by James Howe
I would give this book 4 **** out of 4 stars.
SummaryThe gang of five (Addie, Skeezie, Bobby, Joe and Colin) are a group of outcasts who are determined to change their school. The students decide to try to form a third party in the student government election and they want the school's only African American student to run for president. The party is forced to disband and the students decide to start the No-Name party.
This is an amazing chapter book that is difficult to put down. I believe it is a great book to use with children who are in upper elementary or middle school.
This book contains controversial topics and issues that relate to elementary students and their personal issues. Joe is a character who is confused about his sexuality which is an extremely controversial issue to talk about in schools but one that is relevant to their lives directly. I know that Joe is a fictional character but I am sure there are Joe's all around the world who are afraid to speak out about their true feelings in fear of being rejected by society, their families and friends.
Any child at any age can relate to being called a name. The gang of fives goal was the stop this epidemic. I believe this is a campaign that every elementary school, middle school and high school should adopt. Being called names, whether it be fat, lame, or gay, can have serious negative effects on children and their self esteem. It creates a hostile environment where children are afraid to be who they truly are.
The gang of five reaches out to children who are not like them and are interested in promoting equality. They reach out to the only African American student in the school to become the future president of the student government. These children do not judge people based on their race, gender, weight or sexual orientation. These characters, while being completely different, are accepting of all people. They are good roll models for children in todays society. I would love the opportunity to hopefully teach this book in my future classroom.