Space Station Seventh Grade
Who Put That Hair on my Toothbrush
Jason and Marceline
The Bathwater Gang
Fourth Grade Rats
Report to the Principal’s Office
There’s a Girl in My Hammerlock
The Library Card
Knots in my Yo-Yo String
Milkweed: A Novel
Smiles to Go
Spinelli, Jerry. Jake and Lily. New York : Balzer + Bray, 2012.
Jake and Lily have always done things together. They’re twins, born eleven minutes apart on July 29th, and they’ve always enjoyed doing things together. But now that they are eleven years old, Jake is making new friends and Lily feels left out, not that she is going to tell him. Oh no, she will argue and fight and chase after the gang, trying to belong. Told in alternating chapters, some very short chapters, this humorous novel is recommended for readers 9 to 13 years old. [Brothers and sisters; Bullying; Friendship; Grandfathers; Individuality; Summer; Twins]
Are you looking for a laugh-out-loud realistic fiction book that Ms. Rosen recommends? If so, read Loser by Jerry Spinelli (HarperCollins Publishers, 2002), a novel about a young and very strange boy named Donald Zinkoff. He isn’t very good at anything except making other people happy. When he was young, he didn’t go outside and associate with other people, so now he faces the difficulty of becoming more “normal” and tackles situations like his sloppy writing and his lack of speed when running. Every chapter in the book humorously describes Donald’s misfortunes and guarantees an abundance of laughter!
An especially vivid scene is near the beginning of the book, when Donald is walking to his first day of school: he wears a hat with a large giraffe neck and head and all that can be seen in the middle of the crowd is a giraffe head peeking out like a basketball player in the middle of grade sixers.
I felt many different emotions while reading this book: happy when something funny happened such as when Donald got really excited and jumped up, threw his arms to the ceiling, and bellowed, “YAHOO!”; sad when something depressing happened such as when Claudia, a little girl on Willow Street, had run away and was lost; angry when something aggravating happened such as when the Purple Team was mean to Donald and called him names and kicked the dirt onto his shoes; and heart-warmed when Donald went to look for Claudia in the freezing cold, snow-filled night.
This story definitely made me see life differently. Donald is always optimistic even when he is teased or bullied or has a bad day. This made me realize I should be more optimistic, like Donald, even when bad things happen to me.
In summary, Loser is a stunning book which I will absolutely read again. It touched my heart and made me laugh. I enjoyed every sentence and rate this book 4.5 giraffe hats out of 5
Jerry Spinelli has written many hilarious book for young readers including Smiles To Go, Stargirl, Eggs, and Fourth Grade Rats. All of them are a great read! (Mitch in grade 7)