"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein
30 July 2018
The Losers Club
Clements, Andrew. The Losers Club. Random House, 2017.
Alec is the only sixth grader sent to the principal's office on the first day of school, and possibly the only student sent to the office for reading during class. When the principal and Alec's parents tell him he can't read during his classes, he sets up an after school club for silent reading. Hoping no one will join him and he can find some peace and quiet, he names it the Losers Club. Unfortunately for Alec, word spreads about his reading club and it becomes quite popular. Now he has to balance running a club with escaping into his beloved books.
This is an adorably cute middle grade book that is perfect for kids who love to read. It's funny, there's a great Disney-style ending, and there are plenty of good books mentioned throughout. I have only a couple of caveats:
1. Alec is far too self-aware to be a standard sixth grade student. He says things like, "Nina is Nina and Kent is Kent and I can't control anything about them; I can only control myself." This may be a true statement, but I'd be hard pressed to find an 11 year old who will self-talk that way. It's nice to see Alec model this and other positive traits, but it isn't very realistic.
2. I am a librarian, and in the end of this story Alec asks his club members to email him permission to look at their circulation records at the school library for a project. There is no way on earth that the school librarian A) keeps records like that, because that stuff gets erased unless the book is still checked out to the student and B) allows Alec access to those records. If the mystical records existed, I could see each of the kids getting their OWN record to give to Alec, but no way a librarian worth their salt is going to give patron information to a sixth grader, even a nice one like Alec.
Other than that, this is a cute, fun story that I'd recommend easily to kids who like to read or feel like they don't really fit in with their peer group.
Recommended for: middle grade
Red Flags: mild bullying, all of which is explained and apologized for by the end of the story
Overall Rating: 3/5 stars
Read-Alikes: The Island of Dr. Libris, Book Scavenger, Ban this Book!, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library