Portman, Frank. 2006. King Dork.
King Dork is by far one of the best young adult books released this year. The books I fall in love with at first sight are few and far between, but I must say that King Dork had me from the very first paragraph:
They call me King Dork. Well, let me put it another way: no one ever actually calls me King Dork. It's how I refer to myself in my head, a silent protest and an acknowledgement of reality at the same time. I don't command a nerd army, or preside over a realm of the socially ill-equipped. I'm small for my age, young for my grade, uncomfortable in most situations, nearsighted, skinny, awkward, and nervous. And no good at sports. So Dork is accurate. The King part is pure sarcasm, though: there's nothing special or ultimate about me. I'm generic. It's more like I'm one of the kings in a pack of crazy, backward playing cards, designed for a game where anyone who gets me automatically loses the hand. I mean, everything beats me, even twos and threes. (5)
And the genius continues throughout...the reader finds phrases that resonate with wisdom, truth, and/or humor.
There's always a bit of suspense about the particular way in which a given school year will get off to a bad start (7).
King Dork is one teen boy's (Tom, aka "Moe" or "Chi-Mo") story of the first semester of his sophomore year (August-December). The characters are memorable and the story unforgettable. A coming-of-age novel that will entertain teens and adults alike.
Recommended books: Looking for Alaska by John Green (reviewed September 11, 2006) and The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga (reviewed October 20, 2006).
Video trailer for King Dork
Frank Portman's Listmania List for "King Dork"