Hank Zipzer

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Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever (formally Hank Zipzer: The Mostly True Confessions of the World's Best Underachiever in books 1-3 and Hank Zipzer: The World's Best Underachiever in book four) is a series of children's books by actor Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, published by Grosset & Dunlap. In 2013 there was meant to be a Hank Zipzer musical. Hank Zipzer was made into a TV series in 2014 on CBBC and CBBC HD.


Hank Zipzer is a young boy growing up on the Upper West Side of New York City, who is dyslexic. Winkler based the character on himself as a child and his own experiences with dyslexia and ADHD. [1] He attends P.S. 87 at Amsterdam Avenue and W 78th Street. His friends are Frankie Townsend and Ashley Wong.


1. Niagara Falls, or Does It?

Instead of writing an assigned essay on his summer vacation, Hank tries building a model of Niagara Falls, his family's summer vacation spot. This was aired in the TV series as the first episode.

2. I Got a "D" in Salami

Hank tosses his report card in his mother's meat grinder to get out of his parents seeing his three D's on his report card. The chase is on when he finds out his report-card-salami is going to one of his mom's most important sponsor choices! This aired as the eighth episode in the TV series.

3. Day of the Iguana

Hank tries to disassemble and reassemble the cable box for his science project. But how is he supposed to put it back together when Katherine the iguana has laid her eggs in it? This was aired as the fourth episode in the TV.

4. The Zippity Zinger

Hank's friends choose Hank to be the pitcher for their school, PS 87's Olympiad baseball team. Since Hank can't pitch for his life, he thinks his sister's lucky red monkey socks may be the answer. Only one problem - Emily needs them on the same day for her part of the Olympiad! This was on the TV series as the second episode.

5. The Night I Flunked My Field Trip

Hank has an overnight field trip to a docked boat in New York Harbor. But when Hank accidentally undocks the boat, the trouble begins...He makes friends with Colin Sebastion Rich IV.
Hank needs to prepare some enchiladas for his school multi-cultural day. But, he may have added too much hot sauce...

7. Help! Somebody Get me out of Fourth Grade!

When his parents get called for a parent-teacher conference, Hank just knows his teacher is going to tell them he's being held back. There's just one way to make sure they don't show up - sabotage!

8. Summer School? What Genius thought That Up?

Hank gets sent to summer school without his friends, Frankie Townsend and Ashley Wong.

9. My Secret Life as a Ping-Pong Wizard

Hank's finally in the fifth grade, except he is still stuck with Ms.Adolf and he's also found a sport he's good at - ping-pong! But when his friends tease the sport, Hank decides to keep it a secret.

10. My Dog's a Scaredy-Cat: A Halloween Tail

Hank tries to scare Nick in a haunted house he makes with his friends. This was the fifth episode in the TV series.

11. The Curtain Went Up, My Pants Fell Down

Hank gets a lead part in a school play (The King and I) but he can only do the play if he gets a B plus on his next math test. He has a math tutor called Heather Payne. This was the third episode in the TV series.

12. Barfing in the Backseat: How I Survived My Family Road Trip

The Zipzers take a road trip to a crossword puzzle tournament and a roller coaster park in North Carolina. But when he mistakenly leaves Mrs. Adolf's vacation homework packet at a motel, he and Frankie set out to have it delivered - without Mr. Zipzer finding out.

13. Who Ordered This Baby? Definitely Not Me!

Hank hears his mom talking to Frankie's mom over the phone about a baby. Frankie will be shocked! Or at least until Hank realizes she was talking about herself! This was the 9th episode of the tv series.

14. Life of Me

Mr. Rock takes over as Hank's teacher. Hank is psyched....until Mr.Rock suggests that Hank takes an after school reading program, which means he will have to miss tae kwon do. But when Hank gets a crush on a girl in the reading program, and when Mr. Rock says, instead of doing an autobiography (a class assignment), Hank may do a scrapbook of his life. Everything is going right. Then Hank finds out that the girl he likes is Nick McKelty's cousin.

15. A Tail of Two Tails

Hank's school holds a pet contest and the winner becomes the school mascot. How is Hank supposed to train his Dachshund, Cheerio, if he (Cheerio) keeps messing around?

