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Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!
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Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  637 ratings  ·  61 reviews
"Does heroin give you pimples?" Tucker asked.

"All junk does. Junkies love sweets," Dinky said authoritatively. "I never met a junkie who didn't verge on bulbous acne."

"How can you eat and talk about bulbous acne?" Tucker said.

"I'm not finicky," Dinky answered.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by HarperTeen (first published 1972)
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"People who don't shoot smack have problems too" This is one of my all time favorite young adult novels, and the reason why I'd read all of Kurt Vonnegut by the time I was 17. I read this book over & over as a young teen, but I haven't read since then and revisiting it now all these years later it is still as fresh and immediate as ever it was. ME Kerr describes young teens with such immediacy that the fact it was written in an era of mimeographs & typewriters is immaterial; Tucker, Dink...more
lucy by the sea
I loved this book because...

I like books set in New York and surrounding environs in the 1970's
I like books with anxious teen narrators
I like books with obnoxious teen characters who tell their superiors to suck it
I like books with well described fashion and hair
I like books which feature libraries and cats and interesting food
I like books with political undertones
I like books with stilted dialogue

I like this books cover
I like this books insides too
Fifteen-year-old Tucker Woolf is something of a social misfit. He hides many of the truths about himself--he loves cats and feels most at home in a library--and wonders if he will ever be anything approaching normal. As things change in his family dynamics, he is drawn into the circle of Dinky Hocker whose mother expend most of her energy helping recovering addicts. Despite her concern for those addicts, Mrs. Hocker belittles her daughter and the romantic possibilities of her would-be boyfriend...more
Yesterday I used the word "recidivist" in conversation and remembered that the first time I heard that word was in Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!. I will never quite be able to figure out why I read this book so many times when I was in middle school, but maybe when I finish re-reading it I'll have a better idea.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Don't let the ridiculous cover fool you this book is amazing, and not about drug use at all. It's funny and full of quirky characters. Wes Anderson should turn it into a movie.
Dinky Hocker is an overweight teenager who at first seems overly confident in herself but does not get the attention she craves at home. Tucker, the narrator, has great parents but struggles to make a good impression on a girl he likes. Dinky's cousin Natalia struggles to fit in after attending a special school for kids with mental illnesses.
Each of these characters is fighting in some way, sometimes each other, and it is interesting to watch them try to find their own way against what everyone...more
Ms. Jared
I really enjoyed this one. I remember reading it in junior high but I was too young to get a lot of the references so it was more meaningful to me this time.

It's a good story about middle class white kids with middle class white kid problems. Overall they were endearing and likable with quirky, humorous personalities and I even though it was written so long ago so the kids weren't as cynical or sophisticated as most of today's YA characters are, they still held up pretty well.

I'd read it again a...more
I'm not sure what I was expecting from this story. I first found it in a tome of children's literature about a year a ago or so; it had the first chapter and I remember thinking the writing was fun, very smart, and sharp witted. When I finally got around to reading it now, I had no regrets! The writing was charming and very realistic, the young teenagers were written with intrinsic wit and intelligence and while part of the story did focus on romance - which I usually do not have a predilection...more
Where do I start with this book? First off let me just say that my book was misprinted after page 64 pages 33-64 were printed again then it went back to normal. I was just wondering if anyone else had that problem. (It is the edition that I reviewed.) Anyway, I see that I’m the only person to give this book one star, but I will explain why I did so, because one of my biggest pet peeves is when people don’t explain why they gave a book a certain rating.
So first off I hated Susan’s parents! Her fa...more
Tucker Woolf, "a male cat-lover who was also a lover of libraries," meets the title character after he is forced to adopt out his cat, Nader, because of his father's newly developed allergies. Dinky is a formidable new owner for Nader, her physical size certainly as intimidating as her raw wit, unflinching honesty (about anything other than herself), and fascination with the odd. When Dinky's cousin Natalia comes to stay with the Hocker family, Tucker finds himself using Nader as an excuse to vi...more
A book about flawed people, some who think they know everything, some who think they know nothing. By the end, almost all of them have found out they were wrong.
Yes, I have a thing for ya books set in New York City in the 1970s. This book doesn't have a dated feel, at least not in a bad way. I can see it appealing to modern readers. It's more about human relationships than anything else, and that's something anybody can relate to.
Plus, it's full of great quotes! Some of my favorites:
"There are...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
Jul 16, 2008 Tattered Cover Book Store added it
Recommended to Tattered Cover by: Jocelyn
Shelves: staff-recommends
Jocelyn says:

