have dedicated 245 more poems to this angst. However, taking literary license to sum it up in just a few pages saves the reader from becoming bored.Loved it.
l_manning on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Told through poetry, Addie on the Inside is all about Addie Carle, a young woman on a mission to make the world a better place. She's having to deal with a lot of stuff- lack of development physically, overabundant development mentally, first boyfriend, fitting in socially, and so many other things. By the end of the book, some things have drastically changed for Addie. However, nothing will ever change her sense of justice and desire to do some good for the world.I love that authors are experimenting for young adults and writing in verse. It's a great way to show that self expression can be done in many different ways. That being said, I'm not sure this book was entirely successful. It was a bit difficult to get into the story. Of course, I have not read any of the other books with these characters that preceeded this one, so that may have been part of the problem. Sometimes I felt like Addie didn't read like a girl to me, and to be honest there were times I didnt' really like her at all. I understand her need to champion the causes she believed it, but at times she came across as rather pretentious. Addie did seem to soften up some as the book went on, so I began to like her much better towards the end. I guess there were just too many hard edges on her at the beginning of the book. I think is a good book for teens who are activists looking for a kindred spirit. They will certainly find much to admire and possibly emulate. I appreciate the author's experimentation using verse to help get to know Addie better, and as things changed for Addie she because a character I had much more sympathy for her. There are probably a lot of people who will feel really moved by Addie's story, I just wasn't one of them.Galley provided by publisher for review.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the way this was written in chunks in verse. This is one of those books every teacher needs to have on their shelves. The book is a great look at middle school life and how students bully each other without thinking they are bullying. It is a great look at how words hurt and how one student, Addie, copes with it. I loved Addie¿s character. She starts off sounding as if she has a shell built around her and doesn¿t care what others think about her. Slowly the layers are peeled away so that we can see her true heart. This should be mandatory reading for all students.
lindamamak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Conpanion to Totally Joe and The Misfits, this time the book focuses on Addie and the trials and tirbulations of being 13.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The sample was basically nothing but the prologue which was only a dumb poem, not dumb but said nothing about the main idea of Addie on the inside.How will I know if I'd even like this book it should've given at least the first chapter............:-( :-( :-( :-( BRUH really
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started the series as a book for my school's book club. Now that I've finished, I don't know what to do! I highly recommend this book for anybody looking for one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a really good book because, it was entertaining and, even though it was a poem, made sense. I liked it because it was sometimes funny, plus you can really feel the character when you read. It is really good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whenever i tap on a book it never lets me read? Does anybody know how to make it stop.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book the last poem in the book was the best it was called i am who i say i am. my second fav is the omg chours
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi my name is Addie! My birthday was yesterday!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about Addie, the last one was about Joe and the first book was about Bobby. When does Skeezie come in? He's my favorite character!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love you one direction
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mom got this for me at the library. It looked really good! But then i found out that it wasap arranged in poems! I really dont like poetry, so i gave it to my mom to return. I-luv-taylor-lautner-and-am-going-to-marry-him-so-back-off Mrs.-Lautner-wannabes-he's-mine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like it, mostly cause it has my nick name in it. I toats know this review isn't any help.