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Ungifted

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  8,691 ratings  ·  1,177 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)
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Community Reviews

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TheBookSmugglers
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
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
Jaina
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
Tari
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
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
Aidan
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
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
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
Duffy Pratt
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
Maddie
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
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
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
Ripken
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.
Lisa
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
Travis White
Mar 13, 2015 Travis White rated it 5 of 5 stars
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 Raabe
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
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
Nick Bull
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
Katrina
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
zalatawabooks

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
...more
Kevin Kretz
It was perfect. I'm in our school's gifted program, and I've never thought someone would be so desperate to get out of it. I liked Oz. he reminded me of my school's gifted program teacher. He was funny, and cared about his students in a way he'd never give it up. If I were to be in the academy, I'd probably be most like Donovan. Mostly because he's the underdog, but he was cool with it. He kept his cool through the entire book, even if there was a problem, or two, or six, among him. I flat out d ...more
Andrea Lepe
I would recommend this book to people who like funny stories. This book is about a boy who get accepted to a gifted school. The funny thing is he is not gifted. Instead of getting in trouble for recking the basketball game, he get a good thing by changing schools to the gifted. One good moment of the story was when he got accepted for the gifted school and his parents were so proud. The good thing was that his parents didn't find out that he recked the basketball game.What would you do if you go ...more
Beverly
Ungifted is a silly, entertaining story with a strong message delivered in a humorous comedy-of-errors misadventure. Donovan is the class troublemaker. He is not malicious, just impulsive and unable to see consequences until it is too late. When he accidentally destroys the school statue and half the gym, he is quickly nabbed by the superintendent himself. Luckily for Donovan, in his haste to attend to the disaster, the superintendent accidentally adds Donovan's name to the list of students bein ...more
Anyce Paul-Emile
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
Dustin
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
Alexandra
"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
Laura
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
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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.” 5 likes
“Hey, things like that happen at the Academy too,” I insisted, almost triumphantly. “Last year the freezers failed so there was no ice for”—the wind went out of my sails as I realized how lame this was going to sound—“the sushi bar.” He nodded sympathetically. “You guys should get T-shirts made. You know: I Survived the Sushi Crisis.” 3 likes
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