King of King Court

By: Travis Dandro

A dynamic and devastating memoir about the cycle of trauma caused by addiction within one family

From a child’s-eye view, Travis Dandro recounts growing up with a drug-addicted birth father, alcoholic step-dad, and overwhelmed mother. As a kid, Dandro would temper the everyday tension with flights of fancy, finding refuge in toys and animals and insects rather than in the unpredictable adults around him. He perceptively details the effects of poverty and addiction on a family while maintaining a child’s innocence for as long as he can. 

King of King Court spans from Travis’s early childhood through his teen years, focusing not only on the obviously abusive actions but also on the daily slights and snubs that further strain relations between him and his parents. Alongside his birth father committing crimes and shooting up, King of King Court lingers on scenes of him criticizing Travis and his siblings. Dandro gives equal heft to these anecdotes, emphasizing how damaging even relatively slight traumas can be to a child’s worldview. 

As Travis matures into young adulthood and begins to understand the forces shaping his father’s toxic behaviors, the story becomes even more nuanced. Travis is empathetic to his father’s own tragic history but unable to escape the cycle of misconduct and reprisals. King of King Court is a revelatory autobiography that examines trauma, addiction, and familial relations in a unique and sensitive way.



Black-and-white illustrations.

ISBN: 9781770463912

JLG Release: Oct 2019


Sensitive Areas: Criminal culture, Drugs, Mild sexual themes, Negative attitudes toward differing mental abilities, Strong language, Suicide, Violence, Nudity, Alcoholism
Topics: Memoirs , Drug abuse , Family violence , Domestic abuse , Opioid addiction , Fathers and sons , Families , Comics and graphic novels

$18.25  Member Price


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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly*, Booklist, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

It’s a rare memoir that immediately engages and builds a story of family dysfunction that is as startling and heartbreaking as it is imaginative. It spans the youth of six-year-old Travis, an inquisitive, dreamy child who spends his time drawing and playing with his siblings while shuttled between homes and forced to tip-toe around a drunken step It’s a rare memoir that immediately engages and builds a story of family dysfunction that is as startling and heartbreaking as it is imaginative. It spans the youth of six-year-old Travis, an inquisitive, dreamy child who spends his time drawing and playing with his siblings while shuttled between homes and forced to tip-toe around a drunken stepfather, a volatile biological father (Dave), and a codependent mother. As Dave slips further into the grips of heroin addiction, Dandro focuses on Travis’s relationships with relatives and schoolmates to show how he builds resilience while he is repeatedly uprooted from his homes. As Travis matures, so does his understanding of his father’s demons. What makes this compelling story doubly affecting are the subtle, authentic glimpses of reality as seen through a child’s point of view. Dandro captures Travis’s musings through clever renderings, such as Travis’s nightmare of being kidnapped by an enraged Dave, which melds into the real-life newsreel of the notorious Adam Walsh kidnapping in the 1980s. The less frightening but no less poignant detailing of the walls and fixtures of Travis’s grandparents’ houses convey the function and fluidity of memory. This painful but rewarding read about family dysfunction belongs in all libraries’ graphic novel collections.

Book Details

ISBN

9781770463912

First Release

October 2019

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

B

Trim Size

6" x 9"

Page Count

464

Accelerated Reader

Level 0; Points: 0;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level

Format

Print Book

Edition

Exclusive hardcover edition

Publisher

Drawn & Quarterly

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Criminal culture, Drugs, Mild sexual themes, Negative attitudes toward differing mental abilities, Strong language, Suicide, Violence, Nudity, Alcoholism

Topics

Memoirs, Drug abuse, Family violence, Domestic abuse, Opioid addiction, Fathers and sons, Families, Comics and graphic novels,

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Cover Art

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King of King Court

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