Teen Review
Ungifted
Gordon Korman
Pub 8-2012, Balzer & Bray, $16.99
Hello Reader! The book you are about to read about is Ungifted by Gordon Korman. This book is realistic fiction. I chose this book because I had read one of his other books in the 39 Clues series and I liked it a lot. I hope you will like Ungifted, too.Dovan is the main character in this book. He is one of those kids who will let other people convince him to do things even if they are not the best idea. This gets him in lots of trouble, which you will notice throughout this book (if you read it). One day, he knocks a large globe off of a statue during a school dance (the statue is of a man holding a globe). Dovan knocks it off with a stick because he is really mad at his friends, but he never meant to break it. The globe goes through the gym that the school dance is hosted in. He gets in trouble. The man who gets him in trouble puts his name on a list that he thinks is for kids who are being punished, but it is really for kids who are going to go to a special school. Dovan goes to the school and learns it is a school for very intelligent people. One thing I liked about this book was that Dovan has trouble blending in. The reason I liked this book is because a lot of kids including me (sometimes) have trouble blending in. But somehow Gordon Korman makes this a really important part of the book. I find Dovan’s attempts to blend in quite pathetic and funny, because though he could meet the standards in his old school, in his new school, it is so much harder that he basically fails at everything but robotics, which you will later learn. At first, he is bad at robotics, but he likes the class, so he prints out pictures and pastes them on the class robot. I can tell that Dovan likes robotics because it is the class that is focused on most in the book and it is the only class where Dovan makes friends.
Dovan learns that the robot is going to be in a contest and needs to be driven with a joystick. No one knows how to drive the robot but Dovan, so he drives it. I think this is a special moment for Dovan because he was feeling like he didn’t fit in for a long time, and now he’s finally found something he is good at. 
Soon, people notice he does not belong at the school, so they make him take a test to see if he really is smart. Someone in the school hacks into the computer and does the test for him. Dovan doubts that this plan will work. He even doubts that the person who helped him is really a friend to him because they might just want Dovan to stay in the school so he can steer the robot. I am not sure what Gordon Korman was trying to say about friendship, but he is surely not saying that friends always help. Sometimes people only do things for themselves, even if it seems like they are doing it for a friend.  I liked this book because the characters had real-to-life feelings. When Dovan starts at the gifted school, he feels nervous like a real kid would feel. Just like you might feel on your first day at a new school.Want to find out if Dovan gets to stay in the school or he doesn’t? Then read this book. I hope you’ll like it!
- Luisa P., 8

Teen Review

Ungifted

Gordon Korman

Pub 8-2012, Balzer & Bray, $16.99

Hello Reader! The book you are about to read about is Ungifted by Gordon Korman. This book is realistic fiction. I chose this book because I had read one of his other books in the 39 Clues series and I liked it a lot. I hope you will like Ungifted, too.

Dovan is the main character in this book. He is one of those kids who will let other people convince him to do things even if they are not the best idea. This gets him in lots of trouble, which you will notice throughout this book (if you read it). One day, he knocks a large globe off of a statue during a school dance (the statue is of a man holding a globe). Dovan knocks it off with a stick because he is really mad at his friends, but he never meant to break it. The globe goes through the gym that the school dance is hosted in. He gets in trouble. The man who gets him in trouble puts his name on a list that he thinks is for kids who are being punished, but it is really for kids who are going to go to a special school. Dovan goes to the school and learns it is a school for very intelligent people.

One thing I liked about this book was that Dovan has trouble blending in. The reason I liked this book is because a lot of kids including me (sometimes) have trouble blending in. But somehow Gordon Korman makes this a really important part of the book. I find Dovan’s attempts to blend in quite pathetic and funny, because though he could meet the standards in his old school, in his new school, it is so much harder that he basically fails at everything but robotics, which you will later learn. At first, he is bad at robotics, but he likes the class, so he prints out pictures and pastes them on the class robot. I can tell that Dovan likes robotics because it is the class that is focused on most in the book and it is the only class where Dovan makes friends.

Dovan learns that the robot is going to be in a contest and needs to be driven with a joystick. No one knows how to drive the robot but Dovan, so he drives it. I think this is a special moment for Dovan because he was feeling like he didn’t fit in for a long time, and now he’s finally found something he is good at. 

