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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.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
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.From School Library Journal:
Grade 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Annick Press, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1550377523
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Book Description Annick Press. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1550377523 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW99.1691209
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