Book Review – The Loser List
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author: H.N. Kowitt
Danny Shine wasn’t at the top of Gerald Ford middle school’s social ladder, but he certainly wasn’t a bottom feeder either that is, until he has an argument with one of the tough girls. As pay back, she retaliates by adding his name to the “Loser List” posted on the girl’s bathroom wall. His status falling rapidly, Danny chooses a desperate measure – sneak in to the girls bathroom and erase his name. Unfortunately, he’s caught and winds up in detention stuck with all the bad kids including a gang called “The Skulls”. To survive, Danny uses his artistic skills to make fake tattoos for The Skulls. Suddenly, he finds himself accepted into their group and Danny must choose between status and the types of friends he will be associated with.
Told in “Dairy of a Wimpy Kid” style complete with juvenile cartoons depicting friends and events, author H.N. Kowitt weaves a good message about staying true to your real friends while not being too preachy by keeping the plot fun, fast, and entertaining. I appreciated Kowitt’s insights into the pressures kids face and especially enjoyed the depiction of the table clicks that form in the lunch room – bullies, “couples korner”, tech geeks, cool table, wannabees, jocks, drama nerds, slackers, etc.
I let my eleven-year-old read it as well and he finished it that same day. He said he liked it better than Diary of a Wimpy Kid series – wow, high praise from him. He is already asking me when the next one will be available.
Reluctant readers will surely be engaged by this story and while enjoying it, they will likely learn a thing or two along the way.