Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

To find more books by your favorite author, click on the author's name in the title...

Also, try searching by "historical fiction" if you're looking for novels at a certain time period...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Loser by Jerry Spinelli

I’ve wanted to (re)-read a Jerry Spinelli book to review for this blog for awhile. I’m glad I finally did. His pen (or pencil, or word processor) is magical.

I just finished Loser, and I’m still smiling at the memories of the main character, Zinkoff. He’s one of the most lovable, quirky characters I’ve met in a long time. I liked him when he bounced off to kindergarten with his extra-tall giraffe hat bobbing amongst the other kids’ heads. I grew more fond of him when he threw up all over his teacher’s prized eraser. I loved him when he offered his soccer trophy to a kid on the losing team. I adored him when he couldn’t stop laughing over the word, “Jabip.”

Of course, I’m not a middle schooler, and by that grade, no one else in his class is finding him funny or remotely adorable, though he makes an excellent target to mock. I cringed when he made his team lose the relay race. I would have liked to have warned him not to try to be best friends with the kid who collected ear wax. And I wanted to cry as he became a “nobody.”

However, Donald Zinkoff is not your typical nobody. Much of the snubbing and mockery of the other children does not sink in. He’s endearingly oblivious. But he does start to catch on as he grows older.

In the end, he does not learn to leap tall buildings, make a game-saving catch, or rescue a helpless victim in order to be noticed and change-his-life around. Jerry Spinelli is not your typical author. There is no pat and simple conclusion. Just a certain hope that Zinkoff’s depth of character will not be drowned in the competitive world of adolescence because sometimes the name “Loser” just won’t stick to people of depth.

Safety Rating: 3 Flags


Post a Comment

regina was here

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008