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From Unschooled to Schooled by Gordon Korman
Transcript of From Unschooled to Schooled by Gordon Korman
Capricorn Anderson = Special Population
Highly-gifted 8th grade male
"...[Cap] passed every state test-always in the top 5%." (pg 21)
Cap memorizes 1,100 students and photos name using a yearbook. (pg 198)
Rural - homeschooled on isolated commune
Capricorn Anderson is a highly gifted teenager homeschooled by his hippie grandmother on an isolated, run-down, and deserted commune. His ideology, mannerisms, and appearance are straight out of the 1960's and 1970's. Capricorn "Cap" Anderson goes from unschooled to
in this young adult novel by Gordon Korman.
This quote from Dr. Silverman describes Cap's giftness traits as described by the author in this novel:
Students bully Cap because he does not look or act like other children in his peer group. Cap's physical appearence is different head-to-toe: from his wild, unkempt hair (an unresistable spitball target, pg 30) to his homemade cornhusk shoes. Cap does not act like his peers because of his asynchrony in development and having only adults to converse with regularly.
For several years, I used this book as a novel study with my sixth grade students. It covers difficult topics such as bullying and the peace movement in a highly entertaining manner that appeals to both genders. In sixth grade history, we covered the concepts of non-violence and Gandhi when studying India, so this book crossed curriculums.
At the time, I didn't realize that Capricorn was a "gifted" student until after I started learning about this segment of the student population and realized that this character fit the criteria.
makes a wonderful novel study for gifted middle school teachers that want to use it as a springboard to discuss bullying, non-violence, and the peace movement of the 60's.
This story is told from several characters' point of views...from the gifted students that are bullied such as Cap and Hugh, to the popular students such as Naomi and Zach that are bullying. This gives the reader first person insight to each characters' thoughts and perceptions. The character of Hugh that befriends Cap, has played the part of victim for so long that he's accustomed to the abuse. Cap teaches Hugh and the popular crowd how non-violence and love can win over the students' cruelness towards each other.
As an inspiration to my students, I always made it a point to tell them that the author, Gordon Korman, wrote his first book that was published when he was in seventh grade.