Authors: James Howe
(with Deborah Howe)
The Celery Stalks at Midnight
Return to Howliday Inn
Bunnicula Strikes Again!
Bunnicula and Friends
The Vampire Bunny
There's a Monster Under My Bed
There's a Dragon in My Sleeping Bag
Teddy Bear's Scrapbook
(with Deborah Howe)
Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores
Horace and Morris Join the Chorus (but what about Dolores?
Kaddish for Grandpa in Jesus' name amen
Tales from the House of Bunnicula
It Came from Beneath the Bed!
Invasion of the Mind Swappers from Asteroid 6!
Howie Monroe and the Doghouse of Doom
Screaming Mummies of the Pharaoh's Tomb II
Bud Barkin, Private Eye
Odorous Adventures of Stinky Dog
Sebastian Barth Mysteries
What Eric Knew
Eat Your Poison, Dear
Dew Drop Dead
Pinky and Rex Series
Pinky and Rex
Pinky and Rex Get Married
Pinky and Rex and the Mean Old Witch
Pinky and Rex and the Spelling Bee
Pinky and Rex Go to Camp
Pinky and Rex and the New Baby
Pinky and Rex and the Double-Dad Weekend
Pinky and Rex and the Bully
Pinky and Rex and the New Neighbors
Pinky and Rex and the Perfect Pumpkin
Pinky and Rex and the School Play
Pinky and Rex and the Just-Right Pet
A Night Without Stars
Edited by James Howe
The Color of Absence: Twelve Stories about Loss and Hope
13: Thirteen Stories That Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright Â© 2005 by James Howe
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
Book design by Kristin Smith
The text for this book is set in Jante Antiqua.
Manufactured in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
Howe, James, 1946-
Totally Joe / by James Howe.â 1st ed.
“Ginee Seo Books.”
Summary: As a school assignment, a thirteen-year-old boy writes an alphabiographyâlife from A to Zâand explores issues of friendship, family, school, and the challenges of being a gay teenager.
ISBN-13: 978-0-689-83957-3 (print)
ISBN-13: 978-1-4424-4943-5 (ebook)
[1. GaysâFiction. 2. SchoolsâFiction. 3. FriendshipâFiction. 4. Family lifeâFiction.] I. Title.
To Mr. Daly
(All Other Eyes KEEP OUT!
Dear Mr. Daly,
Okay, I admit it. When you first gave us this assignment, I thought it was lame. Write about yourself from A-Z? Bo-ring. (No offense.) Besides worrying that I wouldn't know what to write for every single letter (Hello, does anybody
an x-word other than xylophone? And does anybody
the xylophone? And if they did, would anybody
), well, I was also thinking,
really tell the truth about myself?
I'm not ashamed of my life or anything. I'm only thirteen (twelve, when I started writing this), so I doubt I've gotten to the
embarrassing stuff yet, but, let's face it, I'm not exactly your average Joe and I get called plenty of names because of it. And then there was all the stuff that happened this year. I mean, was I really going to write about all that? And when you said we had to end every chapter with a Life Lesson to share with others, I thought:
Oh. My God. That is
But I got the point. You wanted us to think. You wanted this to be
something. But if it's about the real stuffâyou know, the truth and allâwell, I have to ask: Mr. Daly, did you think this one through? I mean, hello, we're in the seventh grade. Every single thing anybody knows about us is ammunition. And have you thought about the fact that we would end up talking about other people in our “alphabiographies,” as you call them? I mean, we could be sued for
. I know about this stuff. I watch Court TV.
Well, anyway, here it is. I started it in October and finished it last week. You're the first person to read itâother than me, I mean. I haven't even shown it to my best friends, who all shared what they wrote and were, like, “We're never speaking to you again” when I wouldn't let them read what I wroteâespecially Addie, who doesn't know the meaning of “It's none of your business.” Well, actually, Bobby was okay with my not sharing. He respects privacy. But the others were, like, “Joe, it's not like we don't know everything about you, anyway.” But the thing is, I wrote stuff in here that I've never written down before. Some of it I didn't even
until I wrote it down. It's kind of personal (and some of it is seriously private). I had to decide if I should take some stuff out before
handing it in, but I liked writing it and it's all the truthâand that's what you said we should go for, right?
But the thing is, Mr. Daly, if you wouldn't mind keeping what I've written to yourself, that would be okay with me. Really. Whatever you do,
don't ask me to read any of it in front of the class, even if you think it's the best alphabiography you've ever read. I mean, I wouldn't want to betray other peopleâand the thing with my mother's high heels is not something I need everybody to know about. Ammunition, remember?