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The losers at the center of the galaxy / Mary Winn Heider.

Heider, Mary Winn, (author.).

Available copies

  • 13 of 16 copies available at Bibliomation. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Deep River Public Library.
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Deep River Public Library J F Heid (Text to phone) 36039001198296 Juvenile Fiction Available -

Record details

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.:
Two years after their father disappeared, Winston and Louise wrestle with their grief while investigating mysterious teachers, innovative science, and a captive bear.
Target Audience Note:
Ages 8-12. Little, Brown and Company.
Subject: Brothers and sisters > Fiction.
Middle schools > Fiction.
Schools > Fiction.
Missing persons > Fiction.
Humorous stories.

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 0759555427
The Losers at the Center of the Galaxy
The Losers at the Center of the Galaxy
by Heider, Mary Winn
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BookList Review

The Losers at the Center of the Galaxy

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

This tale, which winds up being about learning to live with loss and move on but takes dizzying and comical twists getting there, centers on a pair of sibs still grieving two years after the disappearance of their dad, an ex-quarterback for the "Chicago Ursus Arctos Horribles," who suffers from a traumatic brain injury. Joining a captive mascot bear in need of rescue (obviously), a young pop star whose songs are all cat-themed, an artist collective masquerading as middle-school faculty--or maybe vice versa--and several other supporting characters who likewise turn out to be both helpful and quirky, eighth-grade tuba player Winston and his science-geek younger sister, Louise, find themselves swept up in a series of misadventures. With the story line highlighted by Winston's developing crush on a fellow tubaist, chemistry projects with unexpected results, and the mysterious demise of the school's two tubas, they come at last to a frolicsome, fantastic halftime show at the local football stadium--"the center of the galaxy," as their father used to call it. Readers will be hard put to judge which is more entertaining---the plot or the cast--but between the two there's never a dull moment. A buoyant ending leaves Winston, Louise, and the bear (who even gets a POV turn in one chapter) in better places.

Syndetic Solutions - School Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 0759555427
The Losers at the Center of the Galaxy
The Losers at the Center of the Galaxy
by Heider, Mary Winn
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School Library Journal Review

The Losers at the Center of the Galaxy

School Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 3--7--It is well documented that repeated head trauma received in sports such as football can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder that affects many athletes for the rest of their lives. The condition is dramatized in this touching book chronicling the upended lives of Louise and Winston Volpe. Their father, Lenny Volpe, a former quarterback for the fictional football team the Chicago Horribles, had the disease and disappeared from home one day, never to be found. The children are left to their own devices by their hardworking mother, a real estate agent, and grief over the loss of their father and husband remains unspoken among the three of them. Louise dedicates her efforts to finding a cure for CTE with her science club while simultaneously trying to save a captive bear, and Winston (along with his fellow tuba-playing friend, Frenchie) gets caught up in the mysterious behavior of their middle school teachers. The chapters alternate between Louise and Winston, creating two subplots that dovetail at the end of the book. Readers who have family members with chronic illnesses, or who have lost a parent, will relate to the story of this brother-sister duo who work through the grief in the best ways they can. VERDICT This tender, wacky, and often humorous story will be enjoyed by all middle grade readers. Librarians looking for books on unique and timely health topics in fiction should consider this title.--Anne Jung-Mathews, Plymouth State Univ., NH

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 0759555427
The Losers at the Center of the Galaxy
The Losers at the Center of the Galaxy
by Heider, Mary Winn
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Publishers Weekly Review

The Losers at the Center of the Galaxy

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Two years ago, Lenny Volpe disappeared. The much-hated former quarterback for the Chicago Horribles, whose repeated concussions from playing caused traumatic encephalopathy, also happens to be Winston and Louise's father. Ever since then, Winston, now an eighth grader at Subito School, has resisted "dying from loneliness" thanks to two things: his tuba, and his friend Frenchie LeGume, a fellow tuba player who has vitiligo. Suspecting that their teachers are part of a criminal ring, Frenchie has enlisted Winston to help investigate. Seventh grader Louise, meanwhile, lives for Science Club despite its annoying members; for the past two years, she has been "working on a cure for brain injuries." But Louise now has an additional mission: rescuing the newest attraction at Horribles games, a caged bear that paces on the sidelines and which reminds her of their dad's constant pacing before he left. Hurt by their father's absence as well as their mother's seeming indifference toward them, the Volpe siblings are relatable as they shut each other out; their journey toward reconnecting is well worth the ride. Heider skillfully interweaves seemingly disparate threads into this character-centered, heartfelt story, culminating in a satisfying conclusion. Ages 8--12. Agent: Tina Dubois, ICM Partners. (Mar.)


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