THE LOSERS CLUB for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The newest book from Andrew Clements turns into a celebration of books. There have been MG novels about kids who hate to read (Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading), but this is about Alec, a boy who loves to read so much he has his nose in one all hours of the day. It has become a problem in class when listening or participating takes a back seat to the next chapter he’s reading.

Written in third person, the tale is set in Bald Ridge Elementary where Alec is a sixth grader. His trips to the office for “disturbing” the class with his reading have reached epic proportions. It’s time for change. Alec must keep his grades up and balance that with his love of reading.

His solution will have him forming new friends and discovering that books really do have the ability to heal. It’s an anthem for all bookworms and those of us who like realistic stories of school life.



Sixth grader Alec can’t put a good book down.

So when Principal Vance lays down the law—pay attention in class, or else—Alec takes action. He can’t lose all his reading time, so he starts a club. A club he intends to be the only member of. After all, reading isn’t a team sport, and no one would want to join something called the Losers Club, right? But as more and more kids find their way to Alec’s club—including his ex-friend turned bully and the girl Alec is maybe starting to like—Alec notices something. Real life might be messier than his favorite books, but it’s just as interesting.


  1. I smiled every time Alec mentioned or was reading a book I had read. I was rewarded even more when in the back pages I found a two and a half page checklist of all the books talked about in the story.
  2. School life as portrayed here is spot on. Kids will see themselves in many of the characters and find comfort in discovering ways to solve their own problems.
  3. Yes, another bully appears in the story but Kent shows us another to his commanding ways and its through a book that provides some much needed bibliotherapy.
  4. Thirty seven manageable chapters that would be a great read aloud in the classroom or at home.
  5. A perfect ending is hard to pull off but THE LOSER’S CLUB does it in a winning way.


She paused, then asked, “Do you know how many times you were sent to my office last year for reading instead of listening and participating in class?”

Alec was about to guess eleven—but then decided he’d better keep his mouth shut. He shook his head.

Mrs. Vance leaned forward. “Fourteen times!”


I really am interested in schools, the way schools work, and the way children spend time there and the way grownups spend time there, and so many people, so many amazingly talented, wonderful, unselfish people spend so much of their lives trying to make the school as good as it can be. And it’s an amazing challenge—it’s a political challenge, it’s a financial challenge, it’s an organizational challenge, and it’s certainly an intellectual and a pedagogical challenge, and then, of course, there are the children—who are the whole reason that the schools exist in the first place—we have the children there trying to grow up, trying to become more of who they are. It’s an amazing and complex mix of so many things happening all at once, right there in the heart of every community, every society, every nation on earth. And I’m having a great time exploring all this in some of my books.(Read more at Andrew’s author website)


Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Click on the comments link below.

Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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7 Responses to THE LOSERS CLUB for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. Sounds like a great read. I always read as a kid so I could relate to this. And awesome that the main character is a boy because we don’t think about them as reading so much as girls.

  2. “Reading isn’t a team sport.” I love that. Weirdly enough, when we were kids, my friends and I would have sleepovers and spend part of that time together just reading our separate books!

  3. I’d love to read this story. I was like Alec, but not to the extreme. I always snuck books out of my desk in elementary school and under my choir robe in church and would read, especially during subjects I disliked or boring sermons. Got caught and scolded many times. What a fun book that helps kids put things into perspective for themselves..

  4. Dorine White says:

    My kind of kid. My nose was always stuck in a book growing up.

  5. I do love books that have readers at their center. This sounds like a real winner. Thanks for telling me about it. I’ll be looking for it.

  6. This book sounds really fun! I will definitely try it. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

  7. My mother read this during the summer while she was staying with us, and pronounced it great. Now the rest of us just need to get our acts together…

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