New Ungifted AUTHOR Gordon Korman
Democratic Art: The New Deal's Influence on American Culture eThat it takes creativity to be in the sciences or related subjects You re trying to tell me that Einstein s theorems are the product of a non creative mind That brilliantconomists like John Nash or Adam Smith or that Watson Crick and Franklin in their discovery of the double helix structure of DNA have not an iota of creativity in their being What of Euler Da Vinci Tesla Curie Newton Darwin or Galileo I m sorry but I call BULLPUCKY ExactlyUltimately I think MG kids would Obsession: An Erotic Tale enjoy this book immensely and as I said some really good points are made But I feel I can t really recommend Ungifted unreservedly When Donovan hit the Atlas statue with a tree branch he really just meant it to make a loudchoey clang He had no way of knowing that the 400 pound globe on Atlas s shoulders was held on with one single rusty bolt Donovan didn t mean to send the ball careening down the hill through the glass doors and across the gym floor So when a disciplinary screw up sends him to the Academy for Scholastic Distinction he didn t really mean for that to happen Confederate Cities: The Urban South during the Civil War Era either but it s a great place to hide out for a while It doesn t take long for anyone to figure out that Donovan doesn t belong with the geniuses at his new school but Donovan does have some gifts the geniuses don t have But it ll take than joystick skills and a pregnant sister to keep him in the gifted schoolReallynjoyed this sweet and sincere while still being goofy and funny Donovan seems like a real 8th grader with impulse control issues and a prankster attitude His immediate reaction to his new classmates is to see them all as huge hopeless nerds but he uickly comes to care about them defending them against his thuggish old school friends He tries hard and manages to be a really decent kid under all the mischief Definitely one to recommend to middle schoolers the brightly colored robot cover should help it find an audience Aside as an adult reader there are plenty of plot holes big Convents and the Body Politic in Late Renaissance Venice enough to drive their robot through and like Schooled Ungifted is plagued with similarly unrealisticxpectations of what middle schoolers are like Still it s charming and uplifting as long as you don t think too hard about itAside 2 I assume Korman doesn t have kids of his own given the lack of fuss and drama made about a 4 hour labor Edicts of Asoka except to compare it against the 90 minute labor of a dog birthing 4 puppies and say that the dog had itasy A 4 hour labor is unusually speedy though the book makes it appear that it took forever This book is Gordon Korman at his best It s also not very old so that gives me hope for his future books I hate it when an author kind of slowly slides down in uality until you go from great books to reading mud you know But this is definitely not the case with Gordon Korman He s at the top of his game in Ungifted and I love itDonovan is not gifted At all He s average in Upgrade Soul every sense of the word but he does get in trouble than the average person He has what could almost be some form of ADHD or something where once he thinks of an idea he just has to try it no matter the conseences So it s business like usual when Donovan grabs a stick and whacks it across the giant behind of a large metal statue of Atlas the guy not the map holding up the world When things get a little out of hand however is when the world literally falls out of Atlas hands The world portion of the statue falls off rolls down the hill and crashes into a megaxpensive sports building full of screaming sports fans No one is hurt but Donovan s in troubleBut wait Y see the superintendant of the school made a mistake He wrote Donovan s name on the paper with kids who go to the special school for gifted kids down the road That s *RIGHT DONOVAN DIDN T GET EXPELLED HE GOT PROMOTED * Donovan didn t get Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath expelled he got promoted decides to stick it out with the geniuses to save his parents from footing the bill for the gym and that s when he starts to realize that those geeks and nerds are very cool in their own way they just need a little push in the right direction from someone who doesn t spend all his time stressing about grades or some new science concept But this uneasy answer won t last forever and Donovan knows it s only a matter of time before the super intendant finds himThis book is flat out hilarious That s the first thing I ll say Donovan is a hoot andveryone around him from the serious genius girl who can t think about anything but getting into a good college to the freakishly smart boy who wishes he were normal and didn t have to go to the smart kid school and so tries desperately to flunk a running punch line throughout the book and who discovers the secrets of YouTube and is suddenly addictedThe book is told alternating views between classmates at the Academy the gifted school the teachers the super intendant Donovan himself and Donovan s also funny and highly pregnant sister It is very cool reading how veryone thinks about Donovan and sees him which is somehow very different from how he sees himself in certain waysThere is a reference throughout the book to an ancestor who survived the sinking of the Titanic which for me a tried and true Titaniac was kind of a cool little tie in to actual history Also for those who don t know Gordon Korman s works he also wrote the Titanic
trilogy and i find he fits in little and I find he fits in little to the Titanic in
