Synopses & Reviews
From #1 New York Times
bestselling author Gordon Korman comes a hilarious and heartfelt novel in which one middle-school troublemaker accidentally moves into the gifted and talented program—and changes everything. For fans of Louis Sachar and Jack Gantos, this funny and touching underdog story is a lovable and goofy adventure with robot fights, middle-school dances, live experiments, and statue-toppling pranks!
When Donovan Curtis pulls a major prank at his middle school, he thinks hes finally gone too far. But thanks to a mix-up by one of the administrators, instead of getting in trouble, Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special program for gifted and talented students.
Although it wasnt exactly what Donovan had intended, the ASD couldnt be a more perfectly unexpected hideout for someone like him. But as the students and teachers of ASD grow to realize that Donovan may not be good at math or science (or just about anything), he shows that his gifts may be exactly what the ASD students never knew they needed.
"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.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for POP: “A brisk, heartfelt and timely novel.” New York Times Book Review
Praise for POP: “Korman goes straight to the heart.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Praise for POP: “Thought-provoking.” Publishers Weekly
“Touching, without being overly sentimental, Ungifted is a gem for readers looking for a story where the underdog comes out on top.” Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“From its lovable-robot jacket art to its satisfying conclusion, this will please Kormans fans and win him new ones.” ALA Booklist
“Funny and insightful.” Publishers Weekly
“Donovan has a goofy kindness that charms characters and readers alike … The message is tolerance, and Korman expertly and humorously delivers it in an unpretentious and universally appealing tale.” School Library Journal
The word gifted
has never been applied to a kid like Donovan Curtis. It's usually more like Don't try this at home
. So when the troublemaker pulls a major prank at his middle school, he thinks he's finally gone too far. But thanks to a mix-up by one of the administrators, instead of getting in trouble, Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction (ASD), a special program for gifted and talented students.
It wasn't exactly what Donovan had intended, but there couldn't be a more perfect hideout for someone like him. That is, if he can manage to fool people whose IQs are above genius level. And that becomes harder and harder as the students and teachers of ASD grow to realize that Donovan may not be good at math or science (or just about anything). But after an ongoing experiment with a live human (sister), an unforgettably dramatic middle-school dance, and the most astonishing come-from-behind robot victory ever, Donovan shows that his gifts might be exactly what the ASD students never knew they needed.
About the Author
Gordon Korman has written more than fifty middle-grade and teen novels. Favorites include the #1 New York Times bestseller The 39 Clues: One False Note, Son of the Mob, and Schooled. Though he didn't play football in high school, Gordon's been a lifelong fan and season ticket holder. He says, "I've always been fascinated by the 'culture of collision' in football, and wanted to explore it—not just from the highlight films, but from its darker side as well." Gordon lives with his family on Long Island, New York.