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.
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.
Once again, Newbery Medal-winning author Jerry Spinelli uses great wit and humor to create the unique story of Zinkoff as he travels from first through sixth grades. Loser is a touching book about the human spirit, the importance of failure, and how any name can someday be replaced with "hero."
You Grow Up
You grow up with a kid but you never really notice him. He's just there -- on the street, the playground, the neighborhood. He's part of the scenery, like the parked cars and the green plastic cans on trash day.
You pass through school -- first grade, second grade -- there he is, going along with you. You're not friends, you're not enemies. You just cross paths now and then. Maybe at the park playground one day you look up and there he is on the other end of the seesaw. Or it's winter and you sled to the bottom of Halftank Hill, and you're trudging back up and there he goes zipping down, his arms out like a swan diver, screaming his head off. And maybe it annoys you that he seems to be having even more fun than you, but it's a one-second thought and it's over.
You don't even know his name.
And then one day you do. You hear someone say a name, and somehow you just know that's who the name belongs to, it...
A wonderful, thoughtful book. "Popular" teens who believe being part of the group means excluding others may not appreciate Loser, but if they can bring themselves to read it they might find an appreciation for those lesser mortals who aren't part of the 1st division cliques but are sometimes better people because of this. Particularly recommended for those who've enjoyed other works by Spinelli such as Stargirl.
If you liked Loser, try these:
'This insightful, seemingly intuitive first novel digs deep inside the soul of 9-year-old narrator Ida B Applewood....Hannigan shows a remarkable understanding of a stubborn child's perspective in her honest, poignant portrayal of loss and rebirth. Ages 9-up.'
This hilarious and heartwarming novel reminds us that nothing is stronger than the bonds of family (ages approx 9+).
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