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Korman, Gordon.


New York : Balzer + Bray, 2012

IL 5-8, RL 5.6

ISBN 006174266X

(3 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Booktalk #1

Donovan Curtis (IQ 112) is not gifted. Seventh grader Donovan Curtis is impulsive.  Act before thinking is his major character trait and that has made him the frequent focus of appointments with the principal and school meetings with his parents. In fact as the novel opens we find him in this same scenario, only this time it is the office of Dr. Schultz, (IQ 127), the Superintendent of the Hardcastle Independent School District, 47 buildings, 30,000 students.

Why you may ask? Well it has something to do with a bronze statue of Atlas, no longer holding the weight of the world, that rolled through the double glass doors of the Hardcastle Middle School gym during a major basketball game.

How this leads to Donovan being sent to the gifted Academy for Scholastic Distinction (ASD) is a plot very much in the style, and humor of author Gordon Korman.

Told in alternating chapters from the viewpoints (and IQs) of the major characters, this realistic fiction novel weaves in robots (you will love Tin Man), a pregnant sister, a somewhat bizarre dog, health education classes and a brother-in-law in Afghanistan.

What this novel also weaves in is a look at different perspectives of giftedness and the gifted child and what gifts even the “ungifted” might possess and be needed by the best and the brightest.  (Booktalk written by Kathleen Fencil, GSF Committee  Bedford Middle School)

Booktalk #2

Have you ever had one of those days at school that you know is going to result in a phone call home? You walk home as slowly as possible, and then try to be the one that gets the phone every time it rings. That is exactly how Donovan Curtis feels the night that he accidently destroys his middle school gym. He makes it through the night only to be called to the office the next day at school. Imagine his surprise when he finds out that he has been accepted into the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special program for gifted and talented students. Donovan is excited that he has found a way to escape his punishment, but how will he ever fit in with allthe kids at the Academy. Read Ungifted by Gordon Korman in order to find out if Donovan can fool everyone and find a place at his new school.  (South Carolina Children's Book Award nominee, 2015  Prepared by: Traci Nelson, Aiken Elementary School, )

Booktalk #3

Donovan is quite gifted when it comes to pulling a prank. After he pulls the prank of the century and destroys the school gym, he is caught by the Superintendent.  Instead of being punished, he ends up by mistake in the Academy of Scholastic Distinction. Now Donovan is really out of his league.   These kids are true geniuses.  Donovan may not be a genius, but he brings the robotic team together and helps instill a sense of fun in their serious project. He’s the only one who can use a joystick! When the principal realizes that the robotic team has not taken the Human Growth and Development course, Donovan solves the problem.  Instead of going to summer school, the class focuses on his sister Katie who is seven months pregnant.  They get so involved they become her birth coaches. The characters help tell the story.  We learn that it may be difficult to be gifted:    Chloe world like to be more “normal. Noah wants to “flunk: out, but the teachers won’t allow it.  (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award, 2015)

SUBJECTS:    Behavior -- Fiction.

Middle schools -- Fiction.

                        Schools -- Fiction.

                        Gifted children -- Fiction.

                        Robots -- Fiction.

                        Robotics -- Fiction.

                        Humorous stories.

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