Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

Cover image for UngiftedDonovan is a classic ADHD junior high boy with a particular problem with impulsivity.  His adventure starts when he happens to whack a statue of Atlas with a stick, and part of the statue rolls down the hill and does damage to the school gym.  He is taken to the School Superintendent, who accidentally mixes his school record in a stack of papers recommending people for the talented and gifted program.  So Donovan ends up at the Academy for Scholastic Distinction.  At the Academy is quickly becomes obvious that Donovan is not at the same academic level as the other students, but the administrators are so confident in their admissions procedures, it takes them a long time to admit that they made a mistake.  In the mean time Donovan endears himself with the other students, who are at first baffled by a student that is so un-driven and yet fairly socially adept (which the gifted kids are generally not).  The chapters of the story are written from the point of view of different characters.  At the beginning of the chapter it has the character's name and IQ.  There are a lot of social stereotypes here.  The smarter the kids are, the more nerdy they are.  There is the pompous adminstrator, and the uber supportive T& G teacher. Although maybe not exactly true to life, the story is very funny, and all the characters are interesting and endearing. We will be reading this book for our Mother/Son book club next spring.  It should be a fun one to discuss. (280 p)

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