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Dork in Disguise Paperback – September 8, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Gorman (The Marvelous Makeover of Lizard Flanagan) retreads Polonius's well-worn exhortation in this familiar tale of a sixth-grader who wants to be "cool." When his family moves, science-loving Jerry resolves to shed his "dork" image. Hence he starts at his new school in a blur, because he leaves his uncool glasses at home. However, his vision isn't so fuzzy that he can't see and fall hard for gorgeous airhead Cinnamon, who, in turn, is impressed by the handsome and equally vacuous Gabe. What's a dork to do? Under the unlikely tutelage of classmate Brenda (who tells Jerry that it takes a dork to know one), he learns to rip his new jeans fashionably and to strut, and with his new look and the self-promoting lies he spins, he's in like Flynn. The only problem is that Jerry finds that he's happier with Brenda and the other science club members than with Cinnamon's vapid crowd. It doesn't take much to figure out which group Jerry will ultimately decide to stick with. The story is essentially amiable, but even though Gorman has one of the "cool" boys furtively express an interest in science, the portrayal of good-looking kids as shallow ignoramuses and intellectuals as unattractive misfits perpetuates stereotypes. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6-Jerry Flack is really smart-smart enough to have been labeled dork, geek, and nerd throughout his school career. When his family moves to a new town, he sees the possibilities for a major lifestyle change. Hiding his glasses in his backpack and his academic abilities behind ripped jeans and a cool-guy strut (which he perfects in the mirror at home), Jerry manages to insinuate himself into the coolest group in the sixth grade. He is puzzled and disappointed when life isn't as exciting as he expected, and he is unsure how to respond when he's invited to join the science team, based on his outstanding record from his previous school. Jerry loves science (he is even building a working hovercraft at home), but competing on the team is definitely uncool. On the other hand, the science-team kids are more interesting to be around. It's a tough choice, but in the end Jerry decides that being himself is a lot more fun than being cool. Dork in Disguise is similar in setting, mood, and message to Gorman's The Miraculous Makeover of Lizard Flanagan (HarperCollins, 1994), about a sixth-grade girl trying to reconcile her identity as a jock with the social expectations that come along with entering middle school. As with that title, many readers will enjoy and identify with this humorous story.
Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
The story and characters are well-developed and well-written.The story also has a strong lesson about being true to yourself and loving who you are.I would highly recommend it and can't wait for my 12 yr. old grandson to read it. I liked it so much that I just bought book #2 in the series.
Because you’re smart and you’re interested in science and like to hang out with the smart kids – you know – maybe you’ve done it yourself.
But the first person he meets is another smart kid – a girl – and she says she will help you become cool.
But it’s tough, and you start telling a lot of lies – like – what a great inline skater you are – and that you’re in a band – but you slowly become accepted by some of the cool kids, including the gorgeous girl.
You begin to see, though, that maybe this beautiful girl is just using you to make her real boyfriend jealous – and you haven’t been doing the stuff you like to do – and you’re missing being with the sharp kids….so what are you going to do?
Read this cool tale and find out – you know? I don’t’ care who you are – EVERYBODY should read this one – it tells it true!
Thank you, NetGalley and Open Road Integrated Media, for this free book to review!
What I liked:
1. Jerry is a protagonist that could relate to a lot of people. Who doesn't want to be cool?
2. He does things outside of school, such as science projects, teaching his dog how to collect newspapers, ect. His world doesn't revolve around school drama.
What I didn't like:
1. I wish Cinnamon could have been put in her place. She needs to realize her problems.
Will I read the next book, Dork on the Run? I doubt it. I don't feel like this needs a sequel, except to deal with Cinnamon.
Jerry is starting the sixth grade in Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School, where no one knows him, and he doesn't know anyone. As his mother drops him off, he quickly removes his glasses, so he doesn't look like a geek. Of course, now the whole world is blurry. He manages to find his way to his first class a girl asks him "shouldn't you have your glasses on?" The blurry girl introduces herself as Brenda. She noticed that he was squinting and had marks on his nose from his glasses. Jerry tells her that he doesn't like wearing his glasses. Through most of the book Jerry keeps trying to be someone he's not. On the inside, and to the reader, Jerry admits that he's telling lies and not being himself. In the end, he learns a valuable lesson.
I think this is a good book because it has a lot of interesting twists and turns, and keeps your attention. Most of the time it seems a lot like real life in middle school with the problems that a lot of kids face.
Soon the city carnival starts up and Cinnomon invites everyone to go with her, the plot of Cinnomon is to see which one will do more for her. Jerry is late but catches up with the guys. Who will Cinnomon deside to go out with? Read Dork in Disguise to find out!!!