Hank Zipzer: I Got a “D” in Salami

by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver (2003)

The irrepressible Hank Zipzer is back in Book 2 of Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver’s popular and successful series detailing the escapades of ‘the world’s greatest underachiever.’

Hank is still in trouble with his teacher, Ms. Adolf, and his principal, Mr. Love.

He’s still managing his affairs at home – his crossword-puzzle playing Dad, his salami-concocting Mom, his iguana-loving sister, and his grandfather, Papa Pete.

He’s still getting up to fun and unintended hijinks with his Magik 3 friends, Ashley and Frankie.

He’s still struggling to manage ‘learning difficulties.  “Where did it go?,” he laments.  “Maybe the words are holding onto the sides of my brain and won’t fall down into my mouth.”

Henry Winkler created Hank as a stand-in for his own struggles with learning difficulties, or dyslexia, as we know it today.  Winkler and Oliver are not heavy-handed as Hank deals with struggles connected with his learning challenges.  Hank is funny and witty and energetic and creative – and mischievous, too.

In Book 2, he wrestles with the everyday simple question of what to do with a bad report card?  The answer is unexpected – humorous and irreverent – but it also leads to life lessons for both Hank and the reader.

Hank Zipzer 2 is filled with salami and pickles and wisdom from Papa Pete.  As he tells Hank, “Sometimes a customer orders a tuna on rye, and you bring ’em a roast beef on wheat.  Hey, it happens.”

Like Hank, every student must learn to roll with life’s mistakes.  How nice to learn those lessons in the hands of Henry Winkler, “the Fonz,” and his adept co-author, Lin Oliver.