49 pages 1 hour read

Gordon Korman


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2018

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Summary and Study Guide


Supergifted is a middle-grade novel by Gordon Korman that explores the challenges and triumphs of students at Hardcastle Middle School. It serves as a sequel to Korman’s earlier work, Ungifted, and explores themes like Embracing Differences, Dynamics of Identity, Growth and Self-Acceptance, and Friendship and Loyalty. With its blend of humor and serious messages, the book showcases the power of friendship and the impact it can have on an individual’s growth and self-confidence.

Gordon Korman’s career as a writer spans over four decades. Born on October 23, 1963, in Montreal, Canada, Korman discovered his passion for writing at a young age. He published his first book, This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall, at age 14. Since then, Korman has written over 80 novels, including the MacDonald Hall, Swindle, and On the Run series. Critics have praised his observation of human nature and ability to create realistic and multidimensional characters. His work explores a wide range of themes, from friendship to personal growth and self-discovery. Gordon Korman’s contributions to children’s and young adult literature make him a significant figure in the literary world.

This study guide refers to the 2018 e-book published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Plot Summary

Donovan Curtis is an ordinary middle school student who has a knack for getting into trouble. He is friends with Noah Youkilis, a “supergenius” who transfers to Hardcastle Middle School seeking a greater challenge. However, Donovan and Noah continue to attend the robotics class at the Academy for Scholastic Distinction, and their team creates a robot named Heavy Metal. Meanwhile, Noah decides to show his enthusiasm for his new school by signing up for cheerleading, much to the chagrin of Hash Taggart, the captain of the lacrosse team, and Megan Mercury, the head cheerleader; Noah’s poor cheerleading skills threaten their reputations.

One day, Hashtag tries to make Noah quit cheerleading by beating him up. Donovan and his dog, Beatrice, intervene, and Beatrice bites Hashtag. Donovan agrees to stay away from Hashtag to keep Beatrice safe from animal control, but Hashtag is still set on revenge. Noah therefore decides to defend his friend from Hashtag and heads toward his house wearing home-made wrestling gear. Donovan comes to stop Noah from a fight he’ll surely lose just as a tanker truck threatens to smash into a house. Donovan grabs the steering wheel and diverts the truck into a pool, saving the house, which turns out to be Megan’s. However, since Donovan has been warned to stay away from Hashtag, he cannot acknowledge his heroic act to anyone.

Seeing that Donovan is anxious about the possibility of discovery, Noah decides to help him by claiming to be the “superkid” who stopped the truck. As Noah’s celebrity status soars, he starts ignoring his old friends. The governor plans to present Noah with an award for community service and valor. However, a reporter named Trussman doubts Noah’s story; Donovan tries to warn his friend of the danger, but Noah assumes he’s jealous and writes off his advice. Two of Donovan and Noah’s friends—the Daniels—also guess the truth. In exchange for secrecy, they demand that Noah help them with their grades, which he does by creating a bot called GradeWorm to hack into the school computer.

In the days leading up to the ceremony, Heavy Metal begins malfunctioning. Donovan and the team desperately try to fix Heavy Metal, but during the event, Heavy Metal drops golf balls on the audience. Donovan activates the kill switch to prevent further mishap, and his quick reflexes cause the truck driver to recognize him as the real superkid. Megan also steps forward with proof that Donovan was at the scene—she has a toy belonging to his dog—and confirms the driver’s announcement. Donovan confesses that he saved the house but protects Noah from backlash by adding that he asked Noah to cover for him.

In the robotics lab, two members of the team, Chloe and Abigail, discover GradeWorm saved on Heavy Metal’s drive; Noah put it there to hide it, and it has been causing the robot to malfunction. Noah is expelled from Hardcastle Middle School due to GradeWorm and returns to the Academy. Despite this, Noah is content: He has his friends, his IQ, and YouTube. Donovan’s family, the Daniels, and the cheerleading squad present Donovan with a medal for his bravery. In that moment, Donnie feels pretty “supergifted.”

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