Tough Loser

Barthe DeClements, Author Viking Children's Books $13.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-670-85619-0
The acclaimed author of Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade and The Pickle Story here offers another believable slice of middle-grade life. Nine-year-old Jenna, the narrator, and 13-year-old Mike, to whom the title refers, live with their parents in the Washington State countryside. Mike, the talented goalie of an otherwise inept hockey team, keeps losing his temper as his team loses games. Though preoccupied with a newborn puppy, Jenna is devoted to her brother and usually tries to help him hide evidence of his rampages from their parents. But when Mike shoves Jenna after another team defeat, their parents hear her cry out, and they declare that he will not be able to go to the goalie camp he has set his heart on attending. How Jenna deals with her guilt at having blown the whistle-and how she helps bring about an upbeat resolution-add up to an endearing and lively tale. Dialogue rings unusually true, moving the narrative along gracefully. DeClements has shaped a realistic portrait of a likable family. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
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