The Unteachables by Gordon Korman

The Unteachables (2019) by Gordon Korman is one of the more recent releases that I have read lately.  You know how sometimes you end a book and you just have a sense of calm satisfaction?  Those times when the book is just that good?  So good, in fact, that you don’t even really have words to describe it?  That was my experience in reading The Unteachables.

The Unteachables is about a group of kids who are assigned to a ‘special’ class for kids who are difficult to teach or deemed beyond being able to learn.  They are assigned a teacher who is nearing retirement and who has given up on teaching.  This teacher was once a great teacher, but an event in his teaching career changed all of that.  The superintendent of schools wants to get rid of him before they have to pay his retirement, so he has him reassigned to the “difficult” students.  This starts a journey for the students in the class and Mr. Kermit (the teacher).  I can’t give much more of a synopsis beyond that without serious spoilers.

This book is an excellent example of successful use of multiple POV.  I have seen others attempt multiple POV before and fail.  There are few examples of books where this really works.  In this instance, it really works.  It is particularly intriguing as the POV shifts are all done in first person.  The voice of each character is clear and distinct.  The story is paced beautifully despite the shifts of POV, and the transitions are phenomenal.  I also really enjoy the character development in the book.  Korman does a phenomenal job of introducing the characters and slowly revealing their complexities as they grow and develop over the course of the school semester.  I also love the use of sensory details.  Korman doesn’t only rely on visual descriptions (although these are excellent), but turns to smell, sound, taste, and touch.  It is truly a novel that sucks you into the setting as if you are really there.

I really don’t have much more to say on this book.  I just feel a sense of satisfaction and happiness, but I wish I had more to read.  I believe I will have to get more books by Korman and add them to the TBR list.  Until next time, Happy Reading!

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