FICTION

The Gifted, the Talented, and Me

Bloomsbury. Sept. 2020. 336p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781547604203.
COPY ISBN
Gr 9 Up–When’s Sam’s dad accidentally gets rich, he moves their white family away from middle-class Stevenage to a posh London neighborhood, where Sam and his siblings enroll at the North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented. It’s okay for Sam’s siblings: One’s into music, and the other’s an artist. Sam is rudderless. Popular at his old school, now he’s no one—or at least, not until a series of hormonal incidents leads him to audition for the school play, where he gets cast as Caliban in The Tempest. Sam finds himself changing from a nobody into a guy who has the guts to ask out the girl he likes, walk away from the gorgeous girl he thought he liked but really doesn’t, and even deal with the fallout when his mother joins his brother’s grunge band. Sam is a funny, honest, wry narrator and this novel is filled with true laugh-out-loud moments. Everyone in his family grows in different ways, and Sam is finally able to realize that he’s okay with just being normal (as normal as anyone can be at age 15, anyway). Because of frequent conversations between his inner voices Optimistic-, Pessimistic-, and Dick Brain , and numerous references to boners and other dance-in-the-pants moments, the novel is probably better for older teens.
VERDICT Hilarious and heartwarming, this is a great fit for high school libraries.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?