Grade Level: Grade 5 and above
I really enjoyed reading "This Misfits". I thought that the diverse and controversial concepts brought up throughout the course of the novel would be extremely beneficial for upper elementary students to be exposed to. I think that as students begin to come into their own and develop their own identity they will be very likely to associate with "The Gang of Five". As students reach a certain age they are more likely to strive to fit in with their peers. I think that this novel demonstrates the power of standing out and rages from the "outspoken and awkward" to the extreme end of "flamboyantly homosexual". I also think that the concept of challenging the "popular" students while running for student council represent the struggles certain minority groups have in the whole context of society. I also enjoyed the way they called themselves the "No- Name Party". I thought that this symbolized any individual who feels like they don't have a place in the school hierarchy, or even in society itself. One of the characters that really impacted me was Jo. With all of the recent suicides related to homosexual teens I think that it is essential that this issue be addressed in the classroom. I think that the earlier controversial issues are discussed in the safe environment such as the classroom, the earlier students will become educated about these concepts and hopefully expand their thinking to a more open minded perspective. Overall I really enjoyed the messages that were portrayed to the readers, and I think that it would be an excellent addition to any classroom, primarily upper elementary levels.