16. Dump Trucks and Dogsleds: I'm on My Way, Mom!

Hank's mom is having a baby, and the baby is going to share a room with Hank. Hank did feel better when his dad took his sister Emily and him on a 'pre-baby' ski trip. But when Hank's mom called to say the baby was coming early, they had to cut their trip short. The only problem was that a freak snowstorm had arrived and they were stuck. Whether they had to ride on horses, dump trucks, dogsleds, or even in a truck with ten Chinese acrobats, they would get home in time to meet Baby Zipzer.

17. A Brand-New Me!

Hank can't graduate without his community service, so Mr. Rock gives him a job cleaning instruments and, while doing the job, Hank discovers his ability to write short plays on the spot, and auditions for a Performing Arts school, all before finding out that Frankie and Ashley will be going to a different school. This is the final book in the series.

Main characters[edit]

Name Bio
Henry Daniel "Henry" Zipzer The main character, who has learning challenges (dyslexia).
Nick "The Tick" McKelty The class bully, who is none-too-bright.
Ms. Adolf Hank's teacher who hates fun and funny, always wears gray clothes, possibly to match her face.
Frankie Townsend Hank's best friend, thinks oxygen is power and has a nickname for everyone.
Leland Love Hank's principal who repeats everything twice and likes to answer his own questions, Has a mole shaped like the Statue of Liberty without the torch.
Ashley Wong Hank and Frankie's other best friend who is a great athlete and loves rhinestones.
Mr. Gristediano The friend that give an idea to Hank's parents about changing his type of learning.
Robert Upchurch A 4th (formally 3rd) grade genius who lives in the same building as Hank and blurts out information at random moments.
Papa Pete Hank's grandpa who is always taking the kids somewhere and pinching his grandkids.
Carlos The counter guy at Hank's mom's deli.
Emily Zipzer Hank's little sister, very smart when it comes to reptiles, considerably annoying, likes Robert Upchurch, and has an iguana named Katherine.
Rosa Zipzer Hank's mom, runs the Crunchy Pickle Deli, and takes healthy foods to a disgusting new level.
Stanley Zipzer Hank's dad, who is obsessed with crossword puzzles.
Cheerio Zipzer Hank's dachshund, who looks like a Cheerio when he runs in circles.
Katherine Zipzer Emily's iguana, who slurps food from the dinner table.
Vlady The other counter guy at Hank's mom's deli, "The Crunchy Pickle."
Mr. Rock Hank's Music Teacher who is Hank's favorite teacher.
Mason Harris Jerome Dunn Hank's friend who is in kindergarten.
Heather Payne A very tall, smart girl who tutored Hank in Math.
Sam Chin Hank's other kindergarten friend who plays ping-pong with him.
Luke Whitman A boy in Hank's class who is very gross, and always has his finger in his nose.
Dr. Lynn Berger Hank's dyslexia teacher, who is very nice and always encourages Hank.
Mrs. Fink Hank's next door neighbor who has a crush on Papa Pete and is always baking something for him.
Joelle Adwin Nick "The Tick"'s girlfriend that is obsessed with her phone.
Zoe McKelty Hank's girlfriend, also Nick McKelty's cousin
Collin Sebastian Rich IIII Hank's friend in book 5. He bites his nails, he only knows 3 knock knock jokes and 2 of them aren't funny.
Yoshi A boy from Japan who loves lizards. Hank hosted him in the TV series.

TV series[edit]

Hank Zipzer is now a television series for CBBC in 2014.[1]



Series 1 (2014)[edit]

