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Loser Paperback – May 1, 2018

4.7 out of 5 stars 843 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Just like other kids, Zinkoff rides his bike, hopes for snow days, and wants to be like his dad when he grows up. But Zinkoff also raises his hand with all the wrong answers, trips over his own feet, and falls down with laughter over a word like "Jabip."

Other kids have their own word to describe him, but Zinkoff is too busy to hear it. He doesn't know he's not like everyone else. And one winter night, Zinkoff's differences show that any name can someday become "hero."

About the Author

Jerry Spinelli received the Newbery Medal for Maniac Magee and a Newbery Honor for Wringer. His other books include Stargirl; Love, Stargirl; Smiles to Go; Loser; Jake and Lily; Hokey Pokey; and The Warden’s Daughter. His novels are recognized for their humor and poignancy, and his characters and situations are often drawn from his real-life experience as a father of six children. Jerry lives with his wife, Eileen, also a writer, in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins; Reprint edition (May 1, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 218 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0060540745
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0060540746
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 - 12 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 710L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 3 - 7
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 5.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.58 x 4.5 x 0.54 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 843 ratings

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Growing up, Jerry Spinelli was really serious about baseball. He played for the Green Sox Little League team in his hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and dreamed of one day playing for the major leagues, preferably as shortstop for the New York Yankees.

One night during high school, Spinelli watched the football team win an exciting game against one of the best teams in the country. While everyone else rode about town tooting horns in celebration, Spinelli went home and wrote "Goal to Go," a poem about the game's defining moment, a goal-line stand. His father submitted the poem to the Norristown Times-Herald and it was featured in the middle of the sports page a few days later. He then traded in his baseball bat for a pencil, because he knew that he wanted to become a writer.

After graduating from Gettysburg College with an English degree, Spinelli worked full time as a magazine editor. Every day on his lunch hour, he would close his office door and craft novels on yellow magazine copy paper. He wrote four adult novels in 12 years of lunchtime writing, but none of these were accepted for publication. When he submitted a fifth novel about a 13-year-old boy, adult publishers once again rejected his work, but children's publishers embraced it. Spinelli feels that he accidentally became an author of children's books.

Spinelli's hilarious books entertain both children and young adults. Readers see his life in his autobiography Knots in My Yo-Yo String, as well as in his fiction. Crash came out of his desire to include the beloved Penn Relays of his home state of Pennsylvania in a book, while Maniac Magee is set in a fictional town based on his own hometown.

When asked if he does research for his writing, Spinelli says: "The answer is yes and no. No, in the sense that I seldom plow through books at the library to gather material. Yes, in the sense that the first 15 years of my life turned out to be one big research project. I thought I was simply growing up in Norristown, Pennsylvania; looking back now I can see that I was also gathering material that would one day find its way into my books."

On inspiration, the author says: "Ideas come from ordinary, everyday life. And from imagination. And from feelings. And from memories. Memories of dust in my sneakers and humming whitewalls down a hill called Monkey."

Spinelli lives with his wife and fellow writer, Eileen, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. While they write in separate rooms of the house, the couple edits and celebrates one another's work. Their six children have given Jerry Spinelli a plethora of clever material for his writing.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
843 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

cmcd
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 10, 2017
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Busy mum
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to make you think & look at the world in a different way.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2014
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Devon Nana
3.0 out of 5 stars I had read Stargirl and really enjoyed it, but Loser was a much less realized ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 15, 2014
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Najoua Ayed
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon un excellent service avec un petit prix
Reviewed in Canada on December 2, 2018
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Vikonline
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome!
Reviewed in India on January 9, 2021
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