Is Donald Zinkoff autistic?

It would seem that the protagonist of the book “Loser” by Jerry Spinelli is about a young man who is high functioning on the autism scale. Although the book never says so outright, many people have thought that the character had to be. He is oblivious to the world around him most of the time and his world is fun and carefree. He does not see the taunts of his classmates until they brand him a loser in the fourth grade. He recovers and becomes a hero. Autism has many faces and his could be one of them we just do not know for sure.

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  1. Great book, and I believe the character deals with autism in some ways. I’m not totally sure, but he does have a lot of the symptoms and character traits. But other than that, I can’t say.

    1. I totally agree with you, Carl. I honestly think he may have high-functioning autism. Everyone in the book notices he is different. I think that’s a clue that Jerry Spinelli left for us readers to infer hat Donald Zinkoff has autism.

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