Just like other kids, Zinkoff rides his bike, hopes for snow days, and wants to be like his dad when he grows up. But Zinkoff also raises his hand with all the wrong answers, trips over his own feet, and falls down with laughter over a word like "Jabip."
Other kids have their own word to describe him, but Zinkoff is too busy to hear it. He doesn't know he's not like everyone else. And one winter night, Zinkoff's differences show that any name can someday become "hero."
By the time Donald Zinkoff has reached fourth grade, the other boys have labeled him a "loser." But Donald doesn't realize it. He plows through life, clumsy, enthusiastic and sometimes courageous, cherished by his parents. Newbery Award winner Spinelli, with his characteristic exaggeration, raises questions about our emphasis on winning as he follows Donald through elementary school and into middle school. This compelling character study may inspire readers to reevaluate how they judge their fellow students and whether winning matters more than caring does.