Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted” as Want to Read:
The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Jack Carlson is dreading a class presentation when he suddenly finds himself transported to the Hadley Academy, a secret institution that tracks teens with unlikely gifts and trains them to protect the world from an unseen squad of killers. But Jack isn't the only one who doesn't know what he's doing at Hadley. Despite indications that he is the one prophesied to end the a ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Thomas Nelson
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  32 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted
Michelle Kenneth -
This book is absolutely AMAZING!

It is Divergent, Maze Runner, Harry Potter, Rick Riordan's stories, the X-Men, Deadly Class, The Walking Dead, and every awesome YA book out there wrapped up into one. The adventure starts early and doesn't stop. The constant twists and turns will leave you guessing until the end.

I cannot stress enough how great this book is. This is one of those gems you find that you know is something special that everyone should be obsessing over. As I read this bo
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thirteen-year-old Jack is always a little embarrassed by his best friend, Freddie, who is constantly going on about the most ridiculous conspiracy theories. His latest is about a school, the Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted where children with special talents are taken to train for a war to save humanity against an enemy called the Reapers. So after Freddie presents this latest 'theory' to the entire class, Jack makes an excuse to leave. As he heads for the washroom, he is accosted by th ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss, fantasy
An amazing story full of amazing characters and with an excellent world building.
I loved it and I read it as fast as I could.
It's engrossing and entertaining and the world building is excellent.
I hope to read soon another instalment in this series.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story this was the way this book was written was art. The main character Jack definitely underestimates his worth in this book. Along with his friend he somehow manages to really step up to the plate. Its such a great read, and the world its set in makes you want to dive in and be apart of it. Its one of those books where you read it once and you reread it over and over again. If you looking for a book with a world of possibility's this is the book for you. My rating for this boo ...more
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book!

When I received an advanced copy of The Hadley Academy, I thought it would be a fun book for all of the people in my family to read and discuss (boys: 13, 11. girl: 8). Turns out that was a great call as we all found a ton to enjoy about this one. The boys enjoyed the awkward school kids stuff and then later on, everyone really enjoyed talking about spades and what category they themselves would fall into and the action and set pieces.

For me: I just enjoyed the
Kristen Gwen Johnson
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I did not want to stop ready The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted by Conor Grennan. As I was reading, there were so many moments of, “That’s so awesome!” and, “Wait. What?!” and, “I can’t believe it! No way.” When I had to put the book down, the characters were often in my thoughts as I wondered what was going to happen to them next.

Jack Carlson just wants to pass eighth grade. Preferably without the embarrassment of his best friend, Freddy’s, conspiracy theories. But when a
Lucas Agulla
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m 12 years old, and I absolutely loved it. There are so many small details that make every page and chapter so interesting. It has a perfect balance of mystery and action. The whole book is so satisfying to the reader. I highly recommend reading it. I was super into it the entire time! The Hadley Academy is kind of like a mix of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. It’s amazing, and it’s perfect for anyone from about 9 years old on.
Heather Huston
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a fab new middle grade read from NYT's best selling author, Conor Grennan. His first book, "Little Princes," was a memoir about saving kids from trafficking and civil war in a far away land. I've heard the author say...this is the "superhero version." Hadley Academy is a fantasy novel that follows a boy's unlikely journey to save the world. Meet a group of kids who are whisked out of the only world they know to become trained fighters working to combat the "reapers" who are a secret ...more
Kim Carbonelli Tingler
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read in the past decade. I loved every page. This action-packed adventure of good versus evil, in a story of identity and ultimate sacrifice, had me completely engaged from beginning to end. I literally could not put it down – and read it in 5 days. Connor Grennan is masterful at creating complex characters, a layered plot, and enough descriptive detail that The Hadley Academy came to life before my eyes.

If you, or anyone you know, has ever struggled with
Lara Lillibridge
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Harry Potter" meets "A Wrinkle in Time." Fans of the secret magic boarding school will love this modern take on the genre. An imaginative tale with diverse characters, Grennan incorporated many of children's favorite aspects of novels--epic battles for good and evil, impossible--I mean improbable--odds, the help of a good group of friends, and even a dragon or two. The plot is complex without becoming convoluted--a bit of a trick with so much going on. Face-paced, without seeming rushed.

I assu
Ryan Burnham
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted was a story that connected the mysterious and magical with the reality of the insecurities and fears common to man. Ultimately, you see destiny and identity unfold amidst a group of friends through a captivating and engaging storyline. I loved every bit of it and honestly read it through in 24 hours. I couldn't put it down!
Rosie Rizk
Sep 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Kids with powers fighting to prevent the zombie apocalypse.

This reminded me vaguely of Holly Black's magisterium series. We have kids with magic like abilities, who need to prevent a great evil from taking over. There's another reason I found it so similar, but that would be a spoiler.

The magic abilities were great, and the characters were engaging. The book had a great premise, plot, and lots of potential, but it felt like everything was forced to fit into one book, prob
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Make yourself comfortable when you pick up The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted because this book is hard to put down once you get started. With creatively crafted characters and a fast-paced story line, you will want to just keep reading, and then when it's over, you will beg for more!

Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
This book starts out with an intriguing premise: Jack's conspiracy theorist friend Freddy spins wild yarns about an invisible island and a secret battle between good and evil — which turns out to be true! The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted brings together teenagers who manifest a gift and are then trained to fight the evil Reapers. It's a little bit like a teen version of the X-Men. Except Jack apparently has no gift and we are left to puzzle out why he's been recruited. Some sinister ...more
Becky B
There is a secret war going on all over the world that most people don’t know about and never will. Reapers look like humans to most people but they are creatures that freeze people to death. The only ones keeping people safe from these assassins are operatives from the Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted, people whose spades - special abilities – have awoken and are trained to take out Reapers. Jack knows nothing about Reapers or Hadley Academy when he is rescued from a Reaper by a man nam ...more
books are love
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received in exchange for a honest review.

