December 17, 2009

Book Review: Loser

Posted by at 9:04 am in Reads, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Loser_130 After reading Loser by Jerry Spinelli, I realized two things:

  1. Kids can be so cruel.
  2. I admire Donald Zinkoff.

Newbery Medal-winning author Jerry Spinelli brings readers a thought-provoking and inspiring story of Donald Zinkoff as he travels from first through sixth grade.
However, Zinkoff is not a normal child. He's slower at learning than the other kids, he's disheveled, and his lack of athletic skills prevents him from ever being picked to participate in activities. In every way, he's different from the other kids.

But . . . Zinkoff is unaware of all of this. He is too busy thinking about himself to notice what others are thinking. He is busy growing up. He is busy growing out. (p.111)

Zinkoff is really nice, and he's totally happy just being who he is, whether other people like him or not. While many of us strive so hard to fit in, I really admire Zinkoff's ability to keep on being himself even though the other kids are mean to him.

I think Spinelli does amazing job at narrating the story, truly getting at the heart of Zinkoff's innocence and naiveté so that readers can relate to what Zinkoff is going through. In a way, Zinkoff reminds me of Forrest Gump from the film, Forrest Gump (rated PG-13), who is man with low IQ, but who has good intentions and accomplishes great things in life.

I give Loser by Jerry Spinelli 4.1 out of 5 stars.

—Carly M., STACKS Staffer

BONUS WRITING PROMPT: In the Middle School Survival series, the popular kids are called “pops.” What would your group of friends be called? Leave your answer in the Comments.

  1. rock255

    Me and my friends don’t really have a name we just kind of in the middle were not popular but we not geeks were just there

  2. Grandesong

    We definitely wouldn’t be the Pops, or the Geeks, or anything like that. We could be called the Flock, because we all love Maximum Ride. We cold also be called the Smart/Pops, but thats not very creative.

  3. percyj99

    We’re proudly called the DORKS.
    PERCY JACKSON (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), HARRY POTTER (Harry Potter),GREG HEFFLEY (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), DONALD ZINKOFF (Loser), and ARTHUR PENHALIGON (The Keys to the Kingdom) are DA BEST!!!

  4. percyj99

    They file by. Some whisper the word. Some say it aloud. Each pronounces it perfectly.
    - p.107

  5. Brian

    I never read this book. Is it about a chold who never had friend’s and he did all of these weierd thing’s
    but then he got a friend that was cool and then they called him a loser but he doesn’t care that much?

  6. ashlyn

    Ah! i LOVE this book! Ive read it like 6 times! I love how you can just totally see it all in your mind. Amazing work! :) ! BTW I consider myself part of no group or clique. I also think its wrong to disclude people that way. Dont stick to a few friends. Be everyones friend :D

  7. kellbel98

    we would be called ” the wierdos”!!! but not always bad!!!! lol and we know how to keep secrets so its not all bad!

  8. BaconB

    I read this book, I liked it, but, it was a bit odd. And it made me so sad, too, thinking about how mean people could be.

  9. cocobear08

    My group of friends would be called…. probably the junior pops. Or maybe the almost pops. But most likely the funny pops!!! There’s like a million people in the group. I lost count because I’m in the funny pops in like every period of the school day.

  10. Nathan

    I have not read this book yet if you think it’s good, comment back. Because I don’t wanna read it if it’s a bunch of junk. Nobody wants to read junk, so please comment if you think it’s worth reading.

  11. david

    We were called “the nerds” To be come a “nerd” answer the following questions
    1.Do you like pasta?
    2.Are you consitered cool?
    3.Are you popular?
    4.Are you smart?
    if answered no or a little bit to any of these you are a
    half and half (part nerd part normal

  12. aliciaurbestie

    the popular group in my skool is me, aiden (aidencagebffls is her user name), kira (kira123 is hers), cage (cageaidenbffls),shana, lili (lilibfflsyea), n kayla (kayladancer) we all have 1 cause the teachers 4 language arts

  13. CuddlyPanda_

    My friends would be called the in the middles. Cuz I am friends with the pops and the unpops
    I give this book a total 5.0

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