A rallying cry for anyone who’s ever felt sports have been forced upon them, Losers Take All by David Klass is a hilarious and much-needed examination of our country’s sports-mania culture.
At Jack Logan’s sports-crazy New Jersey high school, the new rule is that all kids must play on a team. So Jack and a ragtag group of anti-athletic friends decide to get even. They are going to start a rebel JV soccer team whose mission is to avoid victory at any cost, setting out to secretly undermine the jock culture of the school. But as the team’s losing formula becomes increasingly successful at attracting fans and attention, Jack and his teammates are winning in ways they never expected—and don’t know how to handle.
As much as Klass’s novel takes on the intense favoritism for sports that we see in the U.S., he also challenges the negative stereotypes that plague athletics. The result is a book that strikes a refreshing balance: showing that not everyone is cut out for sports; the value in non-athletic extracurriculars; and that it’s also okay if you ARE into sports. There is value all around.
The book is a surprisingly fast-paced and hilarious read. Some of the characters come off a bit cartoonish, most notably their villainous principal, who thinks everyone should be an athlete, and that every athlete should be a winner. But then, I’m sure any reader could probably say they know someone in their life who is very much like him — so how cartoonish is the character if he represents so strongly real people?
As much a social commentary as it is a narrative, Losers Take All is at its heart a funny, charming story about one band of misfits fighting back against an unfair system. Look for it in stores October 20th.