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The Gifted, the Talented, and Me
Cover of The Gifted, the Talented, and Me
The Gifted, the Talented, and Me
For fans of John Corey Whaley, a clever coming-of-age story about fitting in and finding your way in a too-complicated world.Pitch-perfect and hilarious." - Kirkus ReviewsFifteen-year-old Sam is not a...
For fans of John Corey Whaley, a clever coming-of-age story about fitting in and finding your way in a too-complicated world.Pitch-perfect and hilarious." - Kirkus ReviewsFifteen-year-old Sam is not a...
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  • For fans of John Corey Whaley, a clever coming-of-age story about fitting in and finding your way in a too-complicated world.

    Pitch-perfect and hilarious." - Kirkus Reviews
    Fifteen-year-old Sam is not a famous vlogger, he's never gone viral, and he doesn't want to be the Next Big Thing. In fact, he's ordinary and proud of it. None of which was a problem until Dad got rich and Mom made the whole family move to London. Now Sam's off to the North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented, where everyone's busy planning Hollywood domination or starting alt-metal psychedelica crossover bands. Sam knows he'll never belong, even if he wanted to — but can he find himself on his own terms?

About the Author-

  • William Sutcliffe is the author of twelve novels, including the international bestseller Are You Experienced? and The Wall, which was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. He has written for adults, young adults and children, and has been translated into twenty-eight languages. His 2008 novel Whatever Makes You Happy is now a Netflix Original film starring Patricia Arquette, Felicity Huffman and Angela Bassett. It was released in August 2019 under the title Otherhood.

    His latest novel, The Gifted, The Talented and Me, was described by The Times as 'dangerously funny' and by the Guardian as 'refreshingly hilarious'.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2020
    When Sam's family makes a drastic move from humdrum suburban Stevenage to fast-paced, upscale Hampstead, everyone's lives are disrupted. Motivated by a midlife crisis, his mother moves them into a house she fills with vintage furniture and enrolls all three siblings in the trendy North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented. Older brother Ethan, a wannabe musician, finds a ready group of admiring girls and more opportunities to show off his talents on the guitar. Little Freya finds a place where she can fully express her artistic skills, currently limited to drawing unicorns, kittens, and rainbows. The narrator, 15-year-old Sam, is a fish out of water. Unlike his siblings, he loved Stevenage and resents being taken away from his friends. When he finds that his only passion, soccer, is not permitted in his new school, he is determined to be miserable. His mother's change of personality is disorienting, too. She no longer prioritizes cooking and taking care of the family but dives deeply into multiple personal projects, including a blog about parenting. Sam's wry observations on family conflicts and his own social angst are roll-on-the-ground funny. A cleverly revealed dramatic talent coupled with a new understanding of the thorny business of romance set Sam on the path toward urban cool and greater happiness. Main characters present White; there is some diversity in minor characters. Pitch-perfect and hilarious. (Fiction. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2020
    Grades 7-10 When Sam's father sells his business, the family is suddenly filthy rich and, against Sam's protest, leaves their comfortable hometown and heads to London, where 15-year-old Sam is enrolled in the tony North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented. He disgustedly dismisses it as a poncey artsy-fartsy school and, upon failing to fit in, has as much social life as a cactus. But perhaps that is about to change, for?against his will?he finds himself trying out for the role of Caliban in Shakespeare's The Tempest and miraculously wins the part. But that's a good thing because it puts him in the company of beautiful Jennifer, who, alas, is dating Felipe, a gifted actor who also happens to be obnoxious and vain as a peacock. Meanwhile, Sam makes a friend of Marina, the lovely costume mistress, who may become more than a friend to our hero. Sam tells this amusing rom-com in his own often funny, always down-to-earth voice. Sutcliffe's agreeable story will delight drama buffs and other teens as well.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2020

    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.-Elizabeth Friend, Wester M.S., TX

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Brian Conaghan, award-winning author of When Mr. Dog Bites Sharp, witty and brilliantly observed... I haven't laughed out loud like that for a long time'
  • Kirkus Reviews Roll-on-the-ground funny...Pitch-perfect and hilarious.
  • School Library Journal Sam is a funny, honest, wry narrator and this novel is filled with true laugh-out-loud moments. . . . Hilarious and heartwarming, this is a great fit for high school libraries.
  • SLJ on THE WALL This is a deeply moving tale about a boy whose life dramatically shifts once he realizes the truth about where he lives.
  • Kirkus on THE WALL This is wholly realistic fiction detailing a boy's coming-of-age in a real-life political situation.
  • Booklist on CONCENTR8 Thought-provoking and rife with book-discussion fodder.
  • Publishers Weekly on CONCENTR8 With a writing style that is both entertaining and stark, Sutcliffe uses broad, vivid strokes to highlight societal injustice while filling in details that focus on the interconnectedness of friendship and the dangers of unquestioningly following a single leader.

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    Bloomsbury Publishing
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