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Loser by Jerry Spinelli


by Jerry Spinelli

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,761673,200 (3.75)7
  1. 00
    The Stupendous Dodgeball Fiasco by Janice Repka (bookel)
  2. 00
    Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (bookel)
  3. 00
    The Unvisibles by Ian Whybrow (cf66)
    cf66: La personalità dei protagonisti ha dei punti in comune

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» See also 7 mentions

English (66)  Italian (1)  All languages (67)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
What exactly defines a Loser when you don't think of yourself that way ( )
  lindamamak | Sep 1, 2018 |
After one of my fourth graders recommended this book to me saying "it was the best book I've ever read", I had to read it! A touching story about a child's journey through first -5th grade. A bullied child, a different child, an innocent child, a child who loves school and learning, and a selfless child... A good read. ( )
  mpettit7974 | Dec 21, 2017 |
This was a wonderful book. I love how it talks about a young boy who gets bullied and called a loser, who then looks at life completely different. He views himself as a star and how he is the star of his own life. He went through life knowing that he was different. Connecting to this book, it made me feel so good knowing I wasn't the only one who thought this way. I think to extremely important when a child can connect to a book. When a child feels connected to a book,i t makes them more interested in the book. ( )
  Katelynbarnes | Oct 31, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this book but some parts of it were a little difficult to go through because it seemed pretty down and depressing for most of the book until the very end. I had hoped that there would be more traces of optimism or hope in the end but it seemed pretty gloomy until the end. However, I did like that the author included an ending that had a closure for the protagonist who found a resolution within himself despite the circumstances not changing. I liked that the character had a self-realization and acceptance at the end even though people did not treat him differently: his perspective changed his outlook on life. The journey of Zinkoff (protagonist) started out as innocent and unaware of being an outcast, and later on, as he grew, he was able to recognize the difference in how people treated him, but did not let that affect who he was as a person and how he saw himself. I like that the author didn’t just change everything about Zinkoff’s surroundings and bullying situation, but rather, he changed himself even if he couldn’t change what was happening to him. I also liked how the author talked about such a difficult topic in a realistic way that didn’t over fantasize bullying, but stuck to a realistic experience that a child reading this book could potentially be facing in their own lives. Zinkoff didn’t have an easy way out or a cliché way of dealing with his problems, instead, the author purposefully didn’t create a solution to his problems, but hints at the hope towards the end without fully giving away a ‘happy’ ending that most children’s books revolve around. I also enjoyed the little climax plot twist at the end when the suspense was being built when Zinkoff tried to prove himself by finding a missing girl by himself in the cold. At the end, Zinkoff realizes that the person in real danger was himself, and people were looking for him as he was missing and close to a deadly situation out in the cold. This ending brings a lot of suspense and excitement to the climax of the story that the reader will cling on to. Even though I thought the climax should have more build up, it was still important to have the setting created first to paint a picture of the internal struggle Zinkoff faced before his conflict with nature occurred. The moral of the story is talked about in the end when Zinkoff realizes at the darkest part of his life, there were still many people who loved and cared about him regardless of his own uniqueness or difference. I think this book has a great point about learning to accept yourself and realizing that each person is unique in their own ways, and sometimes that the situation won’t change, but your attitude and outlook ( )
  Gkoo1 | Oct 31, 2017 |
I enjoyed this book for three reasons. First, I think this book would be very relatable for young children because it discusses a student who seems to be different and is made fun of for his behavior. But going off of that, another reason why I liked this book was that there was a happy ending. For example, the main character ended up being accepted for who he is from his classmates and I think that is very important in a children’s book. It is great to present a problem that kids may be able to relate to but I think it is even more important to have a hopeful ending so that kids can leave feeling better about their situation. Lastly, I thought it was interesting that the author wrote entirely in present tense throughout the book. This is not common so I think this is a great addition to show children a variety of different types of writing.
  gnam2 | Oct 26, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jerry Spinelliprimary authorall editionscalculated
Steinhöfel, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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You grow up with a kid but you never really notice him.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060540745, Paperback)

Donald Zinkoff is one of the greatest kids you could ever hope to meet. He laughs easily, he likes people, he loves school, he tries to rescue lost girls in blizzards, he talks to old ladies. The only problem is, he's a loser. Until fourth grade, Zinkoff's uncontrollable giggling in class, sloppy handwriting, horrible flute playing, bad grades, clumsiness, and ineptitude at sports go largely unnoticed. When he blows a race for his team, however, his transition to loserdom is complete: "[Loser] is the word. It is Zinkoff's new name. It is not in the roll book." Fortunately, he doesn't really notice. As he did in Stargirl, Newbery Medal-winning author Jerry Spinelli again explores the cruelty of a student body and how it does and doesn't affect one student, pure of spirit. Presumably if Loser makes one child view a "different kid" as a three-dimensional character, Spinelli will consider his book successful.

The author recounts Zinkoff's story--a case study of sorts--in short sentences from a deliberately reportorial point of view, documenting the first years of the boy's life and his evolution into a loser. What makes the book charming and buoyant is that the reader, like Zinkoff's parents and his favorite teacher, appreciates the boy's oblivious joie de vivre and his divine quirks. What is less compelling about the novel is the "let this be a lesson to us" heavy-handedness that accompanies the reportorial approach. Still, Spinelli comes through again with a lively, often moving story with humor and heart to spare. (Ages 8 to 12) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:06 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Even though his classmates from first grade on have considered him strange and a loser, Daniel Zinkoff's optimism and exuberance and the support of his loving family do not allow him to feel that way about himself.

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