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July 14, 2014

Review: Ungifted by Gordon Korman


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 special program for gifted and talented students.
It wasn't exactly what Donovan had intended, but there couldn't be a more perfect hideout for someone like him. That is, if he can manage to fool people whose IQs are above genius level. And that becomes harder and harder as the students and teachers of ASD grow to realize that Donovan may not be good at math or science (or just about anything). But after an ongoing experiment with a live human (sister), an unforgettably dramatic middle-school dance, and the most astonishing come-from-behind robot victory ever, Donovan shows that his gifts might be exactly what the ASD students never knew they needed.
 I've been on a literary diet per say, the "real world" genuinely had taken over my life that I forgot about my blogging and reading one. Coming back to reading and blogging after a whole year definitely feels great, and Ungifted was the perfect book to break my dry spell.

Having not read a MG in a while, I was surprised how easily I got into the book. Korman had a fresh medley of a fluid and unique plot, one of a kind characters, and a fantastic moral that was the cherry on top. Donovan, the young troubled pre-teen, is a character that everyone can relate to- not because we are all troubled, but we all have that one flaw or insecurity when we compare ourselves to others. With being placed into the Academy, Donovan and the other students begin to realize more about themselves and what they want in life.

The people in the Academy are all geniuses, while Donovan is far from one. But even with the scholastic differentiation between Donovan and his peers, Korman did a great job showing how Donovan is "gifted" in his "ungifted" way. This novel was one of those timeless novels that almost everyone can relate to; the idea of wanting to "fit in" and be "normal" is one that every pre-teen, teenager, and adult has gone/has to go through. I feel like I may have enjoyed this book a lot more than I would have if I had read it any other time, while reading the book it was really relevant to what I have been dealing with for the past few weeks. So if you are in a slump, or don't feel great about yourself, this is probably one of the best books you could read to fix your self-esteem and mood up.

Uplifting, comical, witty, relatable, and well written, are probably the best ways to describe Ungifted. Though it's a Middle Grade novel, I would suggest everyone try giving the book a shot. It's written in a mature way, and it's overall very enjoyable, plus it's one of those books you could easily connect to.

Rating: 4.5/5  

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