Monday, July 26, 2010

King Dork by Frank Portman: A Review




King Dork
Frank Portman
Ages 14+
Pages 344
Published April 2006
Delacorte Press
ISBN 0385732910

Cluck this Book, Cluck It LOUD, Real LOUD

A teenage angster deals with high school: parental units, cliques, drugs, dorkometers, sex (the good and the ugly) and Rock and Roll. The teenager's dad has died of mysterious circumstances. He finds his dad's old books. The books offer clues. The clues are kind of a Hamlet like Ghost thing; helping him deal with high society in a strange teenage wasteland. The book offers insights on how music can be a powerful force in a youth's life. It shows how writing fan zines help a kid have a voice where his voice is powerless in a world not quite ready for his opinions.

I loved the relationships described in the book. One relationship that was developed very well was the main character and his step dad. The step dad is so out of touch, but he wants to be liked by his stepson.  He ends up playing a role not suited for him the "adult teenager".   Older guys looks so fake when they try to be hip.

The book is definitely from a different culture than the one down here in the bible belt. Psychology is the parent's religion. The parents often want to discuss feelings. And violence is frowned upon. Down here in 863 Christianity is the religion. The parents want to discuss the bible. And violence and hunting are things dad and sons do on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday Nights.  (This is a generalization it does not imply that all are like this.)

The book is a great examination of the idea of validation. We all want to be recognized, have some sort of power, and some control of our lives.



I am glad I picked up this book and gladly give it a big clucks up!





 

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