Monday, October 15, 2012

UNGIFTED for MMGM -- and a Winner!


First, I have a winner to announce.  According to random.org, the winner of the hardcover copy of THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET by Shelley Moore Thomas is:



Michelle Mason


Congratulations, Michelle!  Expect an email from me asking for your mailing address. 

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Now for today's MMGM.  Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Messenger. For other participants, see my sidebar or Shannon's links.


Ungifted by Gordon Korman (Balzer + Bray/Harpercollins, August 2012, for ages 10 and up)

Source: advanced reading copy from publisher

Synopsis (from the back of the arc): The word gifted has never been applied to 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, 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 what Donovan 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.

Why I liked it:  It's entertaining and hilarious! Despite being a troublemaker, Donovan's a likeable kid. The POV alternates between several characters, and their names and IQs are given at the beginning of each chapter. So you get Donovan's point of view (IQ: 112) followed by, say, Chloe's (IQ: 159) or Noah's (IQ: 206), or even that of their teacher, Mr. Osborne (IQ: 132) -- and it gives you a different take on what's really going on.

Gordon Korman has always been wonderful at making us care about his characters and at bringing out the humor in middle-school situations. I've been a fan of his since way back in the 1990s, with those very funny MacDonald Hall books.  Start with the first one, This Can't Be Happening at MacDonald Hall (which, amazingly, Gordon Korman wrote when he was 12!).   Find the author's official website here .

The cover I remember

Recently reissued with a new cover


Like Bruno and Boots in those books, Donovan Curtis is a troublemaker. He may not be gifted in the traditional sense, but he might just be the one who can pull this group of misfit geniuses together and make them a team. I'd recommend this for anyone looking for a light, funny read and a book that both boys and girls can enjoy.

Deb Marshall also recommended this for MMGM, last week.

What's your favorite Gordon Korman book?


30 comments:

  1. I heard about this book the other day. It sounds great for my 10 yo son, so I've put it on hold at the library.

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    1. Your son's just the right age for this, Stina! Hope he likes it.

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  2. Thanks for sharing about this. I just saw that Gordon is going to be at our library. I'm going to try to go.

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    1. Natalie, you are SOOO lucky! I'd love to meet him.

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  3. I love funny stories about troublemakers. This one sounds fabulous!

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  4. I read Gordon Korman's On the Run series based on a recommendation from a friend who teaches middle school. He said his students loved the books, and I can understand why. Action, action, action! This one sounds good, too.

    And thanks so much for hosting contests. I look forward to reading THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET!

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    1. I haven't read the On the Run series. He's so prolific, I'm not sure I can keep up!

      Congrats, again, and hope you like TRINKET.

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  5. First, congrats to Michelle.

    Gordon Korman is a wunderkind--plus he must write pretty much every minute of the day! I liked SCHOOLED, but just about everything by him is ace.

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    1. And SCHOOLED is another Korman book I have yet to read. That seems to be one of his most popular, so I really should read it. Thanks, Michael!

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  6. Oh my goodness, Joanne-- this is why I love book readers and bloggers!!!!! I had totally forgotten the name of a book I read (bought from a scholastic book fair in the 1980s) and LOVED called No Coins, Please. It's a Korman book. I have thought about it MANY times since and totally adored it as a middle schooler. Thanks for re-introducing me to Gordon Korman. :0)

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    1. Hi Kat! Oh yes, I've read that one! It's very funny.

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  7. My kids have read some of Gordon Korman's books, but I'm not sure I have. How can that even be true? He has so many.

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    1. He certainly does write a lot, Barbara. Hope you'll give one of them a try.

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  8. I just read about this somewhere else. I'm sold on the cover alone. I have a soft spot for robots. And for underdogs in "fish out of water" situations. And anything that acknowledges that there are different intelligences out there, not just academics. :-)

    Danika

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    1. Hi Danika! Yes, the cover's perfect for this book. And Donovan's certainly a fish out of water in the Academy. Yay to your comment about different intelligences.

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  9. I've never read a Gordon Korman, but thanks to MGM, he's now in my TBR pile.

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  10. I'm not familiar with this author so I'm adding his books to my forever growing tbs list.
    Thanks for the recommendation. :)

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    1. Hi Akoss. He's written so many, you have plenty to choose from. Series and stand-alones. YA and MG.

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  11. Gordan Korman is awesome. AND he's Canadian! (Had to make sure that very important fact got out there!) Thanks for reminding me about him.

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    1. Yes, he is! You're right, Kim. I knew he was born in Canada, although he now lives in New York, I think. You're welcome and thanks for stopping by.

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  12. I appreciate your take on this book. I've seen it around but couldn't decide if I should add it to my to-read list. I think I will now! :)

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    1. Hi Jennifer! Hope you enjoy it when you get around to reading it (I know how long my to-read list is!).

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    2. I am totally bummed out that I missed your contest with Shelley's book!

      Great review on Gordan's book.

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    3. Sorry, Sharon! But there will be more giveaways in the near future. Thanks for following.

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  13. I have read many Korman books- but my favorite is probably Schooled. This one that you reviewed sounds fantastic! I love that it is so funny. I have added it to my list!
    ~Jess

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    1. Hi Jess! I still need to read Schooled. Thanks for stopping by.

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  14. Korman is definitely one of the Rock Gods of MG Lit. I adored this one, but love so many of his books, especially Born to Rock and Pop.

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    1. Haven't read Born to Rock, but I found Pop impressive. Thanks for stopping by.

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YAY for comments! I read and appreciate each one and I always try to answer. All opinions welcome. Let's have a conversation.