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49 pages 1 hour read

Gordon Korman

Supergifted

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2018

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Symbols & Motifs

Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal is the newest robot designed by the Academy robotics team. His state is symbolic of the journey of Noah Youkilis. When Noah is invested in his studies and robotics, the robot is also strong and fast (thanks in part to Noah’s own contributions).

However, when Noah announces his superkid status to the world, things start to change. Noah starts skipping his classes and robotics meetings because he is always busy with interviews. Soon the robot goes haywire as well, no longer responding to the controller’s commands. Significantly, that controller is Donovan, who can no more get Heavy Metal to listen to him than he can Noah. Meanwhile,

Hardcastle plans a big assembly for the governor to honor the superkid, during which Heavy Metal will be the other “star of the show” (101).

It eventually emerges that the connection between Noah’s behavior and Heavy Metal’s isn’t merely symbolic. The hiding place Noah settled on for GradeWorm was Heavy Metal’s hard drive, and the program wrecks the robot just as the identity of superkid interferes with the real Noah. Heavy Metal’s malfunctioning stems directly from Noah’s irresponsibility and preoccupation with his celebrity status.

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