The Losers' ClubBook - 2002
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.