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Ungifted

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,755 Ratings  ·  1,458 Reviews
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 speci ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Balzer + Bray (first published January 1st 2012)
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Bri He has tons of friends. At Hardcastle its the two Daniels. At the Academy they were Chloe, Abigail (sometimes), Noah, and a lot of other students that…moreHe has tons of friends. At Hardcastle its the two Daniels. At the Academy they were Chloe, Abigail (sometimes), Noah, and a lot of other students that weren't as important.(less)
Ungifted by Gordon KormanThe Giver by Lois LowryThe Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom AnglebergerWonkenstein by Obert SkyeThe Secret of the Fortune Wookiee by Tom Angleberger
Top 50 10-12 year old
1st out of 65 books — 42 voters
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The Best of Gordon Korman
7th out of 45 books — 27 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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TheBookSmugglers
Aug 15, 2012 TheBookSmugglers rated it it was ok
Shelves: mg
This is going to be a review in two parts.

Part the First: In Which I Talk About the Plot, Characters and General Thoughts About Ungifted

If 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 error by his school’s administrator sends him to the Academy of Sc
...more
mya x
Oct 16, 2014 mya x rated it liked it
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 more crazy than socially awkward brainiacs. We know a lot and we do have high IQs, but Noah is unrealistically smart and stupid at the exact same time. I think Chloe shows the best example of what Gifted kids are REALLY like.
Tari
Jan 01, 2013 Tari rated it did not like it
Korman stereotypes gifted kids and spec ed 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 IQ. Also fact: giftedness comes with a variety of benefits and challenges, and not all of them include tunnel vision, awkwardness, or the tendency to be sanctimoniously judgmental. Spec Ed teachers (and yes, gifted ed is Special Education)do not sit around wondering how a student got into the gifted sch ...more
Barb Middleton
Aug 23, 2013 Barb Middleton rated it liked it
Shelves: realistic
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 more 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 even more. Several Goodreads reviewers have pointed out, and rightfully so, that the gifted students in this story are presented as stereotyped nerds wit ...more
Brandy
When Donovan hit the Atlas statue with a tree branch, he really just meant it to make a loud, echoey 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, either--but it's a great place to hide ou ...more
Jaina
Jan 24, 2014 Jaina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blogged
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 quality 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 it!

Donovan is not gifted. At all. He's average in every sense of the word - but he does get in trouble more than the average person. He has what could almost be some
...more
Aidan
Nov 07, 2014 Aidan rated it it was amazing
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 ever:

Explored YouTube

Skateboarded

Made a half-decent joke

Played a video game

Wrecked a school gym with a bronze ball (no surprise there)

He's goi
...more
Holly


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 gifted education 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
...more
Richie Partington
Jun 08, 2012 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
Richie's Picks: UNGIFTED by Gordon Korman, Balzer+ Bray, September 2012, 288p., ISBN: 978-0-06-174266-8

"You may ask yourself, 'Well, how did I get here?'"
-- Talking Heads, "Once in a Lifetime"

Donovan Curtis, IQ: 112:

"Nussbaum noticed my zombielike concentration. 'Dude, what are you doing?'
"I didn't answer, and he didn't really expect me to. He knew me. They both did.
"I cocked back the branch, and unloaded a home run swing. The impact vibrated up through my arms to my brain stem, and into every c
...more
Bennett
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 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 me?

The next year, I was accepted into the gifted program. I was estatic! Finally, Thursd
...more
Lisa
Feb 27, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me by one of my baby nerdfighter friends at the STEM school. He said it was "awesome", "hilarious", and he wanted to see the graphic novel verision. They want a graphic novel verision of everything, which is good because I was there for graphic novel book club...Anywho, Gordon Korman knows his audience, and I can see why middle school guys - gifted and ungifted alike - dig this book. It reminded me a bit of a Carter Finally Gets It or Swim the Fly but for the younger ...more
Jan Van
Sep 12, 2015 Jan Van rated it really liked it
It was a well written book. There weren't to many deep meanings but if you dig beep you could find a few. I really liked the book for an easy read but I am still looking forward to reading something a bit more challenging.
Duffy Pratt
Sep 30, 2014 Duffy Pratt rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
Donovan Curtis' only gift is his unerring knack for getting himself in trouble. The gift somehow goes haywire, and instead of in trouble, he finds himself going to a special school for gifted kids. Hilarity ensues (or it would have if this were a better book).

