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3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  11,871 Ratings  ·  1,602 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)

Community Reviews

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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
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
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
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
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


Made a half-decent joke

Played a video game

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

He's goi

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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
a secret agent fangirl
Jul 02, 2016 a secret agent fangirl rated it really liked it
I really liked the concept of this book. It was easy going with a nice plot considering it's a book about middle schoolers, and I enjoyed reading a stress-free book just for the fun of it. It's been a while since I read a book in one sitting, and this one was really comforting and made me laugh out loud at some parts!

Recommending this to people who want an enjoying read just for the funsies :)

B.A.  Wilson
Aug 09, 2016 B.A. Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This MG is adorable, and I love it. It has a great message about how every person has something unique to offer to life and social situations, even if they aren't rocking a label such as gifted, or athletic, or popular.

It's funny, with an incredible cast of delightfully unique characters.

Pages: 288
May 22, 2015 Ripken rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 06, 2016 Dani rated it really liked it
Donovan Curtis is a troublemaker who hit the statue of Atlas with a branch, which causes it to go into the school and wrecks up the gym floor. Due to a mix up, instead of getting in trouble, he accidentally ends up getting sent to a gifted and talented school. Donovan is no where near being gifted so he has to try to fit in. He eventually gets caught and is sent back to Hardcastle middle school. At the end, the insurance company covered all the costs to fix the school gym, so Donovan did not hav ...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
Anyce Paul-Emile
Oct 28, 2014 Anyce Paul-Emile rated it it was amazing
How would it feel like to be around people with IQs of 159 or 206, thinking that you are just like them, when your not? It feels weird doesn't it? Well this is what happened to a kid named Donovan Curtis. This is a realistic fictional and funny story that has you on the edge of your seat for a lot of it because of the exciting events that happen. ***SPOILER ALERT*** Some events that are happening in the story are that Donovans sister has a baby girl, the Academy for Scholastic Distinction’s rob ...more
Oct 20, 2015 TomokY rated it really liked it
What are you trying to do if you are in aI read a book “Ungifted”, and story is about a boy called Donovan Curtis who goes to Hardcastle Middle School. One day, he made a giant globe roll down hill, and it smashed into the school Gym. Because the school gym got so much damage, they had to restore them, but to resort them, they needed a lot of money to cover the cost. Since Donovan was the one who made the globe roll, he thought he would have to pay for it. But one day, a point of change came. Th ...more
Andrew Hicks
Nov 06, 2014 Andrew Hicks rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
Ungifted is told from no less than eight different points of view, but they all seem like the same person with the same intelligence and the same maturity level. Author Gordon Korman has 70-plus YA and "middle-grade*" novels to his credit, going so far back that the book covers used to look like the art from Super Fudge and Ramona and Beezus .

I don't doubt Korman's pedigree, but Ungifted reads like a book where most of the effort went into conjuring the fish-out-of-water premise. The pre
Ms. Yingling
Jun 12, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 g ...more
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.
Oct 07, 2016 Jakota rated it really liked it
Shelves: abandoned
this book was pretty good because donovan curtis was a talented kid in middle school but although there were alot of problems. He all was get bullied but donovon was really smart and talented kid
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
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
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.
zalatawa (darcy-girl-books)

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

What do I think of this book?

*hugs book with a wide smile and hands it to you* Help yourself with some fun!

Gordon Korman has always been one of my favorite authors since I was a kid. I loved every single one of his books. They made me laugh so much- I always knew they were the perfect pick-me-ups. Even though they are middle-grade, I still love them to bits.

His characters are so real and just amazing to read. They usually get into all kinds of trouble and you have t
Kama W.
Aug 31, 2016 Kama W. rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It was a funny and suspenseful book. The main character Donavan Curtis is sent to an academy for gifted students by accident, but discovers that the whole experience turns out to be more positive than he originally thought it would be. The story is told from multiple different points of view, not just the main character. At times, it can get a little confusing, but for the most part it’s pretty easy to understand. I recommend not stopping in the middle of a chapter because yo ...more
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Noah Youkilis 1 1 Jul 07, 2016 12:13PM  
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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 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.” 3 likes
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