Thursday, 22 March 2018


By Gordon Korman

Donovan Curtis is the class clown and the first to cause mayhem and destruction in Hardcastle Middle School.  With the assistance of his two best friends, both named Daniel, Donovan has raised the ire of teachers, principals and even students.  Known for his antics, Donovan is definitely not academically inclined.

When Donovan accidentally causes real destruction (costing in the neighbourhood of $20, 000), he is caught by Dr. Schultz, the District Superintendent.  Through a series of mishaps, Donovan gets away and is mistakenly admitted to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction where Dr. Schultz will never find him!

Both teachers and students notice immediately that Donovan is not gifted in the same ways they are.  He’s not good at math, science, English or social studies.  But the students notice something else too -- unlike them, Donovan is normal.  He knows how to have fun, play video games and search YouTube.  The gifted students adopt Donovan as one of their own, and despite his misgivings about the “nerds” in the gifted program, he becomes their friend.

At the biggest academic event of the year, the Robotics Competition, Donovan will be an integral team member.  But he knows he can’t hide from Dr. Schultz forever.  Will he make it through the competition without getting caught?  Or will this year’s Robotics Competition be a showdown unlike anything his town has ever seen?

Gordon Korman has written over 70 books for children.  His school stories are realistic and very funny.  Ungifted is classic Korman – don’t miss it!

Friday, 9 March 2018

Yours Sincerely, Giraffe

Yours Sincerely, Giraffe
Yours Sincerely, Giraffe
By Megumi Iwasa, 
Illustrations by Jun Takabataka

Giraffe is bored and longs for a friend.  Pelican is bored and offers to deliver letters.  Although Giraffe has never written a letter, he decides to give it a try.

Pelican flies Giraffe’s letter beyond the horizon to a faraway place called Whale Sea.  Seal is the letter carrier there, and he chooses Penguin to be the recipient of Giraffe’s letter.  Soon, a correspondence begins!

But Giraffe has never heard of a penguin and Penguin has never heard of a giraffe.  What is a long neck anyway?  Penguin doesn’t have a neck – in fact, he thinks he might be almost all neck!  Penguin is black and white, and Giraffe wonders if he might be striped like a zebra.  

When Giraffe decides to dress up like Penguin and travel to the other side of the horizon to meet him, a very odd and interesting meeting takes place.  Both Giraffe and Penguin learn a lot, and a beautiful friendship ensues.

With its lovely combination of pencil drawings and short text, including letters, Yours Sincerely, Giraffe, is perfect for early chapter book readers!  Also makes a great read-aloud.