is a coming of age novel written by Jerry Spinelli about a boy named Donald Zinkoff, ostracized by his peers due to his clumsiness and clueless nature. The book follows Zinkoff during his developmental years through Elementary and Middle school.
This book provides examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: Surnames like "Orwell" are seen alongside "Zinkoff", "Shankfelder", "Tuttle" "Bonce" and "Meeks".
- Ambiguous Disorder: Zinkoff. And how!
- Coming-of-Age Story
- Cool Loser
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Zinkoff is a Type B. After being given a personality test that requires him to list the name of his best friend and having no real answer to put down, he sets out to find one after he puts down the name of the first person he can think of who also has no best friend, named "Hector Binns". At first, Zinkoff is able to attain his friendship, but the friendship quickly dissolves.
- Loners Are Freaks: Zinkoff himself is pretty zany, but we also get Hecter Binns, another loner who collects his ear wax to make a candle.
- Poor Communication Kills: At the climax, Zinkoff goes out searching during Winter for a missing Claudia. Turns out, she was found quickly without Zinkoff's knowledge, and he spends seven hours looking for her in the cold while the police search for him.
- Picked Last: The final scene.