Review Blog

Sep 19 2013

The Loser List: Jinx of the Loser by H.N. Kowitt

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Scholastic, 2013. ISBN: 9780545507943.
Another in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid style of books aimed at 8-12 year olds featuring Danny Shine, comic book geek, Jinx of the Loser is the third of this series by Holly Kowitt.
Danny is given tickets to the school's baseball game by the coolest girl in school and accepts them despite his complete lack of interest in the game and its importance in the school's history. It was their chance to win the baseball championship for the first time ever.
In an unfortunate twist of fate Danny protects himself from the ball and prevents Luke Strohmer, star athlete, completing a catch. From that point on the game deteriorates, the championship is lost and all the supporters blame Danny. Their ensuing bad behaviour at the ground convinces the Principal to announce, in the light of budget restraints, to cut all after school sports.
Life of course becomes worse for Danny as the whole school blames him for losing the game and the after school sports program. When the roller coaster at the Amusement Park breaks down, whilst Danny is on it, he is officially declared a Jinx.
Helping Luke present a convincing argument to save the sports program and redeeming his reputation are all that is left to do before Danny's life can return to normal.
Presented on pseudo lined paper and including comic illustrations to enhance the story gives the appearance of a student's workbook, complete with lists. The story is told in the first person so we agonise with Danny throughout.
As the message of taking responsibility for one's own actions becomes quite clear towards the end and the situations Danny finds himself in are quite typical of all schools, not just American institutions, I am confident this story will be well received in school libraries.
Sue Keane

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