This important and worthwhile book inspired the national event, No Name-Calling Week, which most recently took place January 24-28, 2011. Created by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing, and along with over forty national partner organizations, this project aims to focus national attention on the problem of name-calling in schools, and spreads a message of respect and anti-bullying. For more information visit nonamecallingweek.org. The main characters in this book have all been the subject of taunts based on either weight, height, intelligence, or sexual orientation. Homosexuality is openly discussed and is accepted within the core group of friends. Homophobic slurs and cruel names in general are used often to illustrate a point and convey the main message of the story. Grief is central to the story, as main character Bobby's mother has passed away from cancer and he and his father are still trying to heal and move on from her death. The awkwardness of crushes and middle school dating is realistic and relatable. The Misfits is an excellent choice for a middle school book club and its numerous valuable messages make for rich discussion material.