Looking for a good book for your young teen? Perhaps the title Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack! wouldn't endear itself to you. I could feel myself mentally shrinking away from this book even as I shelved it. Last week there was a big discussion over where to shelve it-(was this really a book for older kids or did it belong in the more world-savvy young adult section???) and it turned out neither of us had actually read it. We had both judged it purely on it's title. So- you guessed it- I...more
Megan Richardson
I didn't like this book at all. Tucker's father has lost his job and developed an allergy to their cat, which leads to him meeting Dinky Hocker, a neighborhood girl with a bad attitude. He doesn't particularly like her, but is intrigued by her live-in cousin so he goes back to visit the cousin, Natalia, and his ex-cat. In order to date Natalia, he has to find a date for Dinky as well which leads to him introducing Dinky to P. John, who's even more annoying than she is. Dinky develops feelings fo...more
Oct 19, 2011 Kari rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
While I won't say it is the best teen read that I have ever read, I think that it is an honest look at the life of a teen trying to navigate his or her way into adulthood. It is also a story of a troubled teen who is failing miserably at trying to connect with her parents. Even though it was written in 1972, I think that this is very relevant to today. When Tucker Woolf must find a new home for his cat, he meets Susan "Dinky" Hocker and her cousin Natalia. He develops an unlikely friendship with...more
Keith Blodgett
Feb 10, 2014 Keith Blodgett rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mid-teens and above
First published in 1972 the books still feels relevant today forty-two years later. The characters, voice and dialog all feel real, believable and honest. I've been aware of this book since I was a teen. I don't know why, when I was reading S.E. Hinton and other teen angst novels that I passed over 'Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!' Maybe it was the drug implication. I really can't say, the reasons are lost in the fog of time.

This was a decent book. Harsh in places. Touching in others. Well worth read...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2014 Jenny rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I thought I'd like this book more than I did. It was set in the 1970s, which I didn't realize going in (I mean, the title kind of sounds modern, right?? meh), and so it is quite dated.

And I am just SO TIRED of the whole 'fat person eats all the time' trope. OOOH. Just get that fatty to stop eating all the time, THERE YOU HAVE SOLVED THE OBESITY CRISIS. Sigh. That just cast a shadow over the whole rest of the book.
Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack is the story of how Tucker, Dinky and Natalia become friends (through Nader the cat), and how Dinky's overeating eventually brings her (not obviously broken) family together .

This story deals a lot with family life and interpersonal relationships.

I had a hard time getting the feel of this book at first. But, once things started happening it wasn't too bad. I liked that Tucker was very much a normal teen; there was nothing special about him, he was always confused abou...more
I was quite a few chapters in before I noticed the absolute lack of cell phones and a few other quirks that made me check the copyright date. I was surprised to find it was published in 1973. Despite no cell phones and China's recent addition to the UN, this book could have been written today.

Teenage problems are universal.

The dichotomy between parents and children are universal.

