Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Once a Loser, Always a Loser?

Donald Zinkoff isn’t like other kids his age, but this isn’t apparent until the end of elementary school. Until then Zinkoff and his differences seem to slip by his peers. He starts off as a fairly average child; excited and energetic about all of the things going on around him. If his school career could be judged by the first day of school, then it would be easy to tell that things would be difficult because Zinkoff starts his first day of school wearing an enormous giraffe hat, which makes his teacher a bit uneasy. Even though he has trouble, he does make it through the first grade. Donald continues on this way throughout second and third grade. He loves to learn so much that he doesn’t even care if he gets and A, B, or C. He plays sports, but doesn’t care if he wins or loses- he is just playing for the fun of it. Zinkoff is happy! His parents are very loving and supportive of their son. Fourth grade is a great year for Zinkoff because he really likes his teacher and his teacher likes him. Everything goes well until Field Day. All of a sudden his teammates are not happy with him and see him as different. When he loses an important race for them they think he is a loser. This becomes his name. Loser. Kids call him it all the time and no one likes him. Zinkoff is still happy most of the time, but sometimes he is upset when kids make fun of him. Read the book to find out if Zinkoff is doomed a loser forever. Will he find a way to be happy and leave the past behind him?

Loser by Jerry Spinelli focuses on Donald Zinkoff and his travels through school. We learn to love him and root for him; hoping things will go his way. Even when they don’t his kindness and positive energy is an inspiration. I would recommend this book to kids in upper elementary school or middle school students. Many would be able to relate to Zinkoff and his trials and tribulations; others could maybe understand things from the other side. My heart went out to Zinkoff and I wanted to help him. I think we all know kids that see the world in a different way and Loser is a good example of why we should be a little more patient with others and give them a chance. This is a great book for discussions about life and doing the right thing!

Has anyone else read Loser? Or have you read another book by Jerry Spinelli?

Happy Reading! ~L

14 comments:

  1. I love this author...kids love him, too...

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    1. He does have a lot of great books! I read Stargirl by him and enjoyed it. I will have to read Loser. Lizzy got to it first! :)

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  2. It's great to find new books for middle graders. I'll have to check this one out. Thanks :)

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    1. Cherie- I always love to find new books, too! Enjoy!

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  3. Great review! My son Christian would love this book! I'll have to get him to check it out.

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    1. Thanks, Greg! I bet Christian will like this book since he liked Eggs by Jerry Spinelli.

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  4. I certainly hope Zinkoff finds a way to be happy and leave the past behind. Kids can be very cruel to one another. I haven’t read anything by Jerry Spinelli but this one certainly sounds interesting.

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    1. Barbara- You are so right! Kids can be cruel. This book would also be a great teaching tool in schools. It is an interesting book! ~Stephanie

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  5. I read this book and liked it. The ending is really great and filled with lots of suspense. Awesome review.

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    1. The ending is great, Trey! Glad you liked it!

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  6. I read Maniac McGee by this author and it was great. I can't wait to read this one. Loved your review.

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    1. I haven't read Maniac McGee- but I heard it was excellent. Glad you enjoyed the review. :)

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  7. I've never heard of this book or the author, but it does sound good. You find the cutest books.

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    1. It is a terrific book, Donna! Thanks for stopping by!

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