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Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,096 ratings  ·  94 reviews
M. E. Kerr's first novel - hailed by the New York Times as a "timely, compelling" and "brilliantly funny" look at adolescence and friendship

It was bad enough that they had to move to Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Heights, as Tucker Woolf's dad instructs him to tell everyone after he loses his job. Now his father has suddenly developed an allergy to Tucker's cat, Nader, a nine-month-
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by HarperTeen (first published October 1972)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,096 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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lucy  black
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jason Pettus
For those who don't know, I belong to a social network called that works essentially just like Goodreads but for film nerds; and one of the fun things I participate in over there are monthly "scavenger hunts," in which a host will pick a highly specific task for each day of the month and then you have to watch and review a movie that somehow fulfills that task. One of the tasks this month was to watch a movie based on a book you had been forced to read as a child; but instead of p ...more
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"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, Dinky, Natal ...more
May 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-children-s
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. ...more
Amy Rae
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
More of a 3.5 than a four. Goodreads, I need fractions of stars, please give me this thing.

All right, I technically didn't need to read any more M.E. Kerr novels for my author paper this month...but they're like Pringles. I just can't stop (and they're so much more delicious than Pringles anyway). And I wanted to see where Kerr started in YA lit, what she decided to write after Louise Fitzhugh suggested she write books for young people. (If you needed more reason to think M.E. Kerr was awesome,
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"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
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books from childhood. So glad I found this one again. Amazing how a YA novel can touch on so many issues. Didn't buy a copy because I wasn't sure how it would hold up. Definitely buying one now. ...more
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
Kerr, M.E. Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack. New York: Harper Trophy, 1972.

Characters: Susan Hocker aka Dinky, Tucker Woolf, Natalia, P. John Knight, Mr. and Mrs. Hocker (Dinky's parents), Marcus, Mr. and Mrs. Woolf (Tucker's parents), Jingle

Setting: 1970’s Brooklyn, New York

Themes: friendship, boy-girl friendships, family relations, self-image, first love, romantic relationships, addiction and rehabilitation

Plot/Summary: A quirky friendship begins between Tucker Woolf and Dinky Hocker when he has to
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first found this 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 and sharp witted. The young teenagers are written with intrinsic wit, intelligence, and solid view points. People actually communicated in a way that was innocent and full of normal conversational dialogue that didn't suffer from scripted, overly used lines and standpoints that so painfully permeate today's storytelling. ...more
Gil STanton
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack is an interesting, yet mind boggling book. This was written by M. E. Kerr. The book is about a boy named Tucker who moved to Brooklyn. He has one friend named Dinky Hocker. She is a little bit heavier which really comes in a little later in the story. Throughout the book these two are going through rough times with their families. Dinky has a cousin who Tucker really likes her. Dinky’s cousin name is Natalia. One night, the three kids were going to a school dance. But, ...more
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Growing up, I remember seeing this book in my school library and my friends snickering at it. I didn't have any idea, at the time, what shooting smack meant, but the title always intrigued me. Alas, I never read the book in school.
Now here I am, 51 years old and one day that title flashed through my mind: Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack. I started to get intrigued all over again so I went looking for the book, read a few reviews, and bought a Kindle copy. Perhaps I'm trying to recapture my youth, or
Tattered Cover Book Store
May 03, 2008 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
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nancy Kotkin
There are too many issues jammed in here together, with none of them actually fleshed out. Tucker is the protagonist, but he is merely an observer in Susan/Dinky's story/life. Tucker is a peripheral narrator like Nick in The Great Gatsby, but this technique isn't nearly as effective in this novel.

I first read this book as a teen and loved it then, but there were so few books with adolescent protagonists back then (mid to late 1970s). Rereading it as an adult, it doesn't hold up nearly as well to
Mar 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: re-reading
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. ...more
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Like a time capsule. A funny one.
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
OMG....I loved this book in the 8th grade. We were shocked our teacher let us read a book with a drug nickname in the title. Boy, times have changed.
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in 5th grade right after reading Go Ask Alice.. Passed both of them down to my 14 year old hoping they enlighten her as much as they did me.
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
All I can say is WOW.
Danielle Routh
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"People who don't shoot smack have problems, too."

I stumbled across this gem through Awful Library Books in which they covered it not because of the story but because of the '70s edition (no doubt crumbling) and the title, which is unlikely to draw in a twenty-first century teenager... if they even know what "shooting smack" means. It was lauded in the post's comments, so I gave it a go, and I'm glad I did.

I've seen others compare Tucker, the book's narrator, to Nick from The Great Gatsby, and
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adults
Tucker seems like a compassionate young artistic man. Dinky didn't have faith in herself because she wanted the attention and wasn't getting it. Her weight was away to get attention from her parents. Her parents let her do that so bad people or her peers wouldn't accept her because they don’t want her to be a drug addict.
Self-identification, identifying yourself. Charity starts at home. If your lost in self-identity and have a hard time identifying yourself, you should read this book. If your fa
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I remember hearing of this book when I was a teenager. Didn't read it I really didn't read much then at all. Now that I work with students just beyond the age of the characters in this book, I found it interesting. It was initially a bit difficult to get into, but as I read I appreciated the development of the characters and the real-to-life issues and emotions of adolescence. At the end, the book elicited a bit of emotion, both sadness and a bit of humor, and provided opportunity for ...more
Maryann Lane
Excellent book!

I remember reading this book on one Friday night when I was in the 7th grade. During this time, books were about my only friends.I
"Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack" was a special book to me. It introduced to me the reality of my parents world of caring about my siblings many accomplishments, and leaving me behind in my own world.
It is beautifully written, has great characters, with excellent character development, and is a book that any young adult would enjoy.
You do have to keep in
Mary Fran Torpey
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I adored this book when I was a pre-teen; it doesn’t exactly hold up.
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
I picked this up just because it had a really weird name.
To be clear, it wasn't a bad book but it also wasn't astounding.
Sarah Rigg
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved M.E. Kerr as a kid. I felt like she understood what it's like to be a tween/young teen. ...more
Jun 07, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No One
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
Jul 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: premium-plus
DNF. YA novel from Audible Escape package. Seemed more like a middle grade book as far as the mentality of the main characters goes. Too juvenile for me.
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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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. K ...more

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