CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 12. . . .November 23, 2012.
Donovan Curtis, the class clown and troublemaker at Hardcastle Middle School, is hiding out in the gifted program at the Academy for Scholastic Distinction. He’s hoping to avoid Dr. Schultz because the superintendent is likely to blame him for vandalizing school property. His friends, ‘the Daniels’, tease him relentlessly for being with the gifted students, but he stays to avoid possible suspension and an expensive repair bill. Although Donovan barely passes his classes (his teachers agree “his gift is nowhere”), he feels he belongs with the Academy’s robotics team. His contributions (naming and decorating the robot) may seem inconsequential, but they humanize the robot and motivate the team. For the first time, Donovan feels like he belongs. He continues to help his classmates by convincing his 26-six-year old sister to teach the Human Growth and Development course the class needs to avoid summer school and by introducing them to things that make them feel normal.
Korman’s newest book includes suspense and comedy. Although some of the chapters include pop culture references that may date the book as time passes, readers will relate to the characters who have to deal with peer pressure, family problems, and identity development. The narration alternates with each chapter; sometimes in the voice of an adult (a teacher or family member), or a student. When Donovan is accused of cheating on a test, Ms. Bevelaqua questions his classmates. Someone has helped Donovan pass an extremely difficult exam so he can stay in the gifted program. Excerpts from these interviews appear near the end of the book. Ungifted’s book’s storyline should appeal to boys and girls.
Tanya Boudreau is a librarian with the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.