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Loser by Jerry Spinelli
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Loser

by Jerry Spinelli

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,471612,482 (3.77)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

Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Donald Zinkoff is a Yong boy who we follow from first through 5th grade. he is an exuberant fellow who doesn't realize that he is an outsider, a "leftover. he is loved by his family and some teachers but teased and belittled by most of his classmates. A good book for grade school students who can learn a valuable lesson re differences. ( )
  AstridG | Apr 25, 2017 |
I really enjoyed reading this book for many reasons. First, the characters are believable and relatable. Although I've never experienced being a "loser" growing up, I know many young students can relate to the emotions felt and written by Jerry. It's not easy growing up and "not fitting in". In addition, even if readers have not related to being a loser, the book should broaden their perspectives on what it's like to feel unwanted and not fit in.

This line from the book really stuck with me and made me happy once Jerry found his best friend: “Best friends are always together, always whispering and laughing and running, always at each other's house, having dinner, sleeping over. They are practically adopted by each other's parents. You can't pry them apart.” ( )
  vziolk1 | Nov 15, 2016 |
I really liked Loser by Jerry Spinelli and see way it is often read in curriculum in many schools. The book does a great job of creating the main character, Donald Zinkoff. You really sympathize and root for him, seeing his quirkiness in an endearing light due to Spinelli's presentation of Zinkoff. The plot tells of Zinkoff going through grade school and coming of age, even though he doesn't quite fit in. I think this is very beneficial because bullying is often an issue at this age, especially with children who can be quirky at times. By reading this book, I think students will think more about how they treat others. Overall, this book was a great read and I would recommend it. ( )
  vrobey1 | Nov 14, 2016 |
I loved reading this book when I was younger and it was just as good of a read now. This book reaches out to people who have ever felt awkward or like they had to hold back being themselves and presents them with a young boy who is apologetically himself. Zinkoff goes through his first few years of school with the reader and shows how society tries to break him into a mold, but Zinkoff blindly resists. My favorite piece of this novel is the characters. Zinkoff is a strange kid, but he is kindhearted and means well. He stumbles through years 5-10 all the while figuring out what it means to be a winner. In addition to him, I also adored his parents in the story. They understand that their kid is a little off, but they encourage him to do everything he wants despite how others will view him. It's a good message to both young kids and to adults who may want little guys to all behave alike. I also enjoy the timeline of the story. It is not all centered on one year or grade for Zinkoff, but instead goes though 5 years of his life. This allows for lots of great events to happen which means that the book goes by quickly. The main idea for this novel is that as long as you are true to yourself, you are never really a loser. ( )
  ccalla8 | Apr 18, 2016 |
really a 2 and half star rating. This book was just OK for me - my son was reading it so I did too. I felt like it went waaaay off the topic for a while and only sort of resolved the issues at the end. I like Spinelli, but this wasn't my favorite. If I could find a star that said "I sort of liked it" I would have chosen that. ( )
  ER1116 | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (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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