Tuesday 14 July 2020

The Losers Club - Andrew Clements

The Losers Club
Andrew Clements
Random House
ISBN 9780399557576
eISBN 9780399557583

Four years ago, I discovered the works of Andrew Clements. I was instantly hooked and have now read 19 books by him. Many consider him the ‘master of school stories’, and I would agree. I have a dual form of dyslexia and did not learn to read until after grade 7. So I never read ‘school stories’ when I was young. That combined with having my own school aged children has instilled a great appreciation for the genre and specifically for the works of Andrew Clements. Clements passed away in 2019 and this was his second last published novel. The last was The Friendship War, which is an excellent volume. Around the time I discovered Clements works I also encountered Chris d’Lacey both write amazing stories for children, but they are also stories that any of us can learn from. Back then I set the goal of reading all of their works. And this story has inspired me to recommit to that goal.

I had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up. I grabbed it based on the author and title alone. And the cover grabbed my interest as well. It was an awesome read and one of my favorites of all his books I have read, maybe even one of my all time top ten children’s books. It is an excellent read.

The story focuses on Alec, a sixth grader that just can’t put a good book down. In fact, he loves reading so much that it keeps interfering with his school work. Principal Vance sets a new standard the first day of school. He needs to pay attention in class or else. And The principal has warned all the teachers. But Alec does not want to lose all his time to read. His plan is during the after school extended program to create a space so he can just sit and read. He calls it The Losers Club thinking that no one will want to join. He gets one other person to join so they can form the club, but he never knew how popular it would become. Soon he is migrating a mine field of parental expectation, a girl he is interested in, a former friend who is a bit of a bully, and the need to present at the school open house about the Losers Club.

And because they are a reading club, there are many books, authors and series mentioned in the story. Some of them are favorites of mine, and some were favorites of Andrew Clements. Not only is this a great read in and of itself, but it will likely leave a reader with at least a few other books they want to read that were mentioned. 

As mentioned, this is one of my favorite books by Andrew Clements, and one of my all time favorite Middle Grade reads. A fantastic book for young readers, and for those of us who just love a great story!

Books by Andrew Clements:
Bird Adalbert
Noah and the Ark and the Animals
Santa's Secret Helper
Temple Cat
Mother Earth's Counting Book
Billy and the Bad Teacher
Who Owns the Cow
Bright Christmas: An Angel Remembers
(Adapter)Philipp's Birthday Book
Riff's BeBop Book
Real Monsters Go for the Mold
Things That Go EEK on Halloween
Real Monsters Stage Fright
Music Time, Any Time
Double Trouble in Walla Walla
Gromble's Haunted Halloween
Hey Dad, Could I Borrow Your Hammer
The Landry News
Look Who's in the Thanksgiving Play
The Mouse Family
The Janitor's Boy
Circus Family Dog
The Christmas Kitten
The School Story
Things Not Seen 
The Jacket 
A Week in the Woods
Slippers at Home
Naptime for Slippers
The Report Card
The Last Holiday Concert
Slippers at School
Slippers Loves to Run
A Million Is a Lot of Dots
Lunch Money
Things Hoped For
Room One: A Mystery or Two
No Talking
Things That Are
Lost and Found
Extra Credit
About Average
The Map Trap
The Friendship War
The Losers Club

Pets to the Rescue Series
Ringo Saves the Day!
Brave Norman
Tara and Tiree, Fearless Friends
Delores and the Big Fire

Jake Drake Series
Jake Drake Know-It-All
Jake Drake, Bully Buster
Jake Drake, Teacher's Pet
Jake Drake, Class Clown

Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School Series
We the Children
Fear Itself
The Whites of Their Eyes
In Harm's Way
We Hold These Truths

Reading Program Books
Karen's Island
Three Wishes for Buster
Bill Picket: An American Original, Texas Style
Hurricane Andrew
Ham and Eggs for Jack
Life in the Desert
Desert Treasure
Inventors: Making Things Better, Steck-Vaughn
Milo's Great Invention

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