Attention underdogs – Today is your day!

In society, underdogs are those who often fail, consistently lose, and are just generally disadvantaged. December 17th is the day we recognize and celebrate all underdogs, all the while rooting for them to win. Everyone loves to cheer for the underdog because if they can succeed, then the rest of us will feel like anything is possible.

There is no better underdog to celebrate today than world famous Homer Simpson. Coincidentally, the 1st episode of The Simpsons was aired on Underdog Day in 1989. Since then, Homer has overcome so many obstacles that we can’t even keep track anymore. Despite his obvious drinking problem, his dependency on donuts, his low I.Q, and his tendency to neglect his wife and children, Homer Simpson has proven himself the reigning underdog in many ways over the years: He rescues Springfield on numerous occasions, “donates” a kidney to Grandpa, becomes a mascot for a major league baseball team, travels the world, battles Tony Hawk in a skateboarding competition, and even goes into outer space.

You probably all have a favorite literary underdog, even if you didn’t know it. Here is a list of some well known underdogs to celebrate today:

1. Dr. Watson from Sherlock Holmes. As the sidekick he is often overshadowed by Holmes, but we all know how important he is! As the narrator for all but four stories, where would the series be without him?

2. Samwise from The Lord of the Rings. Yes, sure, we all know that Frodo was the one who carried the great burden, but Sam was the one who carried all of their provisions, rationed their foods, kept the night watch and fought off the giant spider, Shelob. He was also able to fight the temptation of the ring and rescue Frodo from Orcs. Without Sam, the ring never would have made it to Mordor.

3. Oliver Twist. He’s an orphan in a Charles Dickens’ novel. If anyone is an underdog, he is.

4. And of course, Harry Potter. From the little boy who was kept under the stairs and bullied by his remaining family members, to the great leader of the resistance against the lord of darkness and master of black magic – Harry is the ultimate underdog.

Here are a few books about overcoming for you to read; it’s time to root for the underdogs!

Lancelot is an orphaned joey growing up on a farm. One day he comes across a kangaroo mob and wants to join it. He escapes from home and injures his arm so badly that it has to be amputated. Left alone in the bush he has to overcome dangerous situations.

This story follows the life and adventures of a puma from kitten hood to adult. Swept away from his mother by a wild river he learns how to survive struggling against danger from other animals and the threat of man.

You'll laugh and you'll cry as you follow the lives of a group of amateur criminals who decide to rob a resort hotel and get more than they bargained for, changing their lives and the lives of their friends and families forever.

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