Reviews for Dork on the Run


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 June 2002
Gr. 4-7. Sixth-grader Jerry Flack, of Dork in Disguise (1999), has grown beyond having the epithet "dork" get in the way of his self-esteem. Now he's running for class president, using his intelligence and sense of humor to combat his bullying rival. Aided by his best friend, almost-too-good-to-be-true Brenda, and a charming assortment of mouthy peers, Jerry sportingly tries ice skating (he unceremoniously lands on his rear) and mounting a Web page to advertise his political agenda--only to be conned into posting unflattering pictures. As the sixth-graders grapple with cliques, bullying, and determining what elected officials should and can do to effect changes in school, Flack's six-year-old sister has her own challenges as the center of a subplot showing even younger children bullying one other. Gorman's touch is light as well as accurate and incisive. Her preteen kids seem real and, for the most part, emotionally healthy; even the world-weary new girl is impressed by Flack's cool in the face of political battle. Of course, Flack is a dork, but in his own way, he's a model to emulate. ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Fall
In this sequel to [cf2]Dork in Disguise,[cf1] Jerry Flack is still an eyeglass-wearing, science-loving sixth grader with knobby knees. When he runs for class president against popular smart-aleck Gabe, the campaign soon devolves into a series of dirty tricks. Deciding to embrace and celebrate his own lack of cool, Jerry breezes to victory in a fast-paced story that will appeal to the dork in us all. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2002 #5
"He wasn't a dork now. He had overcome Dorkiness at his new school." Or so he thinks. In this sequel to Dork in Disguise (rev. 1/00), Jerry Flack is still an eyeglass-wearing, science-loving sixth grader-with skinny white legs and knobby knees to boot. But with a newfound self-confidence and the encouragement of his supportive girlfriend, Brenda, Jerry decides to run for class president against popular smart-aleck Gabe. The campaign soon devolves into a series of dirty tricks, as Gabe snaps photos of Jerry sprawled on the ice after a skating mishap, dangles his sobbing opponent out a second-floor window, and butchers Jerry's hair with a pair of scissors moments before he must give a speech to the student body. However, the likable protagonist has observed how even the coolest kids in his class feel insecure in the presence of a new girl from Hollywood who claims to hobnob with movie stars. Jerry wonders whether, "depending on who you are, there's always someone cooler who can make you feel like a dork." Deciding to embrace and celebrate his own lack of cool, Jerry breezes to victory in a fast-paced story that will appeal to the dork in us all. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2002 May #2
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) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 June #2
Children's NOTES Series and Sequels Familiar characters and continuing story lines carry on in a number of books this season. In Dork on the Run by Carol Gorman, unconventionally cool Dork in Disguise star Jerry Flack risks his newfound, un-dorklike reputation by running for class president. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 June
Gr 3-6-If there was ever a quintessential book on dealing with bullies, this is it. Jerry Flack, star of Dork in Disguise (HarperCollins, 1999), is now running for class president of the sixth grade at the urging of his friend Brenda. Unfortunately, he is opposed by Gabe Marshall, who is hell-bent on making Jerry's life miserable and, worse, catching his embarrassing moments on film. Jerry reacts first with revenge, then helplessness and humiliation, and, finally, empowerment. He uses what he calls "mental akido" to promote his dorkiness with humor and intelligence that kids will admire. Realistically, the boy refuses to let adults in on any of the harassment even when it includes shoving him outside a second-floor window. Eventually, a teacher catches on to the torment and the bullies are punished, but Jerry seems far too relaxed about their comeuppance, given all he's been through. His classmates and other students at Hawthorne Middle School react in a refreshingly true-to-life manner: sometimes they are for Jerry, sometimes they enjoy Gabe's pranks. A subplot about a third grader who is bullying Jerry's little sister is nicely integrated, as is the addition of a new cool girl who used to live in Hollywood, and her effect on the school. All in all, Dork on the Run is a winner as a thoughtful read and a discussion starter.-Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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