James Howe's novel, The Misfits, centers around four friends who are social outsiders: Bobby, Skeezie, Joe, and Addie. They refer to themselves as the Gang of Five, even though there are only four of them. The novel focuses on their struggle to survive seventh grade while being social outcasts and victims of bullying; their friendship; their personal lives; and their attempt to revolutionize their middle school's political system.
Addie is known for speaking her mind and standing by her beliefs. One day in homeroom, Addie refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. When asked the reason for her refusal by the teacher, Ms. Wyman, Addie says that the Pledge of Allegiance is untrue because not everyone in the United States has equal access to justice and freedom.
In the next homeroom class, Ms. Wyman announces that the student council elections are coming up and any student who wishes to run for student council must register as either a Democrat or a Republican. This upsets Addie who believes Independents should also be allowed to run. Ms. Wyman tells Addie that the school only recognizes the Democrat and Republican parties. When Addie refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance again, Ms. Wyman tells her to report to the principal's office.