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King Dork
Frank Portman
Teen Fiction PORTMAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

This witty, biting and wholly memorable debut novel by punk singer/musician Portman (the Mr. T. Experience or MTX) was born to be an audiobook. Hoppe nails the brainy, cynical yet likable tone of teen narrator and aspiring songwriter/band god Tom Henderson. And Portman gets to strike some creative chords by performing five original acoustic songs penned by Tom (and mentioned throughout the narrative) to close the recording. But Tom's music obsession aside, it's his sharp and often hilarious observations about the cruelty and inanity that pervade his daily life at Hillmont High that will have listeners entranced. In between fantasizing about semi-hot girls and dreaming up ideas for the band with his friend Sam, taking ridiculously easy AP classes in French and social studies/humanities, and dodging bullies and mean teachers, Tom starts to investigate the circumstances behind his detective father's mysterious death. A funny thing: all roads-in school and outside of it-seem to lead to that 1950s novel that elicits a cult-like worship among academic and hipster types, The Catcher in the Rye. A secret code written in his late father's copy of the Salinger classic only complicates matters on every level, but listeners will want to stick around for the conclusion, especially to hear Tom's glossary-replete with mispronunciations mocking his teacher, and a bonus interview with the author. Ages 14-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Tom "Chi-Mo" Henderson is the King Dork at his suburban high school, where every English teacher worships at the altar of The Catcher in the Rye. Tom believes that their affection is misguided until he finds his late father's battered copy in a box in the garage. The book starts an adventure that involves "dead people, naked people, fake people, teen sex, weird sex, drugs, ESP, Satanism.." You get the picture. Why It Is for Us: The best moments in this book play on the stupid ways we grown-ups try to stay connected to the teens in our lives. Tom's stepfather (also a Tom, "Little Big Tom") is a good man with the hard job of helping bring a smart, cynical, music-lovin' Dork to adulthood. A chronology of band names (Tom and his best friend, Sam, go through 25 names for their band in five months) and a glossary (with delightfully mish-mashed pronunciations) end the book on an uproarious note. You'll never hear the song "Glad All Over" in the same way again. Be sure to catch Portman's next book, Andromeda Klein, out this month.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Tom Henderson
Brainy; oddball; reads alot; passionater over rock music; trying to find out the truth behind his father's death; dreams of forming a band with his best friend.

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