Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Meeting Gordon Korman

When I was in elementary school, my favorite author was Beverly Cleary. I read every book she wrote. I still love her books and am thrilled that Trevor now considers her to be HIS favorite author. (If you missed them before, here are the Ramona Owls Trevor and I made based on "Ramona the Brave.")

In middle school, I discovered Canadian author Gordon Korman. I read two of his books before learning something that blew me away - he is only 9 years older than me and wrote his first book when he was 12. He sent his 7th grade language arts project, a book called "This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall" to Scholastic, along with his class' monthly book order. (His classroom job was Book Order Monitor.) They published it. There I was, 9 years later, as a 12-year old, reading a book written by a 12-year old. I LOVED the book and his sense of humor. Throughout middle school, I read every Gordon Korman book I could find.

By high school, I wasn't reading new Gordon Korman books anymore. It didn't occur to me to visit the Young Adult section of the public library. Once I was a teacher, his books were a bit above the reading level of most of my students, so I never got to teach his books. Yet, anytime I was asked to name my favorite author, I didn't hesitate: Gordon Korman.

And then one day, three years ago, I heard the most incredible news: Gordon Korman himself would be visiting our public library. The time was not convenient, as it fell during 3 year old Trevor's naptime, but I didn't care. I was going to meet Gordon Korman!

Let me assure you, he did not disappoint. His talk was absolutely fascinating. He answered every question from the audience and had all the time in the world for us. I can't remember what I asked, but I do remember telling him that he had been my favorite author for the past 25 years! After the talk, Trevor and I stood in line to have him autograph our books. He signed my ratty, decades-old copies of his classics, then gave Trevor a brand-new copy of "Schooled."  


I pasted the picture I took of the signing inside the front cover. As a 3-year old, Trevor didn't appreciate or even understand what was going on, but I hope in a few years he realizes how incredibly cool this is:



Here's the layout I made back in 2009 about meeting Gordon Korman.

 
So why bring this up now?  I just finished reading Gordon Korman's latest book, "Ungifted." And it was AWESOME. I absolutely loved it.   


"Ungifted" is the story of an impulsive, reckless middle school boy named Donovan who is accidentally transferred to the district's academy for gifted students. Being of average intelligence and used to "normal" school, Donovan doesn't fit in with the gifted kids, to say the least. But he brings something none of them have - a glimpse at what it would be to be ungifted, which is to say, normal. 

As a product of gifted education, I didn't go to a special school, but I certainly recognized some of the habits, concerns, and mannerisms of former classmates (ok, and maybe myself too....) amongst the characters in the book. Of course, that made it even funnier. I won't name names, but I'm hoping some of my classmates will read the book so that we can giggle privately about ourselves and our friends in middle school.  

Thank you, Gordon Korman, for another outstanding book. At the risk of sounding a bit crazy (I swear I'm not), I'm your biggest fan.

10 comments:

  1. I need to get his books!! I haven't heard of him!! How awesome you got to meet him! I loveeeeeeeeeee your lo!! Great colors!!!


    PS ... not sure about my love of salt :) I just know I prefer it to sugar anyday :)

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  2. I've been blessed to meet great authors twice: Eve Bunting when I was in elementary school and Ray Bradbury (one of my personal favorites) in high school. Both times were very exciting. You should put one of Gordon Korman's books on my to-read pile.

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  3. Great post! I too loved Beverly Cleary growing up! I have never heard of Gordon Korman though.
    Based on what you've shared I am now curious about him and his stories, especially "Ungifted" as I was a "gifted" student as
    well (unfortunately that didn't carry into adulthood, LOL)!

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  4. Do you remember Jack Prelutsky visiting Joe Mitchel library around 3rd grade? I too enjoy Gordon Korman and will have to get his new book to share with our impulsive and reckless 12 year old.

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    1. I have a vague, blurry questionable memory of Jack Prelutsky at Michell. I wasn't into his work at the time and didn't appreciate it until I was teaching.

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  5. I want to read his books now. I'm going to add some of them to my to read list. Thanks for sharing your favorite children's author with us.

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  6. I'm not familiar with this author,but I will have to look up his work! Thanks for the introduction. How wonderful that you got to meet someone who meant a lot to you. It's terrific how you are impressing a love for books to Trevor too. Great layout as always!

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  7. I'm a fan of Gordon Korman and I've gone to a couple of book signings and I have been less than impressed by him. At one point he was really rude to some kids, refusing to sign their old books and said they had to buy his new book and he would only sign that one.

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    1. I'm really sorry to hear that. My experience was wonderful.

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