A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ungifted is another page-turning middle-school comic adventure from prolific, kid-pleasing author Gordon Korman (The 39 Clues, Pop). Class prankster Donovan Curtis is definitely "ungifted," at least compared with his high-IQ classmates at the academy for gifted children, where he's sent by mistake. But as it turns out, in a wacky tale incorporating Afghanistan, pregnancy (of Donovan's sister, whose husband is deployed), robotics, bronze statuary, a cranky Chow Chow, and much more, he and the geniuses have a few things to teach one another. Expect a little crude language, robot combat, and plenty of comic mayhem.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Middle-school troublemaker Donovan Curtis figures he's doomed when one of his pranks goes spectacularly bad. But instead, there's an administrative mix-up, and he's sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, the district's school for the gifted. Donovan knows quite well he's "ungifted," but genius school is a good place to hide from the superintendent's wrath. Told from the perspectives of various characters, a tale emerges of how Donovan, the brainiacs, and Donovan's delinquent pals ensure that things are never the same at the academy again. In a good way.
Is it any good?
UNGIFTED once again shows The 39 Clues series author Gordon Korman's light touch and fine sense of the absurd. The varied characters and their perspectives on events in this page-turning wacky tale will resonate with kids and adults; the issues they confront -- from prankster mayhem to cheating on tests to just exactly what constitutes "gifted," anyway -- move the story along and offer interesting things to consider after it's over.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the various kids' feelings about being in a school for gifted students. Why does Noah the genius hate it so much, while other kids are right at home?
Why do you think books about middle school are so popular?
What does Donovan learn from the kids at the academy? What do they learn from him?
- Author: Gordon Korman
- Genre: Friendship
- Topics: STEM, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Middle School, Misfits and Underdogs, Robots
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray
- Publication date: August 21, 2012
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 17
- Number of pages: 288
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love funny book and books about school
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.