The writing here is fine. The story is fairly tight. Everything works very much as it should. But there is an underlying irony. In a book where the message is that each person has his own gift, Korman resorts unabashedly to stereotyping jus
...more
Andrea Cheon
Nov 23, 2015 Andrea Cheon rated it really liked it
A book that I would definitely recommend to anyone is Ungifted by Gordon Korman because of the relatable characters, the suspenseful plot, and the meaningful theme that can really relate with anyone. The story is mainly about a real goofball named Donovan and he really messed up while joking around with his friends. Destroying the school gym and having the school headmaster now hunting him down, Donovan really needed to find a way to distance himself from the school headmaster without his parent ...more
Maddie
Sep 27, 2014 Maddie rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. But its is pretty easy so high leveled 5th graders and average 6th grade readers should be challenged with it
Cindy
Aug 07, 2015 Cindy rated it really liked it
Honestly, I would not have picked up this book if it had not just made the CCBA (Colorado Children's Book Award) nominee list for 2015. I had seen an advertisement for this book when it was among the selections in my most recent book fair, and, although the premise sounded cute, it didn't grab me.

Well, silly me! I actually got a big kick out of this story, and appreciated the clever way it is laid out. Basic premise: Donovan Harris is a middle school class clown. By his own admission, he just ne
...more
Ripken
May 22, 2015 Ripken rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
This book was about an average kid who goes into a really smart school on accident.

I loved when Donavon joined the robotics club and I also liked how Donavan's sister and his dog were pregnant. I learned that you should never black mail anybody even if its for something that could cost you later on.

This book was funny for somebody who isn't that smart as the others.
Travis White
Mar 13, 2015 Travis White rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tweens, young adults
Ungifted is about a trouble-making 7th grader named Donovan Curtis. He’s the type of kid who does things like rolling expensive bronze globe’s through glass doors. In fact, it’s that very action that gets him in trouble with the Superintendent of Schools when it accidentally wipes down a multi-million dollar statue in the middle of a basketball game, wiping out use of the gym totally and costing the district an immense amount of money.
The Superintendent is furious and intends to give him seriou
...more
Molly
Jun 08, 2015 Molly rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
School Library Journal
( October 01, 2012; 9780061742668 )
"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 en
...more
Ryo  Terada-8
May 28, 2015 Ryo Terada-8 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Neeka
Jan 14, 2015 Neeka added it
Ungifted by Gordon Korman is about a troublemaker boy named Donovan Curtis. One day Donovan pulls a major prank at school. He thinks he is going to get in trouble but instead he gets sent to the ASD, The Academy of Scholastic Distinction, where gifted students go. Donovan was surprised and so were the students at his old school. The students at ASD are welcome to Donovan but as they start to realize that he isn't good at any subject, they start to get a little suspicious.
This book reminds me
...more
Cory Dorn
May 26, 2016 Cory Dorn rated it really liked it

Personal response: This book is very great, but it is more intended for teens. The reason for this is the story line is more suitable for young teens. Other than that it is a great book and should be read by other people.


