Friday, March 18, 2016

Klass, David. Losers Take All.

Klass, David.  Losers Take All.  Macmillan/Farrar Strauss   2015  306p  $17.99  ISBN 978-0-374-30136-1  ms/hs  Conflict  E-BN        

With the frenzy over winning in high-school sports and the amount of money expended on sports in high schools quickly equaling or exceeding the amount expended on computers and library resources, it is a wonder that no other author has tackled this topic. A local high school that fosters a win-or-die approach to sports that has resulted in several state championships changes principals. The new principal requires every senior to be on a sports team for a season. Jack, a senior who is uninterested in sports even though his father and two older brothers are high-school football legends, decides to form a “C” level soccer team made up of sports haters and athletically uncoordinated students.  They call themselves the Losers and just want to have fun, with no serious drills or practices, and the commitment to play any junior-high team who will agree. There are wild moments of humor interspersed with serious moments related to the violence in sports, bullying by athletes, family relationships, and questionable journalism practices. This novel would be a great discussion starter for a book club or class. The characters on both sides of the issue are very believable, with strong opinions about the value of sports. The cover and first four pages will hook even reluctant readers into this riveting look at the place of sports in high schools. The book is strongly recommended for all libraries because it takes a look at how sports have sometimes become more important than academics in high school. It is also filled with humor that will appeal to sports lovers, sports haters and the physically uncoordinated.

Summary: A sports-crazy high school gets a new principal who insists that every senior play a sport for one season. A group of non-athletes rebels by forming a loser of a soccer team to just have fun. Hilarious moments with wide appeal to athletes and non-athletes alike. Gr 7-12.

Hazing-Fiction, School sports-Fiction                             --Lois McNicol

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