|Ungifted Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Korman, Gordon
ISBN: 0061742678 ISBN-13: 9780061742675
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: February 2014
Annotation: Due to an administrative mix-up, troublemaker Donovan Curtis is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special program for gifted and talented students, after pulling a major prank at middle school.
|Library of Congress Subjects: |
- Behavior; Fiction.
- Middle schools; Fiction.
- Schools; Fiction.
|BISAC Categories: |
- Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Friendship
- Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
|Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11|
|Book type: Juvenile Fiction|
|Physical Information: 7.50" H x 5.25" W x 0.75" (0.40 lbs) 280 pages|
|Scholastic Reading Counts Info|
|Quiz #: Q58481
Reading Level: 4.5 Interest Level: Grades 3-5 Point Value: 14.0
|Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring)
Donovan has a talent for troublemaking. Thanks to a clerical blip, one of his stunts lands him in a school for gifted kids instead of in hot water, and he must use his own dubious gifts to stay there. Korman's knack for wacky humor is full-swing, while alternating student and adult perspectives help control the pace and keep readers engaged from multiple angles.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2012 August #2)
Too much homogeneity is never a good thing. In this funny and insightful middle-grade novel from Korman (Pop), eighth-grader Donovan Curtis is a reckless boy with "poor impulse control," whose classmates have voted him "Most Likely to Wind Up in Jail." After Donovan's gift for chaos causes an especially costly accident at school, a paperwork mix-up sees him transferred to his town's Academy for Scholastic Distinction, instead of being expelled. Donovan is woefully out of place among the ASD's young geniuses and scholars, but his normality proves something his new classmates desperately need: as he grows academically, the gifted kids grow socially just from being around him. Donovan, his classmates, and his teachers take turns narrating, and while Korman uses basic archetypes to start (from Donovan's goofball friends at his old school to the awkward nerds at the ASD), he gradually humanizes each of them, revealing them as complex, changing, and surprising individuals. As Donovan's classmate Chloe puts it, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Especially if one of those parts is Donovan." Ages 10–up. Agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Sept.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2012 October)
Gr 5–8—Donovan Curtis is an impulse-driven prankster who, at the start of Ungifted, manages to alienate both the students and faculty of his middle school. First he mocks the basketball team over the school PA system with a derisive cheer and then he whacks the school's statue of Atlas with a stick, knocking the huge globe off and sending it rolling down the hill where it smashes into the gymnasium and stops the big game. When Donovan ends up on the carpet, the district superintendent accidentally adds his name to the roll of gifted students at the Academy for Scholastic Distinction. Although he flounders at his new school, Donovan ends up humanizing a program that focuses on academic achievement and ignores the social aspects of students' success. From his first day when he startles the robotics team by naming their robot, to his saving the class from summer school by drafting his pregnant sister as the answer to a missed credit in Human Development, Donovan finds that his gift lies in helping the smart kids by teaching them how to be "normal." Using an ancestor who survived the Titanicas inspiration, Donovan has a goofy kindness that charms characters and readers alike. Reminiscent of Stanley Yelnats and Joey Pigza, he careens through life much like the out-of-control globe from Atlas's statue. The story is told from the points of view of various characters (each chapter titled with an Un-word), and readers hear from teachers and administrators, students-both gifted and not-and family members. The message is tolerance, and Korman expertly and humorously delivers it in an unpretentious and universally appealing tale.—Jane Barrer, Steinway Intermediate School, New York City[Page 140]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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