Frank Portman—King Dork
Do you ever have days when you wake up and think, “Geez, high school pretty much sucks?” Tom Henderson does. He’s 14 and he is the King Dork from which the book gets its title. If you are anything like me, Tom is the kind of person in high school that you: 1. Are afraid of because he has definite “psycho” tendencies. 2. Avoid because you don’t want his “outcastness” to rub off on you. 3. Think might be pretty cool because the bands on the shirts he wears to school everyday are the same ones that you like. 4. Feel sorry for but are powerless to help—but nobody deserves that much torture in one school day much less for a whole school year. Tom does have a friend that is generally reliable, Sam, with whom he forms a series of hypothetical bands (with some of the most “rock and roll” names ever put down in print) before making their actual stage debut in what has to be one of the very best “music in the living room band” debuts ever written in the history of the young adult literature genre. Like many of us in our high school years, Tom is a bit unbalanced, a bit cynical, a bit tortured, and a bit too smart for high school. Certainly one of the very best characters I’ve read in a long while. Rock and roll!