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S.O.R. Losers

( 10 )

Overview

The South Orange River (S.O.R.) School is big on sports and famous for not losing a game all season. That all changes when the school insists that some seventh-grader non-jocks form a soccer team. The new team is sure that losing their first game 32-0 will put an end to their athletic adventure, but no such luck. their parents insist they try harder. The whole school cheers them on, and the finally score...for the other team. And only the eleven members of the S.O.R. Losers team...

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Overview

The South Orange River (S.O.R.) School is big on sports and famous for not losing a game all season. That all changes when the school insists that some seventh-grader non-jocks form a soccer team. The new team is sure that losing their first game 32-0 will put an end to their athletic adventure, but no such luck. their parents insist they try harder. The whole school cheers them on, and the finally score...for the other team. And only the eleven members of the S.O.R. Losers team know the secret of their outstanding "success."

Each member of the South Orange River seventh-grade soccer team has qualities of excellence, but not on the soccer field.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380699933
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1986
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 246,075
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 520L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Avi

Avi is the author of more than sixty books, including Crispin: The Cross of Lead, a Newbery Medal winner, and Crispin: At the Edge of the World. His other acclaimed titles include The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing But the Truth, both Newbery Honor Books, and most recently The Seer of Shadows. He lives with his family in Colorado.

Biography

Born in Manhattan in 1937, Avi Wortis grew up in Brooklyn in a family of artists and writers. Despite his bright and inquisitive nature, he did poorly in school. After several academic failures, he was diagnosed with a writing impairment called dysgraphia which caused him to reverse letters and misspell words. The few writing and spelling skills he possessed he had gleaned from his favorite hobby, reading -- a pursuit enthusiastically encouraged in his household.

Following junior high school, Avi was assigned to a wonderful tutor whose taught him basic skills and encouraged in him a real desire to write. "Perhaps it was stubbornness," he recalled in an essay appearing on the Educational Paperback Association's website, "but from that time forward I wanted to write in some way, some form. It was the one thing everybody said I could not do."

Avi finally learned to write, and well! He attended Antioch University, graduated from the University of Wisconsin, and received a master's degree in library science from Columbia in 1964. He worked as a librarian for the New York Public Library's theater collection and for Trenton State College, and taught college courses in children's literature, while continuing to write -- mostly plays -- on the side. In the 1970s, with two sons of his own, he began to craft stories for children. "[My] two boys loved to hear stories," he recalled. "We played a game in which they would give me a subject ('a glass of water') and I would have to make up the story right then. Out of that game came my first children's book, Things That Sometimes Happen." A collection of "Very Short Stories for Little Listeners," Avi's winning debut received very positive reviews. "Sounding very much like the stories that children would make up themselves," raved Kirkus Reviews, "these are daffy and nonsensical, starting and ending in odd places and going sort of nowhere in the middle. The result, however, is inevitably a sly grin."

Avi has gone on to write dozens of books for kids of all ages. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1991) and Nothing but the Truth (1992) were named Newbery Honor Books, and in 2003, he won the prestigious Newbery Medal for his 14th-century adventure tale, Crispin: The Cross of Lead. His books range from mysteries and adventure stories to historical novels and coming-of-age tales; and although there is often a strong moral core to his work, he leavens his message with appealing warmth and humor. Perhaps his philosophy is summed up best in this quote from his author profile on Scholastic's website: "I want my readers to feel, to think, sometimes to laugh. But most of all I want them to enjoy a good read."

Good To Know

In a Q&A with his publisher, Avi named Robert Louis Stevenson as one of his greatest inspirations, noting that "he epitomizes a kind of storytelling that I dearly love and still read because it is true, it has validity, and beyond all, it is an adventure."

When he's not writing, Avi enjoys photography as one of his favorite hobbies.

Avi got his unique nickname from his twin sister, Emily..

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    1. Also Known As:
      Avi Wortis (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 23, 1937
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



How I Made the Team



"Where's Kelly?" Mr. Lester's face was very pale. "How can we practice without Kelly? Doesn't anyone know where he is? It's two-thirty."

Mr. Lester, our history teacher. I thought he might cry. For myself, I felt like laughing, laughing hysterically.

We were standing back of our school near the playing area, eleven of us, feeling very silly in brand-new red shorts and yellow T-shirts with "S.O.R." on our backs. If any dog catchers had come around they would have swooped us up for a bunch of stray mutts. Everywhere else on the field kids were running, tossing, kicking, all that stuff.

So far during two practices we had done two things. Since none of us knew the rules, Mr. Lester read them to us. Then we ran around in circles while he read the rules again, to himself. He didn't know them either. Second practice? We just tried kicking he ball. Wasn't easy.

"Gentlemen," pleaded Mr. Lester. "We have our first game tomorrow. Doesn't anyone know something about Kelly?"

No one said a word. The truth was going to hurt and no one wanted to hurt Mr. Lester. He was a nice guy.

"We have to play tomorrow," he said, as if we didn't know. We knew it too well.

It was my special buddy, Saltz, who let it out. "He no longer goes to our school. His father's job was transferred somewhere. Kelly kind of tagged along." I don't think we had our new uniforms on for more than thirty minutes, but Saltz, a natural slob, looked like he'd slept in his for twenty years. And he, like the rest of us, was only twelve.

"No longer in school?" said Mr. Lester, who had actuallyvolunteered to be our coach. "But what about our game, our first game?"

"He wanted to be with his family," said someone. I think it was Eliscue.