Title Directed by Written by Produced by Original air date Viewers
1 "Classroom Catastrophe" Matt Bloom Joe Williams Siobhan Bachman 28 January 2014 (2014-01-28) 363,000
Ms Adolf gives the pupils an assignment to write an essay about their summer holidays. Keen to avoid doing any writing, Hank decides to build a model of his holiday at Niagara Falls and demonstrate the experience to the class instead.
2 "The Lucky Socks" Matt Bloom Joe Williams Siobhan Bachman 4 February 2014 (2014-02-04) N/A
The school announces its annual House sport and quiz competition and Hank finds himself forced to try out for the Yellow House.
3 "The Curtain Went Up, My Trousers Went Down" Matt Bloom Joe Williams Siobhan Bachman 11 February 2014 (2014-02-11) N/A
Getting the lead role in the school play should be a cause for celebration for Hank. But with school bully McKelty determined to get the role for himself and Hank struggling to learn his lines, it's not as easy as he thought it was going to be.
4 "Battle Of The Goblins" Matt Bloom Daniel Peak Siobhan Bachman 18 February 2014 (2014-02-18) N/A
Hank accidentally breaks his and Frankie's latest science project and Frankie has to pick up the pieces rather than collect the latest voice-activated games console as soon as it hits the store.
5 "Haunted Hank" Matt Bloom Dan Berlinka Siobhan Bachman 25 February 2014 (2014-02-25) N/A
Nick McKelty oversteps the mark when he picks on Hank's little sister Emily. To get revenge, Hank decides to make the world's scariest haunted house.
6 "The War of Words" Rebecca Rycroft Bede Blake Ali Bryer Carron 4 March 2014 (2014-03-04) N/A
Stan and Emily struggle to cope with Hank and Rosa's more unorthodox approaches to study, and Hank starts to feel the pressure when Stan bets his coveted Topps Football Card against his mortal rival Mick McKelty - bully Nick McKelty's dad. Stan pushes Hank so far that he quits the team, but when his dad eats humble pie and Hank sees how important winning the bet is to him, Hank tries his best to meet his dad halfway.
7 "The Day I Flunked Chemistry" Matt Bloom Madeleine Brettingham Siobhan Bachman 11 March 2014 (2014-03-11) N/A
Hank thinks new boy Ben is totally cool, and is amazed to discover that the feeling is mutual. But will Ben feel the same if he finds out about Hank's learning difficulties? Hank isn't willing to take the risk and so decides not to tell him. That plan has disastrous consequences when Hank misreads an experiment, leading to the gassing of Ms Adolf and the evacuation of the science block. Ashley has a crush on Ben and Frankie is jealous of Hank's new friend.
8 "The Mortadella Disaster" Rebecca Rycroft Joe Williams Ali Bryer Carron 18 March 2014 (2014-03-18) 290,000
Hank gets his new report and gets bad marks. Meanwhile, a man called Bob Bing likes Rosa's new recipe. To hide his report, Hank sticks it in Rosa's meat grinder in the Spicy Salami which ends up in Rosa's Mortadella.
9 "Who Ordered The Baby" Rebecca Rycroft Ali Bryer Carron 25 March 2014 (2014-03-25) 285,000
Hank is pleased when his mum says he can work in the deli to earn a new pair of the latest cool trainers. That is until he's given his latest school assignment, to look after a pretend baby for the weekend. Despite his best attempts, Hank can't juggle a crying baby and work. He decides to focus on getting the trainers, but disaster strikes when he accidentally ends up swapping his fake baby for a real one.
10 "I Think I Broke My Dad" Rebecca Rycroft Ali Bryer Carron 1 April 2014 (2014-04-01) 207,000
Stan is dismayed to find that Hank is avoiding him because if his new Dyslexic Therapies, So He becomes a 'Cool Dad'. When he thinks he has the right to be in the band For the Talent show Hank has to stop his dad performing in the band at the talent show!
11 "The Week I Became a Genius" Rebecca Rycroft Ali Bryer Carron 8 April 2014 (2014-04-08) N/A
Hank's school has an American Themed week, and Hank is made to do a presentation about Einstein, and feels upset when he finds out that Frankie and Ashley have teamed up with McKeltey. He also makes friends with Yr6 Boy Mason Williams, who is at Westbrook Academy for Transition Week.
12 "Anyone for Lizard" 15 April 2014 (2014-04-15) N/A
Hank can't believe his luck when he is chosen to host the Japanese exchange student. He even manages to remember to get his permission slip signed... only for McKelty to steal it. With no signed permission slip, Hank is in danger of not being allowed to take part. To show how committed Hank is to the exchange programme, Rosa organises a Japanese banquet for Ms Adolf and Mr Rock. The banquet ends in disaster: an escaped lizard, marauding crickets and a fainting Stan, who covers Ms Adolf with sushi. All looks lost, until Rosa uncovers Ms Adolf's secret passion: karaoke.
13 "The First Date Dilemma" 22 April 2014 (2014-04-22) N/A
Hank meets a cool girl, Zoe, in Mr Rock's additional reading class and falls head over heels in love. Ashley and Frankie try to subtly find out whether Zoe has a boyfriend but Hank is horrified when he learns that their approach has given the game away to Zoe. Emotions going haywire, Hank can't eat, sleep, and gets into trouble at school. Papa Pete advises Hank to embrace his emotions and Hank decides to take Zoe on a date, but it ends in disaster.

Series 2 will air next year.[2]

See also[edit]




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