The Losers' Club

( 1 )

Overview

A funny, feisty, and charming novel.

Alex Sherwood would like to blend in and keep a low profile in his local high school. His plan is thwarted when he inadvertently becomes hero to a group of so-called losers. As Alex says, "Everywhere I turned some zit-faced loser wanted me to be an oasis from constant torment. How could I refuse? After all, I was a zit-faced loser."

The tormentor is Jerry Whitman Jr., who runs a successful extortion ring at ...

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Overview

A funny, feisty, and charming novel.

Alex Sherwood would like to blend in and keep a low profile in his local high school. His plan is thwarted when he inadvertently becomes hero to a group of so-called losers. As Alex says, "Everywhere I turned some zit-faced loser wanted me to be an oasis from constant torment. How could I refuse? After all, I was a zit-faced loser."

The tormentor is Jerry Whitman Jr., who runs a successful extortion ring at school and basically makes life difficult for everyone. Alex is known as "The Savior" for his habit of helping out his fellow losers and fending off Jerry and the boys.

Alex and his two best friends, Winston and Manny, spend a lot of time scheming how they and the other losers might defeat Jerry and his gang in an upcoming challenge. They are also desperate to find an adult guardian (to keep the school counsellors happy) since two of them are temporarily parentless. Serious entanglements and hilarious complications result from their antics on the home front, where extreme measures are required. As Manny puts it, "Learning to successfully con the school administration will be highly beneficial to our self-esteem." Unfortunately for the boys, the school administration is not so easily conned.

This story has a wonderful exuberance, with characters that are engagingly original (including a suitably odious villain). Lekich displays a deft touch with humor, and the authentic dialogue establishes a true teen ambiance. Even Alex's disability is portrayed in a refreshingly matter-of-fact way.

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Editorial Reviews

Canadian Materials
Alex is an appealing and articulate narrator who humorously describes events and seriously provides personal commentary.
— Darleen Golke
Canadian Materials - Darleen Golke
Using fast-paced and snappy dialogue, Lekich moves the plot along briskly, outlining some outrageous and humorous scenarios that might well appeal to pre and early adolescent males who haven't yet reached the "I don't/won't read" stage. He portrays adults and females primarily as dysfunctional or superfluous to the story, although he does give the school librarian special kudos - "our intensely gorgeous librarian . . . the pinnacle of grace and beauty." Among the numerous current issues raised in the novel are bullying, alcoholism, handicaps, families, friendship, loss of a parent, and peer pressure. While comments like "immaturity is the ultimate form of rebellion" pepper the prose, Alex is an appealing and articulate narrator who humorously describes events and seriously provides personal commentary about his fears, attitudes, dreams, and aspirations... The Losers' Club was a finalist for the 2002 Governor General's Literary Award in the category of Children's Literature - Text.
Recommended.
KLIATT
Every kid who has been picked on by a bully should read this. Alex and his friends learn to cope with a bully who is polite and considerate in front of adults, but shows his true colors when they are gone. The Losers' Club is formed on a whim one day as Alex and his two best friends sit around complaining about the treatment they receive at the hands of Jerry and his cronies. When a Christmas lighting contest is announced, Alex accepts a challenge from Jerry to compete if Jerry will leave the "losers" alone if they win the contest. Alliances are formed and changed as the competition gets closer. Coping and learning to trust yourself are two themes in this book. It's a case of good winning out over evil, in the realm of reality rather than fantasy. Adults, especially parents, are not portrayed very positively at all, which should help with the appeal to students. Alex and his friends are independent, out of necessity rather than choice: Alex's dad has left town to escape a threatening man; Manny's mom is a drunk; and Winston's parents live most of the year in Hong Kong. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2002, Annick Press, dist. by Firefly, 247p.,
— Stacey Conrad
School Library Journal
Gr 9-10-Alex Sherwood and his friends, Winston Chang and Manny Crandall, attend McLuhan High School and are members of "The Losers' Club." Alex has cerebral palsy. He catches the eye of Julie Spenser, a girl who dresses in black because she can't find anything darker to wear. Jerry Whitman, the school tyrant who extorts money from his fellow students, is interested in Julie and challenges Alex to a showdown. If the Losers' Club wins the "Festival of Lights" competition, Jerry will shut down his extortion ring. If Jerry wins, the Losers' Club will disband. Alex eventually triumphs, winning both the competition and the girl. Lekich's debut novel is lacking in plot and character development. The story meanders aimlessly for the first 100 pages before reaching its predictable conclusion. One never comes to care about or empathize with the characters because Alex and his friends are two-dimensional. The dialogue is believable and flows smoothly, but the humor is somewhat stilted and forced. The author shows some promise, but doesn't quite deliver.-Robert Gray, East Central Regional Library, Cambridge, MN Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550377521
  • Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/7/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 968,924
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John Lekich is a full-time freelance writer and a movie reviewer for The Georgia Straight. His other book for teens is Reel Adventures: The Ultimate Teen Guide to Great Movies. John lives in Vancouver.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 18, 2008

    Good Book

    The Loser's club was a good book. the title doesn't lend itself to being super exciting or an interesting read but it was. The characters were great and I love the aspect of kids living on their own. I would definately reccommend this book.

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