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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman comes a hilarious and heartfelt novel in which one middle-school troublemaker accidentally moves into the gifted and talented program—and changes everything. For fans of Louis Sachar and Jack Gantos, this funny and touching underdog story is a lovable and goofy adventure with robot fights, middle-school dances, live experiments, and statue-toppling pranks!

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. 

Curriculet Details
38 Questions
38 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 5th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining point of view, figurative language and plot details. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about theme and imagery. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of point of view, emerging themes, and character development. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Unearthed: Donovan Curtis, IQ: 112

Describe what Donovan likes best about causing trouble. Cite evidence from the text to support your response.  
This is a sculpture of Atlas like the one Donovan hit.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Donovan compare himself to James Donovan?  

Unidentified: Dr. Schultz, IQ: 127

Notice that the point of view has changed. This chapter is from the eyes of Dr. Schultz.  

Unexplained: Donovan Curtis, IQ: 112

Explain what Mr. Fender means when he says that the students had "suffered enough." 
A comparison that uses the words "like" or "as" is called a simile. Donovan compares the speed of the spreading rumors to how quickly head lice spreads.  (This annotation contains a video)
Infer the meaning of the phrase "modus operandi." 
James Donovan literally survived the sinking of the Titanic by swimming. Donovan is using this example to give being "gifted" a try (but also to avoid facing the truth). 

Unarmed: Chloe Garfinkle, IQ: 159

Chloe Garfinkle is our newest point of view change. Notice that her IQ is higher than Donovan's.  
Explain why Chloe values being normal so much. Use evidence from the text to support your response.  
Compare and contrast how Donovan's curiosity is received by his new classmates and teacher compared to his old school.  
A hypothesis is an observation that is presented and then studied and tested. Chloe observes her surroundings and presents information through frequent hypothesis statements.  

Unknowing: Donovan Curtis, IQ: 112

This is a house with solar panels on the roof. Solar panels absorb sunlight and turn it into energy.  (This annotation contains an image)
Explain why Donovan believes he can succeed at the Academy. Use text-based evidence to support your response.  
In 2006, scientists declared that Pluto was no longer to be listed as a planet.  
Why are the Daniels so happy about this information? 

Uncredited: Mr. Osborne, IQ: 132

How does the change in narrator enhance the development of the plot? Explain your response.  
Ellie Shapiro is questioning whether Donovan is actually a genius pretending to be normal.  
Can eyes actually shoot sparks? This is an example of personification. Watch the clip below to learn more.  (This annotation contains a video)
Explain how Donovan's lack of talent is actually resulting in positive changes for the students at the Academy. Use evidence from the text to support your response.  

Unrepaired: Donovan Curtis, IQ: 112

Beowulf is an epic poem written in Old English. Watch the clip below for a quick summary of the poem.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why does the bumper sticker bother Donovan? 
Notice how being at the Academy is changing the way Donovan thinks and feels.  
What is Donovan's motivation to help his classmates get out of summer school? 

Unsurprised: Chloe Garfinkle, IQ: 159

What is the value of Chloe's observation of Donovan? How does his presence affect the class? 
This hypothesis concludes that the class is greater with the addition of Donovan compared to their talents alone.  

Unfailing: Noah Youkilis, IQ: 206

What is revealed about Noah's true feelings regarding his IQ and enrollment at the Academy?  
Notice how Noah is not happy at the Academy and is searching for ways to get back to "normal" school. 
What is the underlying reason for Donovan's quick temper and resistance towards his old school? 
Chapters 1-9 Quiz 

Unpasteurized: Donovan Curtis, IQ: 112

Notice how Donovan's perspective is changing. His growth is an emerging theme. Keep track of more examples!  (This annotation contains a video)
Jeff Gordon is a famous NASCAR racer.  (This annotation contains an image)

Unsuccessful: Dr. Schultz, IQ: 127

How does the changing point of view in each chapter impact the reader's understanding of the story? Explain your response.  
What is ironic about this statement? 

