Genre: Realistic (Ish) Fiction
Age Group: Middle Grade
Published: August 21st 2012 by Harper Collins
(The Above is for all you people who need it for book reviews and whatnot)
Summary: So Donovan Curtis isn't exactly the brightest kid at HardCastle middle school. I mean he goes on the PA and literally claims that the "basketball team will be 'nifty' when they lose by 'fifty'", and especially when he accidentally sends a portion of the statue named "the atlas" which is at the top of the hill hurtling down at the gym where the ongoing basketball game and its hundreds of fans are at. You'd think he'd be in major trouble for this right? Maybe expelled? Except he doesn't. Instead he is sent to an academy for extremely gifted students (yeah, nerds). It's obvious he doesn't fit in. I mean he can barely pass regular math and science, how's he supposed to get straight A's in calculus and physics? The only thing he's good at is applying his otherwise useless skills to real life problems, such as using his expertise in video games to deftly control the school's robot, or using his pregnant older sister as a hands-on learning experience in...a class about learning about reproduction. But when the superintendent figures out his mistake, things go extremely wrong for Donovan and his friends, both the normal and the nerdy. Gordon Korman writes another amazing book, with Ungifted!
What I liked: It was interesting to see a kid live to completely different lives: first a troublemaker at an old run down school for the ordinary, then a nicer, more friendly human being at a newer, nicer and more modern school for the gifted and talented. It was also really interesting to read about how the school for the talented was more modern (mostly because it was designed by the kids who attend there) and nicer, which means there's a sushi bar in the cafeteria, which kind of helps set the stage for a lot of the action. Also, it's really interesting that Gordon chooses to have all the action center around a robotics competition. I mean I could easily think of a million different ways this story could've played out, but a robotics competition? It was slightly out of the ordinary but in a really great and humorous way, which is why I loved reading this book.
What I Didn't Like: Hmm, this is tough. It's not that it;s the best book ever but I really enjoyed reading it. It's more of a "Pretty good but still 'meh' book" I think one thing that bugged me is that a lot of the events that occurred only happened because the nerds were stereotypical. Y'know- pale, skinny, no sense of humor, social outcast, nonathletic. I mean while I guess it's pretty much true, as all stereotypes are there are obviously gifted kids who are also tanned, muscular, athletic, comical, and the social king. I guess I would've liked to have a few more things...more realistic if that makes any sense.
Rating on 'the scale': 8.6 out of ten.
Why? Again, it's a "pretty good but still 'meh' book"
Related: There was another book I'd read that was something like battle of the robots (or maybe it was a TV show) but I mean, there's not really one book i can think of that really stands out as being related.