Dorko the Magnificent
Dorko the Magnificent
School Discount

Discount Price:

Discount Price:

To purchase this item, you must first login or register for a new account.

Annotation: Robbie Darko is an old-school, pull-a-rabbit-out-of-your-hat-style magician, but despite his best efforts, something always goes wrong with his tricks until crotchety Grandma Melvyn moves in and teaches him something about the true meaning of magic.
Catalog Number: #5682291
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2014
Pages: 213 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-419-71019-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-419-71019-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2012045674
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Preparing for an unforgettable performance at the school talent show, aspiring magician Robbie Darko gets some surprising help from an elderly relative when wobble-eyed Grandma Melvyn reveals her skills. Times are hard in the fifth-grader's family. His father's new, not-so-good job keeps him on the road much of the time, and his mother works long hours, too. Worse, Robbie has to share a bedroom with his six-year-old brother, Ape Boy, while Grandma Melvyn waits for the knee operation that will allow her to return to her own home. Robbie tells the story of his growing attachment to the crotchety old woman, with plenty of asides explaining his life, his passion for magic, and proper magician technique (but not how his tricks are done). Short chapters keep the story moving. Robbie has impressive determination, but it is Grandma Melvyn who is the star in this moving story. Gradually Robbie comes to learn her backstory and to care deeply about her. Middle-grade readers will admire her, too.
Horn Book
Robbie Darko is a fifth-grade magician whose tricks often go awry. When grumpy Grandma Melvyn moves into his family's chaotic household, Robbie discovers she's the perfect mentor to help him with his talent show act. But he ends up learning more than a few magic tricks. Despite some annoying characters, this story manages to be both funny and touching.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
Publishers Weekly
Fifth-grader Robbie Darko has been obsessed with becoming a magician for years, but the illusions he performs tend to end in disaster. Robbie is less than excited when his grandmother moves in with his family temporarily, but could Grandma Melvyn-with her bedazzled sweatshirts, steady stream of insults, and Wheel of Fortune obsession-actually be a master of misdirection herself? The testy intergenerational relationship between Robbie and his grandmother forms the heart of the story; the family-s financial troubles, Robbie-s father-s frequent absences, and Robbie-s friendships hover at the periphery. Humor and poignancy,
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 4&11;6&12; Fifth grade has been tough for Robbie Darko, an aspiring illusionist who can't perform even the simplest trick without accidentally setting things on fire. His dad constantly travels for work, his mom tries to help make ends meet with a demanding new job, his teachers are fed up with his havoc-wreaking magic tricks, and his little brother is a huge pain. To make matters worse, Robbie is asked to give up his bedroom to eccentric and unrelentingly cantankerous Grandma Melvyn (actually, his great-great-aunt). Robbie eventually learns that Grandma Melvyn was once a celebrated magician. With the help of his affable friend Cat, he slowly earns Grandma's approval and, ultimately, her trust and affection. She not only coaches Robbie in showmanship and sleight of hand, but she also guides him down the path to self-confidence and self-discipline. Robbie's maturation is ultimately tested when Grandma Melvyn makes a final trip to the hospital. Beaty develops well-rounded main and supporting characters with genuine flaws and emotions, skillfully building their relationships. Though the protagonist's flashback narration occasionally meanders, it has an authentic middle-grade voice that will have readers laughing out loud. The moments where Robbie takes responsibility for his mistakes and shows vulnerability will serve as positive examples for young audiences. Satisfying and enjoyable, Dorko will engage reluctant and voracious readers alike.&12; Elly Schook, Jamieson Elementary School, Chicago
Word Count: 35,681
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 158760 / grade: Middle Grades
Guided Reading Level: P

Robbie Darko is a magician. An old-school, pull-a-rabbit-out-of-your-hat-style magician. Robbie loves magic and he's good at it--sort of. Despite his best efforts, passion, and practice, something always goes wrong with his tricks, landing Robbie in trouble. Enter crotchety Grandma Melvyn, who calls everyone "Trixie" and complains about everything. When Grandma Melvyn moves in and takes over his room, Robbie discovers that she was once an internationally renowned magician and learns about the heartache that turned her into a bitter woman. Against all odds, Robbie and Grandma Melvyn form an uneasy alliance to show the world--or at least the kids of Hobson Elementary School--that he is a true magician. Shortly after a successful talent show, Grandma Melvyn performs a final disappearing act, and Robbie learns a little about the true meaning of magic. Written with pitch-perfect middle-grade humor and unforgettable characters, this gem of a novel will stay with readers long after Dorko the Magnificent has taken his final bow. Praise for Dorko the Magnificent "A young would-be magician gets lessons in both stagecraft and life from a crusty elder... the supporting characters steal the show." -- Kirkus Reviews "Short chapters keep the story moving. Robbie has impressive determination, but it is Grandma Melvyn who is the star in this moving story." -- Booklist "Satisfying and enjoyable, Dorko will engage reluctant and voracious readers alike." -- School Library Journal " A thoroughly likable middle-grade novel, offering a blend of poignancy and giggle-worthy humor, this book is a solid back-to-school read." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Literature circles would work well with this title that deals with alienation, friendship, family, reconciliation, and death." -- Library Media Connection

*Prices subject to change without notice and listed in US dollars.
Perma-Bound bindings are unconditionally guaranteed (excludes textbook rebinding).
Paperbacks are not guaranteed.
Please Note: All Digital Material Sales Final.