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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  5,763 ratings  ·  767 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, 288 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Balzer + Bray (first published January 1st 2012)
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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
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.
Barb Middleton
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
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
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
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
Richie Partington
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
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
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
Have you ever felt out of place? Like your the only one that doesn’t belong? What would you do if you were ever accidentally put into the gifted program? This is what’s happening to Donovan, in the book “Ungifted” by Gordon Korman.”They traced my family all the way back to the revolution. And in all those forefathers and foremothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins, there was nobody like me.”(pg.1) Donovan has gotten into some trouble. He was accidentally put down on the gifted program list. The supe...more
"Gifted" is not quite the word you would use to describe Donavan Curtis... he's more "different" or "special" in a very unusual way. Donavan curtis is pretty much your everyday average kid. Except unlike all the other kids, he has a need to do trouble making! If someone dares him to do something you can always count on Donovan to do it!! One day when he "accidentally" destroys half the school's gym, the principle mistakenly writes his name down on a GIFTED paper and Donavan finds out and accepts...more
Ms. Yingling
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
You could never accuse Donovan Curtis of being gifted, unless you mean that he got a present. He's Dennis the Menace with more tricks and technology available. He finally pulls a major prank at his middle school which could be the last straw, but because of a mix-up by the school superintendent, Donovan ends up at the Academy of Scholastic Distinction (ASD), a special program for gifted and talented students. Although it's not what he expected as punishment, he correctly guesses that it was a mi...more
Donovan Curtis, a pretty average kid with an instinct for trouble, accidentally ends up qualifying to attend a school for the academically gifted. He reluctantly decides to attend the school, mostly to keep from being exposed as the mastermind of a gym-destroying fiasco at his regular school. His class is competing in a robotics competition and, despite his lack of robotics knowledge or skill, he becomes an integral member of the team. Though his classmates and teachers realize that he doesn't h...more
Junie K.
Ungifted by:Gordon Korman
Realistic Fiction
280 pages
Ungifted is a fantastic book about a kid named Donovan Curtis who is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction. Donovan is a troublemaker who has pulled a prank that even he thinks has gone to far! But when the adminastrator makes a mistake Donovan is suddenly put in to a school for the gifted and talented instead of getting expelled(or worse!) Donovan thinks this is the absolute perfect hide out for a trouble maker like him. But even he kno...more
Gail Gauthier
"Ungifted is the story of a run-of-the-mill kid who has a history of stumbling into disruptive rather than criminal trouble. After accidentally causing expensive damage to the middle school gym, he takes advantage of a paperwork error so he can hide out in the district's school for the academically gifted.

I found the basic premise for the book believable. Donovan had legitimate reasons for being concerned about the financial trouble he was going to make for his family if he was fingered for the...more
Cheryl in CC NV
A little bit simplistic - it covers so many characters, issues, and themes in a quick read. And a little implausible - for example, my complaint as a teacher in the Midwest was that so much money was spent on the children with disabilities that the gifted kids didn't get any real support.

But still, a fun & sensitive read for upper MG/ lower YA and for the adults who love them, no matter where their talents lie.

PS. The students at the Academy were stereo-typically nerdy and focused, but I got...more
Donovan Curtis is your average, everyday goof-off student. When one of his practical jokes creates some serious trouble, he'll do anything to avoid getting caught and causing his family more trouble. Then a clerical error lands him at the elite Academy for Scholastic Distinction, and it seems like the perfect place to hide out until things cool down. But can Donovan keep up with the geniuses at his new school? Or will his antics catch up to him again?

