Alec LOVES reading, so much so that it affects his schoolwork. When threatened to pay attention in class or face summer school, Alec decides to buckle down. As a result, he turns to his aftercare program to be his reading time, forming a group he dubs "The Losers Club," thinking the name will turn off anyone else from joining and allow him hours of uninterrupted reading time. But as time goes on, more and more kids show up at Alec's table wanting to read, including a girl named Nina who Alec thinks he might like as more than a friend. Meanwhile, Alec's former playmate Kent has been teasing him about his bookish ways -- and also seems to be flirting Nina. There's a lot going on in this book but it all feels very organic and quite familiar to anyone who's been through middle school. (Technically the book places Alec in elementary school, but he is a sixth grader, which is considered as intermediate or middle school in most districts that I know). Clements handles everything quite smoothly, managing to portray Alec as a positive role model without ever sounding didactic or preachy. I was particularly proud of how he made note that while Alec and Kent are both romantically interested in Nina, she is not a prize to be fought over and will make her own decisions regarding who to date and when. Clements also makes sure to remind kids that not all bullying is physical -- Kent primarily uses words to put down others. With reading being a central theme and plot point, the text is scattered with references to popular books for middle schoolers. Clements's one misstep is here when he uses the word "Eskimo" (not politically correct) when talking about the book Julie of the Wolves. (To be fair though, that is the terminology used in that book.) The Losers Club concludes with a checklist of all the books mentioned in the text, which is great for kids finishing this book and looking for a new book to read next.