One of the hardest lessons to teach a child is to celebrate and value their authentic self. There are so many messages in the media, movies, and on television of what we “should be,” that sometimes who “we are” pales in comparison to all the larger than life examples. This is especially true of children who are still puzzling out their unique place in the world.
In his book, LOSER, Jerry Spinelli, gifts the reader with a joyful guide to celebrate one’s true self through his character, Donald Zinkoff. This awkward, out of step hero teaches us that everyone has their own distinctive note to sing in our global symphony, and that note is a precious treasure.
Here are some insights from the 5th grade trenches on the extraordinary story of Donald Zinkoff.
Zinkoff never gave up, he’s sweet, and doesn’t get discouraged by what people think or say about him. JERRY, LEXI, SIERRA
Zinkoff is a true hero. CADE
It is amazing to see such a positive person. KAIT
The lesson, don’t judge a person without knowing them, is plain awesome. PRATIK
I love the old lady and the sandwich. CALEB
If I got stuck in the snow, I wouldn’t put used gum in my mouth. CARLOS
The best part is when Zinkoff went looking for Claudia. I almost cried.
ASHLEY D., HUNTER, ASHLEY S.
Zinkoff is always joyful. KAYLA
Zinkoff is very responsible to his friends. If he were real, I would be his friend. SAL
To quote Jerry Spinelli, from LOSER:
“And the Z shall be first.”
Thank you Jerry Spinelli for bringing Zinkoff into our lives.