The coach sighed. He was a history teacher, and we were not what they write history about. If South Orange River Middle School had a worse collection of athletes than the eleven of us, they were already on display in the museum mummy section. But there we were, Hays, Porter, Dorman, Lifsom, Saltz, Radosh, Root, Barish, Eliscue, Macht and me, Sitrow. In a school that was famous, positively famous, for its teams and all-stars, we were not considered typical.

"Who did he think was going to be goaltender?" asked Mr. Lester. "Doesn't he understand, you can't play soccer without a goaltender. He should have told me." He said that just the way he might explain the sinking of the Titanic.

"His father probably got the job because Kelly didn't want to play," said Dorman.

When Mr. Lester got red in the face from frustration, he looked like an overripe tomato. His round face puffed and the few bits of topside hair were like old, dead leaves. It was clear he regretted being coach just as much as we regretted the thought of playing.

For example, me. I was so bad I was designated as the one sub. I didn't expect to play at all. But then, none of us expected to play. The thing was, our school had a requirement that you had to play at least one team sport each year you were there. We had slipped through the first year. None of us had played. None of us wanted to. But once they caught on, they made up a team for us, fast.

"Let's go back to the locker room," suggested Mr. Lester, who, I guess, needed to think things over.

Just as glad to skip practice, we followed him. Luckily, the locker room was empty. Everyone else was either playing or practicing.

I sat on a bench next to Saltz.

"Let's hear it for Kelly," he whispered.

"Maybe they'll call the whole thing off," I thought out loud.

He shrugged. Saltz and I had been pals since kindergarten. So I knew what he'd rather be doing: writing some of that poetry he likes.

"How many do we have here?" asked Mr. Lester.

"Two," said Root. He was our math genius.

"Gentlemen," said Mr. Lester, "this is not a joke. Please line up."

Our cleats clicking like bad pennies on the cement floor, we went up against the wall, all eleven of us. Porter was on one side of me, Saltz on the other.

"Maybe we'll get shot," said Porter.

"Only if we're lucky," said Saltz.

"Please, gentlemen, quiet," said Mr. Lester. He stood there looking miserable. You could tell he didn't like what he saw. But then, considering what we saw in the future, starting the next day, we didn't like it either.

"Gentlemen," he said softly. When Mr. Lester shouted, his voice got softer. "Gentlemen, you know why you're here."

No one said a word. Seventh-grade boys don't make good farewell speeches, not in front of execution squads.

"Do you?" he asked. My guess is that he was wondering himself.

"It's good for us," Lifsom said, as if describing someone's need for a head transplant.

"South Orange River Middle School has a fine sports tradition," continued Mr. Lester. "'Everybody plays, everybody wins.'" That's the motto of our program. And you, gentlemen, have been here a full year without being on any team."

"That's because we've got better things to do," said Barish.

Mr. Lester's face got positively purple. But he went on, believe me, softer. You had to strain to hear. "That's exactly the point. You are all -- each one -- nice, smart boys. You have, however, avoided sports. Too much desk work."

"Computers," slipped in Root. "The future."

Mr. Lester's face made the ultimate transformation. He turned deathly white, and spoke as though from the grave.

S.O.R. Losers. Copyright © by John Avi. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2005

    This book is interesting

    I liked your book.It was interesting.Also I liked the cover S.O.R losers.Characters in the book show you had a bad life to.Any body should like to read this book because it was very appealing.If it was appealing to me it have to be appealing to some one else who reads it.I hope you make more books like this for movie theaters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2004

    The best sports book ever!

    This book is about a 7th grade soccer team that fights there way to victory. The team captain Ed plays goal for th south orange river school. The boys want to give up but there School wants them to stay and they do. I think it was a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2004

    AVI, YOUR BOOK S.O.R. LOSER BOOK WAS........???

    YoUr BoOk WaS gOoD aNd I'm EvEn DoInG a BoOk RePoRt On It FoR mY TeAcHeR mR.hArRiSoN!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2003

    THE BEST BOOK EVER

    IT WAS A GREAT BOOK AND IF YOU READ IT YOU WOULD LIKE IT.MY 6TH GREAD TEACHER READ THIS BOOK TO THE CLASS AND IT WAS REALLY IN SPIRING TO BOYS AND GIRLS WHO LIKE BOOK LIKE THIS PITICLAR ONE AND YOU WHO FIND IT FUNNY,AND THATS ITS ABOUT WHAT YOU LIKE AND NOT WHAT PEOPLE WHANTED YOU TO LIKE. IM IN THE 6TH GREAD AND I LOVED THIS BBOK AND A NOTHER BOOK IS 'WAIT TILL HELEN COMES' THATS GREAT TO SO I HOPE YOU CHECK OUT TIH BOOK.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2003

    S.O.R Losers is a really loser

    I liked the book a little i think.but it's not the best.It's not very hard.It's to easy.Kind of dumb.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2003

    S.O.R Losers Lost

    This book certantly was not outstanding. It was ok.I didn`t think it was all that good because in forth grade my friends and me did some thing similar and I read the book in 5th grade.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2003

    Great Book!!!!!!!!

    One of the best books I've ever read!! This book, in my opinion, is the best he's written so far (except for Nothing But The Truth).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2003

    Avi wrote a Loser

    This book was ok. But only ok. I think Avi wrote better books. Some were good some were bad, this one was ok.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2002

    I liked the book a lot since I like soccer.

    The book 'S.O.R. Losers' was a great book. I thought it told you a lot about soccer. The soccer team kept losing all their games. They didn't play that good at all in their games in the beginning. They lost sometimes 32 to 0 or a different score.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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