Unrockin’: Chloe Garfinkle, IQ: 159

Does Donovan's label as "unqualified" bother Chloe? Nope! Notice how her understanding and feelings for Donovan keeps him important to the other students.  
Check out the outfits of the wrestlers from Royal Rumble.  (This annotation contains an image)

Untrustworthy: Donovan Curtis, IQ: 112

Based on this statement, the look Abigail gave Donovan can be described as ___________. 
Another blossoming theme to keep track of is acceptance. Notice that Donovan is defending his new classmates.  (This annotation contains a video)
Explain why showing the Daniels the robot may be a bad idea for Donovan.  
Compare Donovan's sense of responsibility for the robot to his feelings about pranks from earlier in the novel. Use text evidence to support your response.  
Donovan never limits his impulses! 

Unsorry: Noah Youkilis, IQ: 206

Notice how Noah's character is developing through his interactions with Donovan.  
Why is Donovan so important to Noah? 
Compare how the students react to the idea of helping Donovan. How does Noah's realization connect to the issue? 

Untested: Donovan Curtis, IQ: 112

In this comparison Donovan is showing how important he is to the team. The Lone Ranger is a fictional character that rode his horse to fight crime and protect his community.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why do the Daniels say that Noah is a huge, tough, wrestling type of guy? 
Beatrice has also been sleeping in Donovan's bottom drawer which is a safe place for her to have her pups.  
Donovan doesn't realize that most of his classmates want to help him stay.  

Unforgivable: Ms. Bevelaqua, IQ: 140

Explain how Donovan's passing test score changes the perspective of his teachers regarding his presence at the Academy. Why is Ms. Bevelaqua not falling for it? 

Unreal: Katie Patterson, IQ: 107

This is what Beatrice might look like.  (This annotation contains an image)
How has Katie changed since starting the Human Growth and Devlopment class? 
Explain the effect that this conversation has on Katie. Why is she so shocked? Use text-based evidence to support your response.  
Not only is Donovan's character growing and changing, but he is also influencing the people around him.  

Unmasked: Dr. Schultz, IQ: 127

What isn't sitting well with Dr. Schultz? Why is he calling Mr. Del Rio? 
This statement is an example of imagery. The author brings Dr. Schultz's reaction to life through vivid language and description.  (This annotation contains a video)
Chapters 10-18 Quiz 

Unwelcome: Donovan Curtis, IQ: 112

Donovan was never really gifted, but why does he mourn the loss of his place at school? 
What does this statement reveal about Donovan? Why is he able to finally acknowledge his father's feelings? 
What is Donovan realizing about his time at the Academy? 
Donovan finally feels guilty for his actions and is able to understand his punishment.  
This could also be the best cover yet because no one would think Abigail would ever help Donovan.  

Unbelievable: Chloe Garfinkle, IQ: 159

"An ugly truth began weighing me down like a heavy meal," is an example of _________. 
Analyze Chloe's realization about Donovan. How does this statement illustrate Donovan's character traits? 
The Daniels are evolving too! Chloe's honesty shocked them into helping her.  

Unschooled: Donovan Curtis, IQ: 112

Explain how the Academy is still affecting Donovan and his time back at his old school. 
Donovan's removal from the Academy is weighing heavily on his shoulders.  

Unseen: Mr. Osborne, IQ: 132

What aspects of Donovan's character influenced his classmates the most? Use evidence from the text to support your response.  
This if footage from a real robotics competition. The challenge may be different but this is similar to what is happening in the novel.  (This annotation contains a video)

Uncontrolled: Donovan Curtis, IQ: 112

Donovan rarely thinks out a plan before taking action. This statement is perfect evidence of that.  
What does Abigail's release of the controller to Donovan say about her view of him? 
Donovan may have learned to study more at the Academy, but he did not learn to control his impulsive behavior.  

Unexpected: Chloe Garfinkle, IQ: 159

How is Donovan acting differently compared to his reaction to having Katie come to school for the Human Growth and Development project? 
Does this match Noah's observation and assumption earlier in the book? 
Why is Noah so happy to have guessed the baby's gender incorrectly? 

Unburdened: Abigail Lee, IQ: 171

Abigail broke her own rules and cheated to help Donovan. Explain her motivation. 

Unchallenged: Noah Youkilis, IQ: 206

Noah is smart enough to take responsibility for the test so he can get what he wants.  
Explain what Noah means by this statement. Use evidence from the text to support your response.  

Unlittered: Donovan Curtis, IQ: 112

Not only has Noah achieved public school status but he also has fans of his YouTube videos.  
Chapters 19-27 Quiz