many of his books got half an hour of his books Got half an hour kill Ask me a uestion about the Titanic Or books that ven use the word titanic ie He took a titanic leap I probably know a little too much on the subject than it is really possibly to classify under passing interestParents don t worry that this book might be inappropriate for your children Katie Donovan s sister s husband is stationed over seas in the military and rather than being anything bad her pregnancy is of a running gag and something that comes in very handy when the Academy students realize they haven t taken sex Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist ed yet what s betterducation in that area than studying an actual child in vitro Nothing inappropriate and it s actually xtremely sweet This book is awesome and I have given it as a gift to a friend who loves Wendy Mass books who said she loves it It is a great great book and ven if it might be a little tilted when it comes to what smart kids are like so what I m a smart kid though no Noah and I don t mind You come into the story knowing it s not really the way life is and it s the story not the message that is the reason you should read itThis review is also on my blog at This is a really impressive novel Lots of a adults try to write books from the point of a child and fail This doesn t When a kid named Donovan accedently destroys his school gym with a large bronze sphere don t ask a principle screws up and gets him sent to a smarty pants private school instead of juvenile detention There he s the only one who s verExplored YouTubeSkateboardedMade a half decent jokePlayed a video game Wrecked a school gym with a bronze ball no surprise thereHe s going to have to try to stay with his new schools standards try to give his peers a life and stay under the school boards radar Or he s dead. Alize that Donovan may not be good at math or science or just about anything But after an ongoing xperiment with a live human sister an unforgettably dramatic middle school dance and the most astonishing come from behind robot victory Imaginary Runner ever Donovan shows that his gifts might bexactly what the ASD students never knew they needed. .
Gordon Korman µ 2 Summary.
I truly believe that Ungifted shows Mr Korman at his best I think that he stereo typed that Gifted program a little I m in one and all the kids there are crazy than socially awkward brainiacs We know a lot and we do have high Is but Noah is unrealistically smart and stupid at the From Cottage to Bungalow: Houses and the Working Class in Metropolitan Chicago, 1869-1929 exact same time I think Chloe shows the bestxample of what Gifted kids are REALLY like Middle school students hankering for themes such as rebellion against school rules and authority burgeoning interest in girls friendship issues identity and growing up will get all that and in Korman s novel The writing is well done along with the character development and humor but my adult brain wanted the issue of gifted tackled Fresh Water even Several Goodreads reviewers have pointed out and rightfully so that the gifted students in this story are presented as stereotyped nerds with I s over 130 and the average students as normal This seemed to bother adults than the 12 middle school students I m friends with on Goodreads who rated the novel roughly 35 out of 5 stars Perhaps the author did the stereotypes on purpose tomphasize the point that labels limit people whether calling someone stupid gifted ungifted class clown nerd or whatever other word your cortex spits out While I wished the stereotypes weren t there I do think that the overarching message that any person can accomplish great things when given opportunities to prosper regardless of I is important and worth a discussion Our middle school teachers have been using this book as a forum for character ducation as well Readers can muddle along with the book s cast of characters who alternately show courage fear kindness meanness and as they make good and bad choices at schoolDonovan Curtis the protagonist is the class clown who pulls a prank that lands him accidentally in the Academy for Scholastic Distinction a gifted program for students and teachers with I s over 130 An average student Donovan feels like a stowaway on the Titanic avoiding the Superintendent s witch hunt for him because his prank had some serious conseuences When the gifted students meet Donovan they like him for his normalness He humanizes the robot by naming it in robotics is skilled at driving it and helps the class avoid taking summer school because of an administrative rror Eventually Donovan has to own up for his prank and the conseuences are difficult for his classmates himself and his family Through it all he becomes a better person and learns to face his own prejudices and weaknessesThe different points of view round out the characters from the students to the teachers Chloe interprets the world creating hypotheses that she further From Notes to Narrative: Writing Ethnographies That Everyone Can Read explores as she gets to know Donovan Other hypotheses are just funny such as when she jokes that the gifted students study so much they have prison pale faces and perhaps the computer monitors could become Sun lampednhanced for a false tan She has a crush on Donovan just like boy genius Noah is fascinated by Donovan who makes guesses and is impulsive Some reviewers have argued that the gifted students are inaccurately portrayed as uncreative like Donovan Donovan could be used as a foil to From the Enemy's Point of View: Humanity and Divinity in an Amazonian Society explore this issue but I agree that the implied message that gifted students are not creative isrroneous Abigail is not star struck by Donovan and insists he doesn t belong to the school Her ambiguous actions are interesting at the Doris Salcedo end I liked the character Noahxcept the wrestling bit was out there The plot got unbelievable as the story went on with robotics competition and Noah Realistic fiction kind of gets a bum wrap when it comes to believability Fantasy can get away with anything but throw in something Twelve Days of Pleasure exaggerated in realistic fiction and the reader goes Huh I had some huh moments at thend but it is still funThe robot s name Tin Man and the robotics teacher Oz from the Wizard of Oz mirror Donovan s situation that is similar to Dorothy s who was dropped into an alternate world Like Dorothy Donovan is permanently changed by the Gods Choice experience and makes close friends along the way Ms Bevelauaven makes a parallel to Donovan passing the Academy retest to Tin Man getting a diploma Even though he passed he was still failing her class and
