Ungifted

FeaturedHot
 
4.5 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
5104 0
Ungifted
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
August 21, 2012
ISBN
9780061742668
Buy This Book
      
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.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

A fun middle grade read
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Ungifted is a well-written middle grade novel. It is a fun, light story that is perfect for young readers and easy enough for reluctant readers. The plot progresses steadily and has some very light hearted moments. I enjoyed watching Donovan as realized that the gifted kids were fun and interesting and that they were his true friends. Some of his actions left Donnie a little unlikeable, but he did manage to grow by the end of the novel.

The other characters are cute, if a little stereotypical. I enjoyed Noah the most and was amused by his constant yearning to be expelled from the Academy. Chloe was also a cute character, but I felt the romantic element a little unnecessary and distracting.

I wasn't a big fan of the alternating narrative. Perhaps if it had been less random and had a little more development among fewer characters, I would have enjoyed it more. I also noticed an odd undercurrent of public school bashing. Admittedly, as a Canadian, I am not fluent in the issues plaguing the American school system, however, as a teacher, I felt a little insulted. We do the best we can with what we are given and I felt that the novel wasn't giving that process credit.

I can see this book appealing to boys (as most of Gordon Korman's books do) and being an enjoyable read for those reluctant readers.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Korman is certainly gifted!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Donovan is one of those kids with no impulse control. Hitting the statue of Atlas with a branch wouldn't have been that bad of an idea... if the one bolt holding the world on Atlas' shoulders hadn't given way, sending the 400 pound globe careening right through the glass doors of the gym and into the middle of a basketball game. While the superintendent is there. Donovan is used to being in trouble, so cooperates when the superintendent writes down his name, and waits for the fateful call that gets him in major trouble. It never comes, and a series of mistakes lands Donovan instead at the Academy for Scholastic Distinction, an able and talented magnet school that is far nicer than the regular middle school he had been attending. Realizing that this is the best place to avoid detection, Donovan tries to keep up with the school work, but it's hard. Even his classmates know that he's not gifted in the traditional academic success, although he brings a new view point to their projects. He names the robot they are building for a competition, and has sophisticated joy stick skills the others lack. When the students need credits for Human Growth and Development or face summer school, Donovan talks his heavily pregnant sister into being their "hands on experience". He introduces Noah, the class genius who is not interested in anything, to YouTube, which finally engages him in his classes. The teachers compare notes, however, and are not fooled. Donovan has to take the online, secure test again, and knows that he can't pass it. When he gets unauthorized help from an unknown classmate, he does, and is able to stay at the academy and compete in the robotics competition. But Donovan still struggles with impulse control, and his antics cause just as much hilarity as problems for him.
Good Points
Middle school students are often just like Donovan; they are not bad kids, but they make poor decisions. Korman is great at portraying these students to excellent effect. Even though Donovan feels out of place socially and academically, his resilience and ingenuity are heartening as well as fun to watch. An abundance of laugh-out-loud lines and comical situations makes this book about fitting in and working hard one that students will enjoy tremendously.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 4 1

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Peppermint Post
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
'Twas the night before Christmas, when the North Pole's Peppermint...
Stolen from the Studio (Case Closed, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lauren Magaziner’s hilarious and high-stakes middle grade series gets a...
The Wizenard Series: Season One
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Reggie has never felt destined for greatness. He dreams about...
TURBO Racers: Escape Velocity
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Fast and the Furious meets Transformers in the second...
Bread Lab!
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
It’s a sleepy Saturday morning for most people, but not...
A Thousand No's
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
This empowering picture book teaches readers that even great ideas...
Ronan Boyle and the Swamp of Certain Death (Ronan Boyle, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The hilarious sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller,...
Sharko and Hippo
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
With tongue-twisty wordplay and escalating absurdity, this is a fall-down-funny...
The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A LOVE POEM FROM A FATHER TO HIS TWO SONS,...
The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kings become outcasts and lovers become foes in The Faithless...
Zora's Zucchini
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first zucchini of a summer garden is always exciting,...
Libby Loves Science
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Libby loves science! In this STEM-themed picture book, a companion...
The Hidden Rainbow
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
All the colors of the rainbow are hidden in the...
The Places We Sleep
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A family divided, a country going to war, and a...
Chasing Starlight
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Movies, mansions, and murder in the Golden Age of Hollywood!...
Crossing Lines
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Midwestern high school seniors and swim teammates Alli and Brandon...

Latest Member Reviews

The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow, #2)
 
5.0
"THE FAITHLESS HAWK is one of my favorite reads of 2020. I laughed, I sighed, I cried, and this book..."
Dating Makes Perfect
 
5.0
"DATING MAKES PERFECT is a beautifully written YA contemporary romance that had me grinning from ear-to-ear. Winnie has two older..."
Chasing Starlight
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: We think of the glitz, glamorous mega-stars, and classic movies when we think of the Golden Age..."
The Night Country (The Hazel Wood #2)
 
4.0
"Alice Proserpine thought she was mostly back to “normal” life after breaking from her story in the Hinterland, but when..."
Everything I Thought I Knew
 
4.3
"What worked: Intriguing plot of Chloe, a seventeen-year-old super-achiever, who ends up collapsing during her senior year in high school..."
The Adventurers Guild: Night of Dangers
 
5.0
"THE ADVENTURERS GUILD: NIGHT OF DANGERS by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos is the culmination of a Middle Grade..."
The Pros of Cons
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: I genuinely can't imagine four different events happening simultaneously in the same complex, but it happens..."
BRB I'm Going to Disneyland
 
4.0
"'BRB: I'm Going to Disneyland' by Courtney Carbone is a cute, quick read. As a novel written in texts, emails,..."
He Must Like You
 
5.0
"'He Must Like You' by Danielle Younge-Ullman is an intensely provocative look at the various ways in which consent, upset,..."
How the Stars Came to Be
 
5.0
"Reviewed for YA Books Central Beautiful in every aspect. The book: This is a story about how the..."
Unscripted
 
5.0
"A book so real it can be u comfortable at times. The story: Zelda doesn’t have a..."
The Dark Tide
 
5.0
"THE DARK TIDE is an enthralling and atmospheric YA fantasy read. We follow Lina, a townsperson, and Eva, the witch..."
Where Dreams Descend
 
4.0
"What worked: Beautifully written tale where a girl performer breaks away from her cage and enters a competition of magicians..."
The Black Kids
 
5.0
"THE BLACK KIDS is a really poignant read that ties history to the present. Ashley is a senior in high..."
What Goes Up
 
3.3
"'What Goes Up' by Christine Heppermann is a quick read, as it is a novel-in-verse, a format that can be..."
They Wish They Were Us
 
4.3
"THEY WISH THEY WERE US is an engaging YA thriller reminiscent of GOSSIP GIRLS. The book follows Jill, who had..."
Roaring
 
3.0
"ROARING takes place in the 1920s- with a twist. Monsters, sirens, minotaurs, basilisks, and more, exist, and they are woven..."
More Than Just a Pretty Face
 
5.0
"MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE is a fantastic YA contemporary romance that follows Danyal during his senior year of..."
You Say It First
 
3.3
"'You Say It First' is easily one of those books you will either love or hate. My feelings fell somewhere..."
Court of Lions (Mirage, #2)
 
5.0
"COURT OF LIONS finishes the MIRAGE duology with aplomb. This YA fantasy series takes us to another planet and the..."