After reading Loser by Jerry Spinelli, I realized two things:
- Kids can be so cruel.
- 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.