This was one of my favorite books this year....more
This is your basic story of trouble makers vs the brainy nerds....and how they learn to come together and learn there is more than meets the eye about one another. The best sentence from this story: "Challenge isn't going to come from any curriculum, no matter how hard they make it - it's going to come from life."
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
Loved it. It is perfect for my school library - we have so many gifted kids that the "normal" ones can feel pretty ungifted a lot of the time. The story is very engaging while highlighting the understanding that not all giftedness can be measured on tests -- that kids on the hump of the bell curve have a lot to offer and they are just as essential in the overall scheme of things as the kids on the far right end. Is some of the plot - and some of the characters - over the top? Yep. But I don't c...more
Uggh. This book is just about the worst thing I've ever read. Being gifted myself, I have to heartily disagree with Chloe Garfinkle, who says that you have to pay for being gifted. Excuse me? I'm not paying in any way, shape, or form for my IQ. I'm taking advantages of it. Noah Youkilis? Don't even get me started. He has an IQ of 207, but that doesn't mean that all middle schoolers with an IQ of 107 are doing calculus. In fact, I've never met a gifted middle schooler doing calculus, NO MATTER TH...more
Keri Douglas
Korman, G. (2012). Ungifted. New York: Scholastic.

Donovan is a trouble-making middle school student. Just when he thinks he’s in the biggest trouble of his life, he is accidentally moved to the district’s gifted school. Students at the Academy soon realize that Donovan isn't academically gifted, but maybe he is “gifted” in other ways. While on the robotics team and having his sister be a live biology exhibit, everyone may be changed by this ungifted young man. There are many mixed reviews of thi...more
Joanne Zienty
Korman can certainly write amusing books about middle schoolers (I especially enjoyed his early title No More Dead Dogs. And I enjoyed this one as well, as long as I gave myself permission to overlook all the stereotypes floating around regarding "gifted" kids. I'm not sure if the author is promoting the idea that all kids are "gifted" in some way. His main character, Donovan, would appear to gifted - or at least, talented -- at creating mischief and mayhem. But the students that he encounters w...more
Korman's dive into middle school robotics skates by some flaws to deliver a mildly heart-warming story about a trouble-maker named Donnie who turns the definition of "gifted" on its head. After a prank gone wrong, Donnie is inadvertently enrolled in the Academy for Scholastic Distinction, a school for intelligently gifted children of the district. The teachers and students all know that Donnie is not traditionally gifted, but the case is made in nearly every chapter that Donnie is socially gifte...more
Katie G
Have you ever done something just as a joke to make someone laugh but it get’s you in serious trouble? In the book ‘Ungifted’ by Gordan Korman a student named Donovan and he always was doing something he knew he shouldn’t do. One day Donovan was outside the school with his friends by the statue and Donovan wanted to make his friends laugh by pulling a prank. The prank Donovan had pulled caused serious damage to the school and Donovan got himself in trouble by the superintendent. When Donovan wen...more
As if being a middle-schooler isn't hard enough, Donovan has a knack for getting himself in trouble. But the stunt he pulls during a school basketball game takes the cake.

After knocking over a long-standing statue that then rolls down the hill and destroys the school gym, Donovan knows he's in for it, big time. When he gets to the principal's office he finds his fears are founded. He goes home that day knowing that it's only a matter of time until his parents receive the call telling them that t...more
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but after I read the first chapter to my students, I couldn't put it down.

Donovan finds himself in the superintendent's office after he accidentally destroys both a school statue AND the gymnasium. He's certain he's in big trouble, especially after the superintendent writes down his name--but instead he receives a letter informing him that he's been enrolled in a gifted program. This turns out to be the perfect hiding place for him, if only he...more
Donovan should be getting expelled from Junior High for ruining a statue and the entire gym at his school, instead the superintendent was in a hurry and put his name on the “gifted” program list. No one on the staff can figure out how Donovan wound up in their gifted school. However, he does excel in one area and that is robotics, because he plays so many video games at home! He also comes up with creative ideas like saying he has ADD and thus his teachers give him extra time to complete project...more
Jenni Frencham
This book is hilarious along the lines of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and The Wednesday Wars. Donovan is an 8th grader with what the school counselor calls "poor impulse control." He does a lot of crazy things without thinking about the consequences, which is why he smacked the school's statue of Atlas with a stick, which caused the rusted bolt to fall off, which caused the globe Atlas was holding to roll down the hill into the gym, causing thousands of dollars in damage. After the incident...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
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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.” 1 likes
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