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Totally Joe

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I picked up Totally Joe because it had hightops on the front. The back mentioned kissing- it must be one of those fun chick flicky books, right? I thought Joe was Josephine. It looked good, so I started reading it; and I was extremely confused.

To put it simply, Totally Joe, by James Howe, it the story of a seventh grade gay guy. It’s a school project- one of those all year round things. Joe’s english teacher calls it an “alphabiography.” The idea is that you write a biography if yourself-- from A-Z, a chapter for each letter. But for Joe, it became a sort of journal. But also the story of his life.

He goes back to his earliest memory: Addie. “Why are you wearing a dress? I thought you were supposed to be a boy,” she says. All through Joe’s life, he’s been accused of being a girl. “Josephine!” taunts his arch enemy, Kevin Hennessey. It’s fifth grade when he realizes he’s officially gay- he gets his first crush.

But it’s not until seventh grade that his crush- Colin- confesses to liking him back. Follow Joe Bunch on a whirlwind ride of acceptance, pride, and sadness as the world tells him what they think.

I told my mom about this book, and she asked, “Would you still have bought it if you new it was about a gay person?” I hesitated. “I don’t think so, but I’m really glad I did.” Totally Joe opened my eyes so much. I’ve always been pro- gay/lesbian, but only theoretically. In reading this book, I saw what it was really like to be gay, more than just the idea, and it made me support it even more.

I think everyone should read this book, even people who voted yes on #1. You don’t have to change your mind. You just have to know what’s at stake.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

tigeress3 said...
Aug. 5, 2009 at 4:09 pm
I read this book about a year ago and really liked it. It's different and it has a plot.
 
DinosoarJen This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 28, 2009 at 8:53 pm
I like how you put your honest opinion in there. I think I'm going to read this.
 
THE_IS!! This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 25, 2009 at 10:53 am
Wow! This very good, although there are several grammatical errors. I might even read this book, now!
 
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