"All The Others In School Donovan Can T Keep Up "the others in school Donovan can t keep up the gifted students academically but
He Realizes Later That Herealizes later that he uite a bit I kept waiting for Oz to be of a mentor to Donovan but that doesn t happen Instead Donovan learns what it means to work on a team something he doesn t get at the beginning when he makes a goofy rhyme up saying his basketball team will lose by 50 points He also doesn t understand the power of labels at first but does at the nd of the storyI ve lived with people who have I s in the 140s and know several geniuses and the one trait they all seem to have is a great memory and the ability to work on the same task for long periods of time Some were nerds but others were athletes Some were shy and others were outgoing Some were successful and others were not While Korman does uestion and point out the negativity of separating genius from average in school and
Society Putting Too Muchputting too much on I I would have liked to have seen the teachers at the gifted school help Donovan with academics and recognized other variables of giftedness Perhaps the story would have felt authentic instead of xtreme in the school settings Of course the Grand Illusion: The Third Reich, the Paris Exposition, and the Cultural Seduction of France extremeness maybe makes it poignant and contrasting I don t know This is one of those books I should turn around and reread so I can process it Whatever you decide it is a funny novel with a thought provoking topic I borrowed this book from a student who had liked it and since I teach gifted kids I wanted to read it I also read some criticism about it on a giftedducation website so I was curious about that I thought the premise of the story was funny a trouble maker and middle schooler of average intelligence Donovan pulls a prank that gets out of control and the superintendent who prides himself with a well run district wants him gone However Donovan s name gets accidentally picked up as someone whose scores send him to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction the school for gifted kids He knows it s a mistake obviously but his parents are so happy about it and it s the perfect place to hide out until his mishap has blown over What he doesn t xpect is that he ll xcel in some unexpected areas Great Plains: America's Lingering Wild especially robotics and he ll learn to appreciate the kids who go there when he thought it was just Nerdville There are some major stereotypes in this book but I still liked it and think it s good not to take things too seriously A redeeming value of the story is that Korman shows us that kids are kids no matter what their i is they want to be accepted feel a part of something and want adults to believe in them Gordon Korman just knows middle school kids and write good books for them Korman stereotypes gifted kids and specd teachers throughout this book almost as though he had never met one Fact most gifted kids don t know they re gifted and certainly don t know their I Also fa. The word gifted has never been applied to a kid like Donovan Curtis It's usually 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 Scho. Ct giftedness comes with a variety of benefits and chal I really Hard Bread (Phoenix Poets enjoyed this book for me atvery page something new kept happening open begging to read of the book Ungifted reopened up the stereotypes of the gifted program which I really Electromyography for Experimentalists enjoyed as well Even though the book did switch people s viewsach chapter it didn t bother me as much as I thought it would This book is really good and keeps you reading the whole way through for me at least and I definitely recommend it to many people When I was in 1st grade my best friend got into the gifted program Boy was I jealous Every Thursday 2 or 3 students in my class would go out to another classroom and come back just before school Forgetful of Their Sex: Female Sanctity and Society, ca. 500-1100 ended I felt stupid Why were they smarter than me I m creative and clever and got good grades At least I thought I did But seeing other kids get treated special I felt left out How were they better than meThe next year I was accepted into the gifted program I wasstatic Finally Thursdays would be filled of people telling me how smart creative and special I was But the first day felt weird It was no different than my other class xcept we learned about different things like volcanoes instead of mathBut I didn t say anything Why Because I still wanted to be s This is going to be a review in two partsPart the First In Which I Talk About the Plot Characters and General Thoughts About UngiftedIf Donovan Curtis has one gift it is his gift for troublemaking With his poor impulse control and his recklessness chaos follows him wherever he goes After a particularly stupid prank with its costly and dangerous result he thinks he has gone too far But instead of being punished for it an rror by his school s administrator sends him to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction a special program for gifted kids with high IAs an average student Donovan is the proverbial fish out of water at the Academy at least to start