King Dork by Frank Portman

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As John Green, New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars said, “King Dork will rock your world.” The cult favorite from Frank Portman, aka Dr. Frank of the Mr. T. Experience, is a book like nothing ever done before--King Dork literally has something for everyone: At least a half-dozen mysteries, love, mistaken identity, girls, monks, books, blood, bubblegum, and rock and roll. This book is based on music--a passion most kids have--and it has original (hilarious) songs and song lyrics throughout.
   When Tom Henderson finds his deceased father’s copy of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, his world is turned upside down. Suddenly high school gets more complicated: Tom (aka King Dork) is in the middle of at least half a dozen mysteries involving dead people, naked people, fake people, a secret code, girls, and rock and roll. As he goes through sophomore year, he finds clues that may very well solve the puzzle of his father’s death and—oddly—reveal the secret to attracting semi-hot girls (the secret might be being in a band, if he can find a drummer who can count to four.
   A brilliant story told in first person, King Dork includes a glossary and a bandography, which readers will find helpful and hilarious.

Praise for King Dork:

“Basically, if you are a human being with even a vague grasp of the English language, King Dork, will rock your world.”—John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars
“[No account of high school] has made me laugh more than King Dork. . . . Grade A.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Impossibly brilliant.”—Time

“Provides a window into what it would be like if Holden Caulfield read The Catcher in the Rye.”—New York Post

[STAR] “Original, heartfelt, and sparkling with wit and intelligence. This novel will linger long in readers’ memories.”—School Library Journal, Starred
[STAR] “A biting and witty high-school satire.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred
[STAR] “Tom’s narration is piercingly satirical and acidly witty.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Starred
“Loaded with sharp and offbeat humor.”—USA Today
“King Dork is smart, funny, occasionally raunchy and refreshingly clear about what it’s like to be in high school.”—San Francisco Chronicle
King Dork: Best Punk Rock Book Ever.”—The Village Voice
“I love this book as much as I hated high school, and that’s some of the highest praise I can possibly give.”—

About Frank Portman

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Frank Portman(AKA Dr. Frank) is the singer/songwriter, guitarist of the popular San Francisco based punk band The Mr. T. Experience (MTX).Formed in the mid 1980's, MTX has recorded over twenty albums and has an incredibly large fanbase. The author lives in Oakland, California.From the Hardcover edition.
Published February 12, 2008 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. 354 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for King Dork

Kirkus Reviews

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Tom finds his dead father’s copy of Catcher in a box of old books, chock-full of margin notes and mysterious scribbles.

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Publishers Weekly

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(The key role of Salinger's novel is hinted at by this book's telltale vintage burgundy cover, on which "King Dork" is written over Salinger's title.) When he's not playing Sherlock Holmes or dodging bullies (the types who "try to trip you anonymously and knock you over as you go by in the hallwa...

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As evidenced with Tom's running commentary on literature, it feels that Portman read some books in high school, hated high school, and twenty years after he graduated, without picking up the books again, he wrote about those books and high school.

Jul 25 2009 | Read Full Review of King Dork

Entertainment Weekly

Since his dad died six years ago in a suspicious car accident, Tom has lived with his clueless mom (''Basically, she is a traditional suburban mom with a thin veneer of yesterday's counterculture not too securely fastened to the outside''), his goofy hippie stepdad — one of the sweetest father ...

Apr 26 2006 | Read Full Review of King Dork

The Bookbag

Anthony McGowan's Henry Tumour takes literary heritage - this time Shakespeare, not Salinger - and creates an equally funny book with much, much more tension.

Dec 02 2012 | Read Full Review of King Dork

Suite 101

Boy is a coming of age story for every ordinary teenage girl.

Apr 01 2009 | Read Full Review of King Dork


M:i:III held on to the top spot with a respectable second week total of $25 million, while Lindsay Lohan’s Just My Luck — which came in with a meager $5.7 million — will be disappearing from theaters quicker than a coke stash at Casa de Lohan.

May 19 2006 | Read Full Review of King Dork

Teen Reads

The Book Report NetworkSign up for our newsletters!A common problem I find in young adult novels that are set in high schools is the attempt to create a universal high school, a place where the reader can look around and say, "That's where I go/went to school."

Apr 11 2006 | Read Full Review of King Dork


Portman’s narrator, Tom Henderson, pretty much does for us in the book’s second paragraph: “it’s actually kind of a complicated story, involving at least half a dozen mysteries, plus dead people, naked people, fake people, teen sex, weird sex, drugs, ESP, Satanism, books, blood, Bubblegum, guitar...

May 01 2006 | Read Full Review of King Dork

Common Sense Media

This book could lead to some valuable discussions about the realism of the high school portrayed here -- you may want to talk to your teen about their own experiences at school and if anything resonates here.

Apr 30 2006 | Read Full Review of King Dork

Curled Up With a Good Kid's Book

The young hero of Frank Portman’s bizarre novel King Dork claims early on that he’s no big fan of the classic Catcher in the Rye.

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