Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Gordon Korman
Balzer + Bray, 2012

         Donavan Curtis is a screw-up.  Instead of thinking about his actions, he just acts, and the result is often chaos.  He’s been voted Most Likely to Wind Up in Jail at his middle school for the past two years. But now he’s accidently destroyed a good portion of the school gym and he’s been caught red-handed.   Fortunately for Donovan, Dr. Schultz, the school system superintendent, accidently placed his name on a list of transfer to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction – the school for geniuses.  Donovan is no genius – he is quite average – but he figures the Academy is the best place for him to hide from Dr. Schultz.
            It’s quite obvious to everyone that Donavan doesn’t belong to the academy.  Even though he’s trying to do well, he doesn’t understand much of what’s going on.  Among these geniuses, he sticks out like a sore thumb.  Even so, he finds his niche and is able to contribute.  When his class is threatened with having to go to summer school to take Human Growth and Development, Donovan arranges for his very pregnant sister to save the day by acting as a real-life experience.  Donovan’s video games skills are extremely helpful with running the Robotics Club robot – this year they might even win the competition!  But even with Donovan trying to do the right thing, sometimes screw-ups happen anyway.
            I loved this book.  I loved Donovan, and I loved all his geeky classmates at the Academy.  It’s a funny book, but with a deeper message.  It’s also a perfect book for students who loved Korman’s Schooled.  


Ms. Yingling said...

This was my favorite MG novel last year! I have four copies, and none are ever in. I did order one copy of Sonnenblick's Are You Experienced, and think it will be okay. As I noted, a little language, drug use that is portrayed as very bad, and sexual activity strongly hinted at but not described. Hope that's enough description!

Paige Y. said...

Korman is one of my favorite middle grade novelists, and this is one of his best. I think I'm going to go ahead and get Are You Experienced -- I love Sonnenblick's books and it sounds like it will be a great 8th grade read.