The description of the book interested me right away. It wasn’t like what we have been seeing in middle/ya books lately. It is but isn’t. When you read it you are thinging maybe a little Harry Potter meets Izombie thoughts but it isn’t. This si far from that. We have prophecies, the living being taken over, dragons, talent that is similar to a power but not magic. It works of elements some of them but not all of the talents do. WE have believe
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, arc
4.5 stars

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me for free by an imprint of Harper Collins Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

This book was a wonderful and amazing read full of complex characters and an intricate and quick plot that will keep you up at night!

When Jack Carlson watches his best friend Freddy present to the class about a secret and magical military academy called "The Hadley Academy," he doesn't know what to think. But he hardly has time to clear his h
Jenna R
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
**I received an electronic ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review.**

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

In Conor Grennan's new novel, The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted, there is a military academy for gifted kids somewhere off the coast of Maine. The gifted students, called improbables, defend civilians against secret beings called reapers.

Let me begin by saying that I am not in the intended age range for this book. However, I
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michele Jennifer
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Nitty-Gritty:
This fast-paced story is begging to be a movie. One part Percy Jackson, one part Divergent, one part Harry Potter, and two parts something all its own, this book is action-packed and vibrantly written. We’ve got the chosen-one trope, a magic school hidden from the rest of the world, and the discovery of a group of people with specialized improbable powers. It’s everything you know you love, all with a cast of main characters firmly in that middle-school age range that seem
Jen Layton
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
A library loan, not a keeper.

I think I set my expectations too high for this book. I imagined a cross between the X-Men & Harry Potter. This is neither. It had a lot of potential, but the way it is written, I couldn't really care about any of the characters. They fell pretty flat. They all had a backstory but it wasn't in depth enough for me to really care one way or another. Sadly, I found this to be true of every single character.

It doesn't end with a lack of depth for the cha
CrazyCat (Alex)
Academy books are all around you right now. And I happen to love them and try to read as many as I can, so I got really happen when I get my ex av Hadley Academy. The cover looked great, the summary sounded great and I had high expectations. And the story almost met my expectations. I felt the story was rushed at points and nowhere did I read about zombies. I mean, sure, reapers could be a word for them but I didn’t make that connection. Honestly, I wouldn’t have picked up the book had I known. ...more
Trisha Perry
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jack’s best friend is always talking about all these weird conspiracy theory and just odd things. But when Jack is forces to flee for his life with a guy names Hans and is sent to one of his friend’s weird places, a special school for kids that save the world Jack doesn’t know what to think.

This is a great kind of super hero story (any kid can become a super or rather improbably gifted) that any child can lose themselves in. Full of action and suspense it will have the reader (child
Corrie Smith
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story grabbed me in the first chapter. As Jack finds himself in an environment that he feels totally unequipped to handle, he must discover his inner strength that lies dormant to fight very real evil. This fantasy novel ties spiritual themes into present day teen/tween life, and it awakens a sense of the supernatural. Highly recommend!
Keith Beasley-Topliffe
I think I saw this book in a list of top middle school books for the year. I’m 68 and enjoyed it greatly. A hero quest with some strange twists. Interesting system for special powers/abilities. Idea that everyone has such a gift but only a few have it breakthrough. And a good cliffhanger to set up a sequel?
Alex M
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book. My two kids (ages 12 & 14) loved it. I read it and loved it too. It Is a wonderful adventure with more twists and turns then I think any other book I’ve read. It’s imaginative and to top it all off has a great message for kids.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Earc from netgalley

This book was nothing special. It dragged on and on and on. Maybe i'm just not the right audience, but there are other books like it that are better. It also seemed to rush through and drag at the same time. 2 stars.
Laura Kehoe
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was such a fun book! It reminded me of a mix
Of Percy Jackson and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It was a fast, entertaining read!
Sara Snow
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonder, imagination and whimsy are at the heart of this fantastic novel. I loved it and can’t wait for my 9 year old to be ready to read it.
Christina Marie Reads
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! It was so much fun and I can't wait for the next installment! The character development and world building are just perfectly done! Bravo!
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Dead Voices (Small Spaces #2)
  • Look Both Ways
  • The Silence Between Us
  • The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of September 11, 2001
  • Frankly in Love (Frankly in Love, #1)
  • The Clocks (Hercule Poirot, #37)
  • American Royals (American Royals, #1)
  • Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
  • A Cruel Deception (Bess Crawford, #11)
  • Mark of the Thief (Mark of the Thief, #1)
  • The Killing Fog (The Grave Kingdom, #1)
  • Echoes Between Us
  • Snug: A Collection of Comics about Dating Your Best Friend
  • The Winter Soldier
  • A Pinch of Phoenix
  • Magic, Madness, and Mischief (Magic, Madness, and Mischief #1)
  • Wrath of the Storm (Mark of the Thief, #3)
  • The Good Thieves
See similar books…
Conor Grennan is a citizen of the US and Ireland. He grew up in Poughkeepsie NY and Jersey City, NJ. He spent eight years at the EastWest Institute (EWI), both in Prague and the EU Office in Brussels, focusing on peace and reconciliation in the Balkans. He left EWI in 2004 to travel and volunteer in Nepal, where he ultimately started Next Generation Nepal (NGN), an organization dedicated to reconn ...more