Reviews for Misfits
Booklist Reviews 2003 June #1
Gr. 5^-8. First-person-narrator Bob and his three seventh-grade friends are seen as misfits, so the four decide to shake up student council elections by initiating the "no-name" party. This full-cast recording yields an authentic middle-school setting that listeners, old and young, will recognize. With distinct personalities, the teen characters are portrayed by youngsters who raise and lower pitch and volume and pause for effect. Although the reader of Bob's role has an unnatural cadence to his voice, this does not affect the overall production. An echo chamber is used for reflecting characters' thoughts, and music interludes and sound effects add appeal. A concluding interview with author Howe is one of the most enjoyable features of the audio. --Patricia Austin Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 August #2
Full Cast Audio, now distributed to the trade by Harcourt, is releasing its top backlist titles (previously marketed to the school and library market) in new retail packaging in October. The unabridged recordings include The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danziger, (three CDs, 3 hours $24.95 ISBN 9781-934180-06-8 ages 12-up); Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, a recent Audie Award winner (10 CDs, 10.5 hours $44.95 ISBN 9781-934180-04-4 ages 10-up); The Moffats by Eleanor Estes (four CDs, 3.5 hours $29.95 ISBN 9781-934180-07-5 ages 8-up); The Misfits by James Howe (four CDs, five hours $29.95 ISBN 9781-934180-11-2 ages 10-up); and Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorenson (four CDs, 4.5 hours $29.95 ISBN 9781-934180-10-5 ages 5-up). Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2003 July
Gr 4-8-A high spirited cast brings James Howe's energetic, sometimes hilarious book (Atheneum, 2001) about junior high school politics and nasty name calling to life. Young actor Spencer Murphy does an excellent job playing narrator Bobby Goodspeed, an overweight seventh grader who belongs to the Gang of Five, which (ironically) is made up of four not five kids who consider themselves misfits. The other "gang" members are the precocious and extremely tall Addie (played with effective Lisa Simpsonesque moral outrage by Maggie Lane), the Elvis look-alike Skeezie (the funny Andrew Pollack), and the effeminate Joe (a sensitive performance by Ryan Carlesco). The student council elections are coming up, and these students decide to run on the "No-Name Party," which promises to bring an end to all name calling in the school. The scene with the characters listing the various hateful names they have been called (everything from "fat boy" to "fairy" to "greaser" to "loser") is truly chilling. Thanks to Daniel Bostick's inventive direction of the actors, the presentation soars and entertains. There are many clever touches: an echo effect is used when Bobby has interior thoughts, and there are neat sound effects when characters speak on television or over PA systems. A clever music score, which mixes rockabilly with muzak, adds to the story's humor and energy. The entire cast, especially the aforementioned young actors as well as Bill Molesky as Bobby's world weary boss, does a fine job. An interesting interview with James Howe completes this first rate presentation.-Brian E. Wilson, Evanston Public Library, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.