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Friday, January 20, 2012

Loser by Jerry Spinelli

Published May 1, 2002 by HarperTrophy
Format: Paperback
ISBN 9780060540746
224 Pages
Series? No
Rating: Middle School
Source: Middle School contest
Challenges: 2012, Off The Shelf

There are winners everywhere .... The sidewalks. The backyards. The alleyways. The playgrounds ...

Except for Zinkoff. Zinkoff never wins.

But Zinkoff doesn't notice. Neither do the other pups.

Not yet.

Zinkoff is like all kids — running, playing, riding his bike. Hoping for snow days, wanting to be his dad when he grows up.

Zinkoff is not like the other kids — raising his hand with all the wrong answers, tripping over his own feet, falling down with laughter over a word like "Jabip." The kids have their own word to describe him, but Zinkoff is too busy to hear it.

This book follows Donald Zinkoff through kindergarten through first grade.

I really like this book. It is so simple and yet it makes me think about who I was when I was the same age as the narrator and who I am now. When I was younger I had a lot of qualities that Zinkoff did and was most certainly always picked last for kickball. (I remember that it was like baseball but with a soccer ball and I had no coordination.)

The book is not about the smartest, fastest, most accomplished person in the small town. It is about the very opposite. Yet he is always happy. When I read this book for the first time in middle school I admit to being very jealous of Donald (Zinkoff's first name) because of the way that he never cared what other people thought of him and he never felt sad for very long.

This book reminds me a lot of Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. Which now makes sense because they were written by the same people. What I mean is that Stargirl is the older female version of Zinkoff.

The story was set up so that every chapter was a snapshot in to Zinkoff's life. There was no big climax to the story, no action packed adventure. But is it cute and it gives a very good insight to growing up and how things can change in the blink of an eye. 

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