Plot: There are three boys: two of them are Daniel Anderson and Daniel Nussbaum. Then there is a less fortunate one of the group that is Donovan Curtis. The reason why I say he unfortunate is because he is the one who is always getting in trouble. Danny peer pressured him into d
...more
Phedora
Dec 17, 2015 Phedora rated it liked it
This book was a fun read on the surface, yet I didn't really like the book for one reason. It stereotyped gifted kids a lot, and it made it look like the smarter you are, the less imagination you have, which kind of ticked me off. Like Thibaut said, it didn't really make sense that a kid with 200 IQ would still be in a gifted school, he would be like graduating college already. And the fact that the gifted kids were so freaking secluded didn't make much sense because this is the 21st century, an ...more
Nick Bull
Oct 23, 2014 Nick Bull rated it really liked it
This book was awesome. The beginning and the end were my favorite parts. I liked how he made jokes when there was something bad going on to soften the blow. The story was really good. It was really a twist when he got in trouble but then by accident he got out of trouble. The main character (I forget his name) seems to grow from this whole experience. He starts in the book as a trouble-maker cant seem to stop getting in some kind of, but when he gets put in the "smart" school his life gets turne ...more
Thibaut
Dec 16, 2015 Thibaut rated it really liked it
This book was great, yet it had many flaws. One of them was that they stereotyped the gifted program A LOT! Like when your in 7th grade, no matter how smart you are, you most likely don't know advanced calculus. Another example is that Noah, who has an IQ of 204 should be in the gifted school, and in real life, anyone who has that IQ level would be in college at his age, and maybe even graduated college. Even though this book had many flaws it impressed me a lot and I with that there was a seque ...more
Katrina
Mar 19, 2015 Katrina rated it it was ok
Stereotypes after stereotypes is what this book should be called. Honestly, this book was not my favorite read. Maybe it's because it's Middle Grade or maybe it's because I was forced to to read it, but overall, it wasn't enjoyable.

Even thought it didn't take me too long to read it, I found the plot predictable and boring. The characters were extremely stereotypical. Although, I do have to say that I did enjoy the way this book wrapped up. I guess this book would have been much more enjoyable i
...more
Magpie67
Apr 05, 2016 Magpie67 rated it it was amazing
A cute story about a boy who likes to cause trouble until one too big gives him a lot of worry. A mixed up of paperwork and suddenly Donovan is now at the gifted school. He knows he is not smart, but hiding from the superintendent is a better situation. Only in hiding he discovers he likes these smart kids, he likes interacting with them and the teachers see a positive force of an average kid mixing with the smart. The teachers have an inkling something is wrong since his grades don't speak for ...more
Pj
Mar 18, 2016 Pj rated it liked it
Imagine being in detention for something that you didn't do, your friends came to rescue you through a window, when you finally escaped you did the most dumbest thing in your life that cost a ton. The genre of the book is a realistic fiction. The book was very good because of the drama into it.
What the book is mainly about is a buy named Donovan Curtis a 7th grader who is in a school that he really doesn't like, at the beginning he accidentally pulled a globe a giant one from a statue that cos
...more
Scribs
I listened to the audio book (which I highly recommend--the voices were hilarious.)

Donovan is accidentally invited to attend the Academy for Scholastic Distinction, in spite of the fact that he is truly "ungifted." He has no talents of any note and is perfectly ordinary. The students at the Academy don't understand him. He starts by naming the robot they have built (why does a robot need a name? It's an "it!") But after a while, it is Donovan that makes their project personal, gives it life and
...more
Michael2134
Nov 02, 2015 Michael2134 rated it it was amazing
I read the book Ungifted by Gordon Korman and thought it was a great book. It really caught my attention right away and kept it throughout the entire story. The story has many attention getters throughout the miscellaneous pranks and jokes that take place. It reminded me of the good old days back in middle school with my friends. I think that is one of the reason why I liked this book so much.

Plot: The story took place at Hardcastle Middle School where there is a young boy named Donovan Curtis.
...more
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Korman wrote his first book, "This Can't be Happening at Macdonald Hall", when he was 12 years old, for a coach who suddenly found himself teaching 7th grade English. He later took that episode and created a book out of it, as well, in "The Sixth Grade Nickname Game", wherein Mr. Huge was based on that 7th grade teacher.

Korman moved to New York City, where he studied film and film writing. While i
...more
More about Gordon Korman...

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“Challenge isn't going to come from any curriculum, no matter how hard they make it. It's going to come from life.” 4 likes
“The test! It was as if they believed the test was an infallible superbeing that had descended to earth on a great space ark surrounded by thunderbolts of perfection.” 2 likes
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