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Friday, July 03, 2015

DORKO the Magnificent by Andrea Beaty

Dorko the MagnificentRobbie Darko is a magician.  At least he is trying to become one.  Despite all the time he spends practicing magic, something always goes wrong when it comes time to perform.  Robbie has a brother he calls "Ape Boy" because he is always biting and climbing on things - and he is 6!  The Darko parents are working hard to make ends meet, so they don't get to spend the amount of time they'd like to as a family.  Dad is always traveling for work and mom is always on the phone with work.  Enter Grandma Melyvn.  You'd think she'd be all warm and fuzzy, right?  She insults people and calls everyone Trixie.  She's as mean as they come, or is she?  Grandma Melyvn takes over Robbie's room and he tries to avoid being home so that he doesn't have to deal with her crankiness.  However, he founds out that Grandma Melyvn used to be famous magician herself until her partner did something that made her a bitter woman.  An unlucky relationship forms between the two of them and Grandma Melyvn helps Robbie perform at the school's talent show.

I truly didn't think I was going to like this book.  I saw it on the shelf and kept putting off reading it.  But I can now see why it was nominated for the 2016 Bluestem award.  I'll admit that I was hooked after chapter 1.  The book is written in first person narrative, with Robbie telling his story.  You totally get his personality and he comes alive right away.  With him being into magic in 5th grade, it's almost predestined that he is a dork (hence the title Dorko the Magnificent).  The book is hilarious throughout most of the book, but I will warn you that there is a twist at the end of the book.  The book has several good messages and an ending you won't forget.

*************************    2016 Bluestem Nominee ************************

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