This is one of those wonderful books, that is hiding in obscurity on the shelves of the YA section. It is a book that made me want to go out, buy 10 copies and leave them in the world where they could go to work making it a better place.
If you have ever learned the hard lesson that although sticks and stones are bad, names really DO hurt, read this book. If you've ever felt like no one really understood what it feels like to live under a label and yet be more than that label, read this book. I could list a dozen more of these sentences, but they would all end with "read this book". So, read it, and then give it to someone you care about.
From Publishers Weekly
What do a 12-year-old student who moonlights as a tie salesman, a tall, outspoken girl, a gay middle schooler and a kid branded as a hooligan have in common? Best friends for years, they've all been the target of cruel name-calling and now that they're in seventh grade, they're not about to take it any more. In this hilarious and poignant novel, Howe (Bunnicula; The Watcher) focuses on the quietest of the bunch, overweight Bobby Goodspeed (the tie salesman), showing how he evolves from nerd to hero when he starts speaking his mind. Addie (the outspoken girl) decides that the four of them should run against more popular peers in the upcoming student council election. But her lofty ideals and rabble-rousing speeches make the wrong kind of waves, offending fellow classmates, teachers and the principal. It is not until softer-spoken Bobby says what's in his heart about nicknames and taunts that people begin to listen and take notice, granting their respect for the boy they used to call "Lardo" and "Fluff." The four "misfits" are slightly larger than life wiser than their years, worldlier than the smalltown setting would suggest, and remarkably well-adjusted but there remains much authenticity in the story's message about preadolescent stereotyping and the devastating effects of degrading labels. An upbeat, reassuring novel that encourages preteens and teens to celebrate their individuality. Ages 10-14.
It's good book showing how names hurt people especially at a young age. However that when sticking together you create a bond that is impermeable to the teaser.
good YA fiction! funny, and clever, and overall very enjoyable for the 11-14 age group.