Author Focus: Gordon Korman

When my almost teen boys find an author they like AND I notice them reading more than one of his books, my read-radar goes way up. It hasn’t happened often, but it’s starting to more (yay!). So, when I saw one reading Ungifted, and another reading Restart, followed by Slacker and a request for Korman's newest release, I figured it was time to see what this author was all about. 

A quick amazon search revealed that Gordon Korman is a prolific author. He has written over 85 middle grade and teen novels! And, once I started reading I discovered that I enjoyed his books almost as much as my boys. Most of his books are told from multiple character’s points of view (which my boys really like). And, they are funny, the plots are entertaining, and each book wraps up with the perfect dose of heart. 

Every one I’ve read so far, I would be quick to recommend. 

Interested? Here is a list to get you started. 

 

Ungifted

The first of Korman's that made it's way into our house and probably one of my twin's favorites. 

From Amazon:  When Donovan Curtis pulls a major prank at his middle school, he thinks he’s finally gone too far. But thanks to a mix-up by one of the administrators, instead of getting in trouble, Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special program for gifted and talented students.

Although it wasn’t exactly what Donovan had intended, the ASD couldn’t be a more perfectly unexpected hideout for someone like him. But as the students and teachers of ASD grow to realize that Donovan may not be good at math or science (or just about anything), he shows that his gifts may be exactly what the ASD students never knew they needed.

Readers 8 and up

 

Supergifted

The sequel to Ungifted. Not quite as good as the first, but definitely worth a read if you've read the first and even if you haven't. 

From Amazon: Donovan Curtis has never been what anyone would call “gifted.” But his genius friend Noah Youkilis is actually supergifted, with one of the highest IQs around. After years at the Academy for Scholastic Distinction, all Noah dreams of is the opportunity to fail if he wants to. And he’s landed in the perfect place to do it—Donovan’s school.

Almost immediately, Noah finds himself on the wrong side of cheerleading captain Megan Mercury and alpha jock Hash “Hashtag” Taggart. Sticking up for Noah lands Donovan in the middle of a huge feud with Hashtag. He’s told to stay away from the sports star—or else.

That should be the end of it, but when a freak incident suddenly makes Donovan a hero, he can’t tell anyone about it since Hashtag is involved. So Noah steps in and becomes “Superkid.” Now he’s gone from nerd to titan at school. And it may have gone more than a little bit to his head.

Readers 8 and up

Restart

This is probably my favorite of Korman's so far. A bully gets a chance to start over, what's not to love! It has a great theme and my boys really loved the YouTube video escapades involved in the plot. 

From Amazon:

Chase's memory just went out the window. Chase doesn't remember falling off the roof. He doesn't remember hitting his head. He doesn't, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again . . . starting with his own name. He knows he's Chase. But who is Chase?

When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return. Some kids treat him like a hero. Some kids are clearly afraid of him. One girl in particular is so angry with him that she pours her frozen yogurt on his head the first chance she gets. Pretty soon, it's not only a question of who Chase is--it's a question of who he was . . . and who he's going to be. From the #1 bestselling author of Swindle and Slacker, Restart is the spectacular story of a kid with a messy past who has to figure out what it means to get a clean start.

Readers 8 and up

 

Slacker

A kid whose sole ambition is to play video games, a fake club that becomes real, competing gangs of do-gooders and a rogue beaver all combine in this fun little book. My self-proclaimed slow reader finished this one in record time. 

From Amazon:

Cameron Boxer is very happy to spend his life avoiding homework, hanging out with his friends, and gaming for hours in his basement. It's not too hard for him to get away with it . . . until he gets so caught up in one game that he almost lets his house burn down around him. 

Oops.

It's time for some serious damage control--so Cameron and his friends invent a fake school club that will make it seem like they're doing good deeds instead of slacking off. The problem? Some kids think the club is real--and Cameron is stuck being president.

Soon Cameron is part of a mission to save a beaver named Elvis from certain extinction. Along the way, he makes some new friends--and some powerful new enemies. The guy who never cared about anything is now at the center of everything . . . and it's going to take all his slacker skills to win this round.

Readers 8 and up

Swindle

My most reluctant reader actually read this one and liked it! He would pick it up, read a little, put it down for weeks, then pick it up again... but he finished it! I call that a win. This has a strong Ocean's 11 vibe, only the main character are 11 year olds! Really fun and the first in a long series so if your young reader likes it, there will be plenty more to read once he or she puts this one down. 

From Amazon: 

After a mean collector named Swindle cons him out of his most valuable baseball card, Griffin Bing must put together a band of misfits to break into Swindle's compound and recapture the card. There are many things standing in their way -- a menacing guard dog, a high-tech security system, a very secret hiding place, and their general inability to drive -- but Griffin and his team are going to get back what's rightfully his . . . even if hijinks ensue. 

Readers 8 and up

 

I was thinking about including a list of Korman’s books that I haven’t read at the bottom of this post, but the guy has written so many it would take way too long. He has authored several series that include the Masterminds series, the Everest Series and the Island Series. His newest book just released this month and is titled WhatsHisFace

Perfect for upper elementary and middle schoolers, have your kids give one of Gordon Korman’s books a try. If they get hooked, their To-Be-Read list just got a whole lot longer (a very good problem to have!).

 

Have you or your kids read any of Korman's books? What are your favorites? 

 

PS Reader age recommendations are just that, recommendations. I list them, oftentimes pulled right off of Amazon, to give you a general guide.

PPS All links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you like what you read here, using these links is a small way you can support the blog. Thank you!