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Ungifted facts for kids

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John Fisher
Ungifted cover
Author Gordon Korman
Cover artist Jonny Duddle
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's fiction
Publisher HarperCollins, Balzer + Bray
Publication date
18 February 2012
Media type Paperback, Hardcover, Audiobook
Pages 280
ISBN 978-0061742675
Followed by Supergifted 

Ungifted is a 2012 children's novel by Gordon Korman. The story is told with chapters of alternating perspectives. The plot revolves around Donovan Curtis, a troublemaker that gets wrapped up in a major prank gone wrong. Due to an accident caused by the superintendent, Donovan gets sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction (ASD); a school for gifted and talented students. The rest of the novel is spent on Donovan avoiding being caught while helping the students of ASD through his own special gifts.

A television series adaptation is currently in the works and will air on Nickelodeon.


Donovan Curtis thinks he's ungifted. He's the ultimate prankster and trouble-maker. But one day, he goes too far in causing a commotion. He strikes a statue of Atlas with a stick, causing the globe Atlas was holding to roll into the gymnasium, where a basketball game is taking place. No one is injured, but the gym is completely demolished and destroyed. The district superintendent, Dr. Schultz, is watching the game. He catches Donovan red-handed. However, when he jots down Donovan's name, he accidentally writes it on the list of candidates for the Academy for Scholastic Distinction (ASD), a school for extremely gifted students. Donovan knows he will be busted and feels that he will cause more stress to his already stressed out household. His older sister, Katie, is currently staying with them and is seven months pregnant. Katie's husband, Brad, is deployed in Afghanistan with the Marines. Adding to the pressure, Katie's mother-in-law drops off Brad's dog, who seems to be ill (but was later revealed to be pregnant) and only takes a liking to Donovan. But after learning he is getting sent to ASD it is filled with joy by the mistake. On his first day, Donovan meets his classmates and while some seem to be annoyed by him, some take a liking to him, especially Chloe, a girl interested in normal things. While Donovan continues to hide out in the Academy, his teachers begin to question if he is gifted. Donovan also joins Robotics, a class taught by his homeroom teacher Mr. Osborne (Mr. Oz) Donovan helps give their robot a name: Tin Man Metallica SquarePants gets his classmate Noah (an extremely intelligent and serious boy) hooked to YouTube and shows his classmates the talent he has of controlling the robot with a joystick. Eventually, Donovan learns his classmates will have to go to summer school for failing to take Human Growth and Development. To help them, he convinces his sister to teach his classmates, which eventually gets approved. Later, during a school dance at the Academy, Donovan's Hardcastle friends, the Daniels, stole Tin Man Metallica SquarePants behind his back but one of them gets beat up by Noah, who had learned of WWE via Youtube.

Later, as the team prepares for the tournament, Dr. Schultz discovers Donovan as the boy who destroyed the gymnasium.


  • Chloe Garfinkle
  • Donovan Curtis
  • Mr. Osborn
  • Dr. Schultz
  • Abigail Lee
  • Noah Youkilis
  • The Daniels
  • Katie Patterson
  • Brad Patterson
  • Ms. Bevelaqua

Awards and Achievements

  • Winner of the 2014 Red Cedar Award (BC Young Readers' Choice)
  • Short-listed for the 2015 Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Readers' Choice
  • Short-listed for the 2013 Snow Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice)
  • Short-listed for the 2013 Canadian Library Association Book of the Year For Children
  • Runner-up of the 2014 Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award
  • Commended for the 2013 OLA Best 2020 Readers Award
  • Commended for the 2013 Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
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