DORKO THE MAGNIFICENT by Andrea Beaty

DORKO THE MAGNIFICENT

Age Range: 10 - 12
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A young would-be magician gets lessons in both stagecraft and life from a crusty elder.

Fifth-grader Robbie Darko is horrified to learn that he’ll be giving up his room to terrifying, old Grandma Melvyn while she waits for a knee operation. Discovering that she had been a renowned magician in her early days, though, he sees opportunity. He earns her respect and enlists her help with his act for the upcoming school talent show by gradually learning how to stand up to her harsh tongue and temper. What she teaches him are not new tricks but deeper principles, from “Your job is to make [audiences] believe impossible things” to the values of relentless preparation and of flexibility when things go wrong. These initially seem disappointingly abstract but stand him in good stead both for the show and for when Grandma Melvyn takes another, final trip to the hospital. The author creates a sympathetic cast, but Robbie’s habit of refusing to describe his tricks while overexplaining everything else in his life may leave readers wanting to know less about him and more about Grandma Melvyn and his best friend Cat, a classmate with a real gift for connecting with people.

Beaty slips in some important stuff here, but the supporting characters steal the show. (Fiction. 10-12)

 




Pub Date: April 2nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0638-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2013




Upcoming Kirkus Interview

August 30, 2016
Andrea Beaty

In Andrea Beaty and David Roberts’ new picture book Ada Twist, Scientist is like her classmates, builder Iggy and inventor Rosie: scientist Ada, a character of color, has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. Not afraid of failure, she embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble! Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists, and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. “Cool and stylish,” our reviewer writes.

MORE BY ANDREA BEATY

ChildrenADA TWIST, SCIENTIST by Andrea Beaty
by Andrea Beaty
ChildrenTHE SCHNOZ OF DOOM by Andrea Beaty
by Andrea Beaty
ChildrenHAPPY BIRTHDAY, MADAME CHAPEAU by Andrea Beaty
by Andrea Beaty
ChildrenHIDE AND SHEEP by Andrea Beaty
by Andrea Beaty

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenGOTCHA! by David Acer
by David Acer
ChildrenTHE HOUDINI BOX by Brian Selznick
by Brian Selznick
ChildrenMAXX COMEDY by Gordon Korman
by Gordon Korman