Soon, people notice he does not belong at the school, so they make him take a test to see if he really is smart. Someone in the school hacks into the computer and does the test for him. Dovan doubts that this plan will work. He even doubts that the person who helped him is really a friend to him because they might just want Dovan to stay in the school so he can steer the robot. I am not sure what Gordon Korman was trying to say about friendship, but he is surely not saying that friends always help. Sometimes people only do things for themselves, even if it seems like they are doing it for a friend.  

I liked this book because the characters had real-to-life feelings. When Dovan starts at the gifted school, he feels nervous like a real kid would feel. Just like you might feel on your first day at a new school.

Want to find out if Dovan gets to stay in the school or he doesn’t? Then read this book. I hope you’ll like it!

- Luisa P., 8

Teen Book Review
Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell
Chris Colfer
Pub 7-2012, Little, Brown, $17.99

Hello Reader! 
This book you are about to approach is called The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer. I hope that, when you get this book, you will love it the same way I did. I also hope that, in this book, you will have the same happy approach I have.
In this book, two normal kids have a Grandma and Dad who used to read stories to them from a book called The Land of Stories. When these two children (twins – Alex and Connor) get older, their Grandma gives the book to them. Alex reads some of the stories and wishes she were there. The two children get sucked into the land of stories but after that happens, can they get back home? 
I really liked the Land of Stories because it points out a few things in fairy tales that you might not have understood, and it makes sense of them. Like, I never understood how three princesses could marry Prince Charming. In this book, it says that all three Prince Charmings are brothers called Chance, Chase, and Chandler. They have a brother who they think died, called Charlie. 
I also liked how, even though this book is fantasy, the characters still have feelings. Like how Alex cries when a witch tells them a sad story, and how, when they get sucked into the book, they don’t know where they are, and the characters feel scared. 
An interesting part was when they made Snow White’s evil stepmother sound nice. They said that, when she was younger, she was left on someone’s doorstep and they had to raise her. She liked them, and she fell in love. On the day of her marriage, the enchantress came and said “she is my daughter”. The townspeople did not have proof that she was not the enchantress’s daughter, so they had to give her up. The enchantress made her a slave but she found her true love at last, and they began passing notes to each other. The enchantress noticed and put her true love in a mirror, and the evil stepmother spent her whole life trying to find a way to get him out. She could not find someone with magic strong enough. Her heart was broken. 
I hope what you read today will change your feeling for fairy tales, and will make you want to read this book as much as I did. I hope it will help you want to learn more about fairy tales, and I especially hope that you will read and love The Land of Stories like I did.

- Luisa P., 8

Teen Book Review

Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell

Chris Colfer

Pub 7-2012, Little, Brown, $17.99

Hello Reader! 

This book you are about to approach is called The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer. I hope that, when you get this book, you will love it the same way I did. I also hope that, in this book, you will have the same happy approach I have.

In this book, two normal kids have a Grandma and Dad who used to read stories to them from a book called The Land of Stories. When these two children (twins – Alex and Connor) get older, their Grandma gives the book to them. Alex reads some of the stories and wishes she were there. The two children get sucked into the land of stories but after that happens, can they get back home? 

I really liked the Land of Stories because it points out a few things in fairy tales that you might not have understood, and it makes sense of them. Like, I never understood how three princesses could marry Prince Charming. In this book, it says that all three Prince Charmings are brothers called Chance, Chase, and Chandler. They have a brother who they think died, called Charlie. 

I also liked how, even though this book is fantasy, the characters still have feelings. Like how Alex cries when a witch tells them a sad story, and how, when they get sucked into the book, they don’t know where they are, and the characters feel scared. 

An interesting part was when they made Snow White’s evil stepmother sound nice. They said that, when she was younger, she was left on someone’s doorstep and they had to raise her. She liked them, and she fell in love. On the day of her marriage, the enchantress came and said “she is my daughter”. The townspeople did not have proof that she was not the enchantress’s daughter, so they had to give her up. The enchantress made her a slave but she found her true love at last, and they began passing notes to each other. The enchantress noticed and put her true love in a mirror, and the evil stepmother spent her whole life trying to find a way to get him out. She could not find someone with magic strong enough. Her heart was broken. 

I hope what you read today will change your feeling for fairy tales, and will make you want to read this book as much as I did. I hope it will help you want to learn more about fairy tales, and I especially hope that you will read and love The Land of Stories like I did.

- Luisa P., 8