Ungifted is a children's chapter book that might be classified under general fiction/humor, and like many of Gordon Korman's recent books, is harking back to his earlier madcap adventures, although it is still more subdued than the adventures many of us old folk remember from our childhoods.
Donovan Curtis is a troublemaker -- a prankster with severe impulse control issues, perhaps a bit closer to 'brat' than 'class clown'. Which is working out okay for him, really. Until one day he sneaks out of detention and accidently totals the school gym. Due to a paperwork mix-up, he is not punished, but rather put on the list of students set to transfer into the district's gifted student program.
Donovan finds himself surrounded by geniuses. From the teachers to the students, everyone is smarter than he is by a lot... in some cases, by more than 100 IQ points. At the same time, they fall firmly into the category of uncool, many of them having no social skills whatsoever and none of them part of the usual Middle School social scene. But Donovan isn't going rock the boat if he can help it -- if he gets found out he's going to have to pay for a gym, one way or another.
The majority of the book deals with Donovan's attempts to fit in with kids much smarter than he is and pass classes that he can't begin to comprehend. Along the way he manages to save the robotics team, keep the smart kids from having to take summer classes (a long story), and not destroy anything too expensive. Of course, there's other stuff going on too -- his brother-in-law is overseas, and he has to help take care of his dog, which appears to be getting really very sick, distract his older sister, who knows him well enough to know he isn't an honor student, and deal with his old friends, who are likely to turn against him if he keeps hanging out with the dorky kids.
All in all this is a pretty good book, although it is clearly a kids' book, and may not appeal to young adult/adult readers. It has Gordon Korman's usual sense of humor and chaos, and while it is not as over-the-top as Korman's earlier books, it is very much in the same vein as his recent books such as Swindle and Schooled. It is a good choice for kids who want a silly adventure set in the real world, with real kids.
AR Level: 5.2