DORK ON THE RUN by Carol Gorman

DORK ON THE RUN

Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Jerry Flack, a nice but rather dorky sixth-grade boy, decides to run for class president against a handsome, popular classmate. And it’s not easy. Besides having all the conventional middle-grade weapons—looks, athletic ability, and popularity—antagonist Gabe Marshall has no problem fighting dirty, embarrassing his competitor, then showing everyone humiliating pictures of his mortification. As Gorman’s nerdy everyman hero begins to fight back and his rivalry with Gabe escalates, Jerry has to decide what kind of battle he wants to wage and what ethical and personal principles he’s willing to sacrifice to win. More inherently dramatic but not as credible or emotionally astute as Dork in Disguise (1999), this action-packed sequel wants to have it both ways—to have Jerry win the battle by showing off his dorky credentials and smarts, while at the same time making these well-known liabilities seem cool and classy. It’s a great fantasy, though as any kid will testify, not enormously realistic, and because it’s not as fresh, funny, or psychologically convincing as its predecessor, Gorman is unable to make the reader believe it. A by-the-numbers subplot about Jerry’s little sister going through a somewhat different but still comparable experience with an older bully adds story bulk but lacks emotional heft. Nevertheless, an enjoyable, often amusing read with a resourceful protagonist that has something to say about both being true to and standing up for one’s self. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-029409-4
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2002




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