The Resource Ungifted, Gordon Korman

Ungifted, Gordon Korman

Label
Ungifted
Title
Ungifted
Statement of responsibility
Gordon Korman
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Due to an administrative mix-up, troublemaker Donovan Curtis is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special school for gifted and talented students, after pulling a major prank at middle school
Storyline
Tone
Character
Award
  • Black-Eyed Susan Book Award (Maryland), Grades 4-6, 2014.
  • Colorado Children's Book Award, Junior Book, 2015.
  • Red Cedar Book Awards (British Columbia), Fiction category, 2014.
  • OLA Best Bets, 2012.
Review
  • Grades 5-8 Korman’s novel follows the strange journey of Donovan Curtis, a prankster whose latest escapade does unintended but colossal damage to the Hardcastle Middle School gym and lands him in the beleaguered school superintendent’s office. There he is miraculously misassigned to the district’s gifted school, where this average student is determined to stay, hiding out from the administration and the retribution he fears. Meanwhile, Donovan makes a place for himself on the school’s robotics team and begins to see his gifted classmates in a new light. Similar to the approach used in Schooled (2007), here Korman tells the story vividly through a rotating series of first-person narrators, including Donovan, his classmates, his teachers, his sister, and the superintendent. The narrator’s name and IQ appears below each chapter’s title. While some stereotypes are upended and there are plenty of issues to ponder along the way, many readers will simply enjoy following Donovan’s story as it unfolds. From its lovable-robot jacket art to its satisfying conclusion, this will please Korman’s fans and win him new ones. -- Phelan, Carolyn (Reviewed 07-01-2012) (Booklist, vol 108, number 21, p66)
  • 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 Titanic as 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 --Jane Barrer (Reviewed October 1, 2012) (School Library Journal, vol 58, issue 10, p140)
  • 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.) --Staff (Reviewed August 13, 2012) (Publishers Weekly, vol 259, issue 33, p)
  • The last thing troublemaker and mediocre student Donovan Curtis ever expected was a transfer from Hardcastle Middle School to the prestigious Academy for Scholastic Distinction. When he whacks a statue of Atlas on the butt, and Atlas' globe falls off his shoulders, rolls down the hill, and crashes through the glass doors of the gym, Donovan expects to be in big-time trouble. Instead, he receives a letter informing him that he's been selected to attend ASD. He does attend but soon feels like "some exotic space alien who crash-landed in the gifted program." Donovan's journey through his strange new world is told through multiple points of view, allowing his teachers and gifted classmates to offer thoughts on this clearly ungifted boy in their midst. When the robotics class creates a robot named Tin Man, though, it's Donovan's skill with the joystick, developed by hours of playing video games, that gives the team hope of winning the upcoming competition. And as he and his new friends try to find some common ground, Donovan becomes the heart and soul of the school, if not the brains. Frequent allusions to The Wizard of Oz--with Tin Man the robot, Oz the teacher and themes of brains, heart and courage--add to the charm of this tale of a boy finding his home. (Fiction. 10-14)(Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2012)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10141864
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Korman, Gordon
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
  • Ages 8-12
  • 730L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
MG
LC call number
PZ7.K8369
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 5
  • 8
Reading level
5.2
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Conduct of life
  • Gifted children
  • Middle schools
  • Robotics
  • Robots
  • Schools
Target audience
adolescent
Label
Ungifted, Gordon Korman
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
20 cm
Edition
First paperback edition.
Extent
280 pages
Isbn
9780545631341
Lccn
2012008408
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Label
Ungifted, Gordon Korman
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
20 cm
Edition
First paperback edition.
Extent
280 pages
Isbn
9780545631341
Lccn
2012008408
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n

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