Reviews for Loser List

Booklist Reviews 2011 March #2
Seventh-grader Danny Shine sticks close to his best friend, Jasper, and spends every waking moment reading, drawing, shopping for, or thinking about comic books. Together, the two friends have had success flying under the radar until the day when a run-in with mean-girl Chantal gets Danny's name put on the dreaded Loser List on the girls' bathroom wall. An attempt to remove it lands him in detention, where his drawing skills earn him a role as the Skulls' resident graffiti and Sharpie-tattoo designer. Hanging with the bad kids has its perks, but when Danny finds himself inadvertently betraying comic-book store owner Logan, a trusted friend, and embarrassing himself he reunites with Jasper and gets back to his geek roots to set everything right. Danny's humorous line drawings help tell the story, making this a fun and accessible book for reluctant readers and comics fans. Danny is a genuinely likable character whose reactions are understandable, and readers will empathize with him as his dilemma snowballs, cheering at his final triumph. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
Danny ends up on his school's "Loser List" after refusing to lend his favorite pen to Chantal, the "boss of seventh grade (self-appointed)." He endures detention, school bullies, and general humiliation on the road to accepting himself and not caring what others think. Full of illustrations from Danny's sketchbook, the volume favorably recalls the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 February #3

In a book that mimics Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series both in scope and design, seventh-grader Danny is trying to navigate choppy middle-school waters. "I'm about halfway down the food chain," he explains. "Not president of the Mathletes, but no one's saving me a seat at the Cool Table. I can't afford a lot of slippage." After the budding comics artist refuses to hand over his beloved drawing pen to a classmate, she adds his and his friend Jasper's names to the "Loser List" scribbled on the girls' bathroom wall. Danny's attempt to eradicate their names lands him in detention, where he finds an unlikely ally in school bully Axl, which alienates Danny from Jasper, among other complications. The story unfolds in a handwritten-looking font on lined pages amid ample spot illustrations. Danny's cartoons, sidebars, and lists ("Top Three Signs You're Going to Summer School") should enhance the book's appeal for reluctant readers. The design of Kowitt's (The Sweetheart Deal) story ought to attract Wimpy Kid fans, and the book's "be yourself" message makes it a more earnest alternative. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 April

Gr 4-7--Danny Shine is having a rough time in middle school. He is a geek with a penchant for upsetting bullies, which is how his name ends up on The Loser List in the girls' bathroom. Things start looking up, though, when he miraculously befriends the biggest bully of all. Unfortunately, this friendship comes with a price, and Danny soon finds himself in a lot of trouble. Can he find his way out before everyone hates him? This is an adequate book that's trying to fill the "Wimpy Kid" (Abrams) niche. However, Danny is a better role model than Greg Heffley, as he is less self-centered and more concerned with doing what is right, but the book itself comes off as a blatant knockoff. The biggest difference between the two is the lack of parental involvement in The Loser List, which is a little odd when considering the character. Kids looking for a good "Wimpy Kid" read-alike should consider Lincoln Peirce's "Big Nate" chapter books (HarperCollins) instead, but fans of the format will be content. This is strictly an additional purchase.--Elizabeth Swistock, Jefferson Madison Regional Library, Charlottesville, VA

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