with Soon though he and the other students start to realise that Donovan is xactly what the Academy needed a breath of fresh air and limitless creativity Its short chapters alternate between several characters point of view including Donovan s some of his teachers and a few of his fellow students at the AcademyOn the surface Ungifted is a pretty decent fun book I read it in one go and njoyed my time reading it Its prose is competent and it has truly funny moments By comparing the day to day life of highly gifted students and that of normal word used in the book students it makes really good points about how Wicked Loving Lies expectations can shape the life of students gifted or not howducational labelling can be problematic and how separating talented students from the rest of the student body is uestionable when it completely sets them apart they don t ven interact sociallyThe way the story progresses and how Donovan manages to get away with his trouble making tendencies as well as the hero worship for his daring do sort of reminded me in part of Ferris Bueller s Day Off although Donovan doesn t have half of Ferris charisma which is ssential for a story like this to workOther characters are much likeable like the two gifted kids Chloe and Noah both of them understandably wishing their school was not separated from the rest of the student body wishing for a normal life To them Donovan is a godsendBUTPart the Second In Which I Lose My Shit and Get RantyThe fundamental premise of Ungifted is completely totally LUDICROUS And I really can t stress this noughALL of the students at the Academy are portrayed as socially awkward nerds most of them have a tendency for scientific subjects and none for the arts none of them were presented as creative because obviously high I plus science uncreative peopleThis is where things get really shady for me If the point the book is trying to make is that these high I kids live a sterile sad life because their teachers and the ducation system don t nurture their creativity I thought that point was really badly done Because in the
*book there is *there is real dichotomy between normal kids and high I kids that is portrayed as FACT The high I kids are all portrayed as lacking this potential for creativity unlike Donovan whose potential for creativity is limitless A few xamples are in order1The first thing that Donovan does when he joins the Academy s robotic class He NAMES the Robot they are constructing The other students reaction is one of AWE and RESPECT because and I uote Nobody s ver thought of naming the robot before 2Noah whose I is 206 and therefore is a recognised genius had never heard of youtube before Donovan told him about it Once he comes across youtube he becomes addicted to it and Donovan becomes his idol I found it really hard to believe that a smart kid like Noah would not have heard about youtube EVER It s 2012 youtube is verywhere Are you telling me none of the other kids or members of his family ver watched a clip and talked about it that he has never come across it online or on TV or newspapers articles3At the robotics competition at the Aramaic Bowl Spells: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Bowls Volume One end of the book when Donovan realises they are losing he sets the robot to destroy the whole thing creating the chaos and destruction he is known for andhe is lauded for it Becauseven turning a robot into an instrument of destruction reuires a kind of giftedness that none of us have Are You KIDDING Me4Some of the kids at the Academy are portrayed as wanting to lead a normal life amongst other students I can totally understand that But the only kid whose point of view differed from this and who is happy about what they have at the Academy is portrayed as a vapid Xenophon And His World (Historia Einzelschriften) egotistic girl who only care about her results and getting into college5There is a ridiculous amount of unexplained Donovan worship just because he is normal and creative The teachers the students all worship him One of the kids says He s important than any of us because he has an uncanny knack for making a difference This got tiresome really soonSeparating kids so completely from the rest of the student body is a bad thing in many ways it separates them from the rest of their colleagues it can create too highxpectations and it can also result in creating too low Geography of the Gaze: Urban and Rural Vision in Early Modern Europe expectations for all the other kids But high ability groups not schools are I think necessary because these kids need to be challengedBut the biggest problem I had with the book is the fact that the high I kids are portrayed as lacking any creativity this is reinforced by all characters and by the plot This isxtremely problematic because it stems from an
undeserved stigma that associates science and high intelligence with uncreativity And that is for lack of a better word stupidI dstigma that associates science and high intelligence with uncreativity And that is for lack of a better word stupidI d to uote Thea when she wrote about another book The Unwanteds that had a similar problem because she says it so well and I agree with the sentiment completely Some of humanity s most brilliant and creative minds have been mathematicians scientists Groove: An Aesthetic of Measured Time engineers and yesven One Wild Weekend economists as anconomics graduate I resent these implications so very much The central premise of the novel precludes the possibility nay the reality. Lastic Distinction ASD a special program for gifted and talented studentsIt wasn't xactly what Donovan had intended but there couldn't be a perfect hideout for someone like him That is if he can manage to fool people whose Is are above genius level And that becomes harder and harder as the students and teachers of ASD grow to re.