The Book Bag (#1): Ungifted

Welcome to The Book Bag! Today, we’re reaching all the way to the bottom! Gordon Korman is a very distinguished author and has published over eighty books. You might recognize his work from theSwindle series, certain 39 Clues novels, Macdonald HallEverestDiveOn The RunKidnapped (Incidentally, that is a sequel to the On The Run series), Nose PickersIslands, and many more. Fun Fact: The first book in the Swindle series, Swindle, was turned into a Nickelodeon movie. My thoughts are…mixed. I will be reviewing one of his standalone books, Ungifted.

Ungifted is about a boy named Donovan who can best be described as a trickster. He is not very good at school, likes to play pranks, and appears to have poor impulse control. According to a paraphrased section, when he has an idea, he has to do it. After a very destructive accident, the superintendent mistakenly sends him to a special school for gifted students. Obviously, he isn’t gifted with the near-genius level intellects of the students who go there, hence the title, Ungifted. Once there, Donovan must hide out and not attract the attention of the superintendent. If he does get noticed, he’ll (rightfully) get in trouble for the trick.

First, the good parts. The characters are very interesting. I want to learn more about them, especially some of his new classmates. Secondly, I am engaged in the plot. Despite certain misgivings that will be described later, I really wanted to find out what was going to happen. I never wanted to stop reading the book.

Now for the bad parts. Donovan isn’t the nicest of protagonists. Some of his actions are downright mean and made me feel less sympathy for him. For example, he pretends to have A.D.D., dyslexia, and the like in order to get better grades. Speaking as someone who has A.D.D., I feel very offended by that. I know that he’s trying to stay in the school, but the reasoning behind that does not make it any better. Just take your punishment! Secondly, all of the students at the gifted school are described as being socially awkward. I don’t know if that would be true but it seems very stereotypical. As this may be either a nitpick or an error on my part, please feel free to correct me down below. Finally, the very nature of the main conflict is contrived. Many more coincidences or unrealistic actions happen constantly. Personally, it took me out of the universe. To name one, how could the teachers not realize that Dononvan isn’t actually gifted? Wouldn’t they have records of the supposed testing?

Despite my complaints, Ungifted is a fun book to read. I highly recommend it. Mr. Korman is a very popular author, so you will most likely be able to find a copy at your local library or bookstore. And remember, even if I dislike a certain book, you can still like it. I’ve disliked many books that are considered popular. I’m Zachary Krishef, and I hope that everyone has an excellent day.

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

Reviewed by Zachary Krishef

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Next Time: Seeing as it just came out, I think my next subject will be The Fault In Our Stars. Let’s hear it for shamelessly trying to get reviews and comments!


Randomly Generated Topic: “Comparison”

Hi, guys. It’s the last day of summer, and I can’t’ wait for school tomorrow. Remember this summer’s crossover post with Ponui, my cousin? Well, I’ve finally found another website to use that randomly generates topics. Today’s topic is “Comparison.” I would rant about the movie adaption of Gordon Korman’s novel Swindle, but I haven’t seen the movie as of now. I can’t be biased, as much as I HATE what I’ve seen so far.

So, what should I compare? Should I look up another random noun and a random time period? Should I discuss what others are discussing, with the war in Iraq, and the potential war in Syria? No, I would rather not discuss my fears on that. Instead, I will go with the former option.

First Random Topic: Comparisons

What Am I Comparing?: The first option was religion. I’m not going there, because I don’t want to offend myself or anyone. Next randomly generated topic! Paint? Sure!

Time Period: My first randomly generated date is 10-13-1603. Some Wikipedia searching took me to ancient paintings in the Ming dynasty. In that case, I will now do a comparison of paintings in the Ming Dynasty, and in this time.

Comparison: Firstly, calligraphy was a staple of paintings in this era. The art of painting flourished, and it seemed that many schools were created simply for painting. Nowadays, schools for painting are even more common, and schools regularly offer art classes. Secondly, the images that I have found seem to be very detailed. In 2013, paintings are still very detailed, but the influence of culture and differing time periods adds some changes. Comparing these topics reminds me of comparing apples to oranges, as cliche as that statement may be. I am not sure what to say. This topic could be something a school would offer for an assignment, and I’m simply a teen trying to soak in as much of the final day of the summer as possible. Still, I shouldn’t simply use ‘summer’ as an excuse to be stupid. On to A.P. Psychology!

I have that class next year, or tomorrow, as the case may be, and I am scared. It is my first Advanced Placement class. I’ve been doing some research today, and I can’t wait to take the class!

I’m slowly running out of things to say, so I will end this post here. Tomorrow is my first day of school, and I do not know if I’ll make a post when school ends. I don’t know what my amount of homework will be, and I will have to get some extra homework, due to the High Holidays, This week, the week after next week, and the week after that will see me absent from school on Thursdays and Fridays. I am not happy about missing school, but it could always be worse. Have an excellent day, everybody! I have six hours and sixteen minutes until I have to sleep.