Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review: Ungifted

UngiftedTitle: Ungifted
Author: Gordon Korman
Genre: Realistic fiction

Why I Read It: I love reading about brilliant people. It's one of my favourite topics to read about. Basically, I love intelligence. Also, talking about intelligence as it is defined by society, versus how clever a person actually is.

A Quick Intro: Fleeing his school's administration after an incident involving the gymnasium and a giant metal globe, Donovan Curtis hides out in a gifted program, where he was accidentally placed. "Gifted" is a word that has never been a word that has applied to Donovan, and he's pretty sure he can't hack this program for genii. But he's here, and fighting to stay, so he's going to have to try.

What I Thought: I enjoyed this one. As mentioned, brilliance is something that I  really love reading about, and reading about Donovan's struggles to fit in with the academically gifted, quirky and more often than not social awkward was a lot of fun. I liked Donovan as a character, as well as all of the other characters who also narrated. While I personally tried hard in school (generally, I had my days of complete and utter academic apathy). It wasn't that he had no potential, but that he felt no inclination to succeed, and found classes dull, essentially turning him into a bit of a troublemaker. He was an enjoyable character to read- I liked the antics. The other students and teachers at the school were both enjoyable characters to read from- I especially liked reading from Noah, who is brilliant, but finds attending a gifted school dull, and really wants to go to an ordinary school.

Donovan's effect on the gifted students was interesting in that he brought an element to the class that it didn't have before, like naming the class robot and offering up his pregnant sister for a project so that the class can get their human growth and development credit. While not academically talented, he brings some different skill set to the group.

The story is fun and engaging. I found Donovan's sister, Katie, and the story line when the class follows her pregnancy to be one of my favourite parts. I liked the class's curiosity about it and how they go from Katie find them annoying to seeing the as a support group. One of my favourite lines was "this pregnancy is a group effort" and the breathing technique. They both had me laughing out loud. I really found myself rooting for the team, and for Donovan himself.

Overall, this book was a fun, clever, humourous read, and a reminder that "smart" isn't always about school.

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