The human condition is the human condition regardless if it's 1973 or 2012. Who we are and what we fundamentally wa...more
I honestly can't understand why Kerr's work has garnered so much praise. I read several of her books as a teen and the best thing I can say about any of them is "Well, I didn't hate it." But I didn't on any level enjoy it either, nor do I find Kerr's writing to be anything more than passable.
When I came across this book, I hoped it would be an exception to those rules--the title caught my attention, and the story sounded interesting. Unfortunately, it didn't resonate with me at all, unless you...more
Aug 31, 2014 Randal rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any YA reader
Shelves: ya
Wow, YA literature that doesn't suck. Kerr's trick is to write about more-or-less normal kids doing sorta normal stuff, then make it interesting and funny. Even the adults, though clueless for most of the book, aren't one-dimensional monsters.
What a book! Dinky, overweight and kind of angry about this even though she constantly eats, meets an overweight guy who is also on the fringes of school, falls in love, though they haven’t reckoned with Dinky’s controlling mother, devoted to her own cause of helping drug addicts, and failing to recognize her daughter’s own problems, but trying to control Dinky’s feelings with sarcasm and anger.

But the narrator is Tucker, who falls in love with Dinky’s cousin, a girl with her own problems, and w...more
Lisa Underwood
Eh - this was just ok. Really dated, but some good themes. Would be an ok choice for a class discussion, but not one I could see teens picking up on their own.
"Don't understand me too quickly" is the teaser quip on the cover page of this novel and aptly describes one of the most powerful themes of the novel. Each and every character can be described with this maxim - from the brash and overly-opinionated P.John to Tucker's mother who wants desperately to be something more than a mother. Also - a great commentary about a parent/adult who, obsessed with "doing good in the world," ignore the problems right at home.

This would create fantastic class discus...more
Dinky (Susan) is an overweight 14 year old who adopts Tucker's cat, as his dad is allergic. What ensues is a very funny luck at teens, relationships, and troubled parents. A fun read that teens today would still enjoy.
I went on a M.E. Kerr kick when I was a young teenager. I read everything in our small town library by the author (who I think is female). These books were kind of a more hardcore version of Judy Blume's books. These took on a lot of larger social issues, so instead of the theme of the book being something like "girl has her first period and explores religion," the theme would be something like "anti-Semitism" or "class conflict."
Anna Kim
Dinky Hocker's distinctive voice drives this story of teen confusion and angst. When Dinky suffers some setbacks and blows to her self-esteem, the pain she feels is almost palpable even though she is not even aware of her own feelings and actions. While the other adolescent protagonists are generally optimistic and are able to develop, Dinky is much more cynical and this affects her ability to grow with the others.
Okay, I totally had to re-read this after finding out it was M.E. Kerr's first novel for young adults. I read it 25 years ago and never forgot it: especially the little class quirks like Brooklyn Heights. Rereading it was like a little blast from the past. I remembered the teen characters but didn't remember the adult characters at all, and they seem a bit more fragile than I could have ever imagined as a teen.
Katie Hauser
This was actually a book that I didn't mind. The first of many from the 60's/70's that I enjoyed reading. It dealt with some real world family issues that kids experience still today. It even touches on a parent who loses his job and is struggling with the emotional effects of that. If this book were written more recently I would recommend it to kids.
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M. E. Kerr was born Marijane Meaker in Auburn, New York. Her interest in writing began with her father, who loved to read, and her mother, who loved to tell stories of neighborhood gossip. Unable to find an agent to represent her work, Meaker became her own agent, and wrote articles and books under a series of pseudonyms: Vin Packer, Ann Aldrich, Laura Winston, M. E. Kerr, and Mary James. As M. E....more
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“When I get nervous, I go to the library and hang around. The libraries are filled with people who are nervous. You can blend in with them there. You're bound to see someone more nervous than you are in a library. Sometimes the librarians themselves are more nervous than you are. I'll probably be a librarian for that reason. Then if I'm nervous on the job, it won't show. I'll just stamp books and look things up for people and run back and forth to the staff room sneaking smokes until I get hold of myself. A library is a great place to hid.” 5 likes
“Tucker, to make anything work, from meat loaf to a marriage, there are two things you have to do. Forgive and continue.” 2 likes
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