by Gordon Korman
Balzer + Bray, 2012. 288 pgs. Fiction.
Donovan Curtis is the kind of guy who is really fun in a book; maybe not so much in real life. A grade-A troublemaker, Donovan really blows it when he whacks a giant statue of Atlas on his big bronze butt and sends the world rolling through the glass doors of the gym and into the middle of a basketball game. Collared by the Superintendent of Schools, Donovan thinks he's doomed, but the Superintendent writes his name down on a piece of paper so he can call his parents--a piece of paper that just happens to list the names of the students who will be invited to join the Academy of Scholastic Distinction. Donovan knows the AOSD could be the perfect hideout--who would think to look for him there. It doesn't take long for the truly gifted students of the Academy nor their teachers to figure out that Donovan isn't gifted in the usual sense--but he does have skills, skill these kids don't have. What follows is a hilarious but also tender story about what it really means to be gifted, and what it really means to have friends. My favorite Gordon Korman book ever.