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Creator / Gordon Korman

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Canadian author of High School comedies, as well as adventure/thriller kid novels. His comedic novels include the Bruno & Boots/ Macdonald Hall series, No More Dead Dogs, and The Toilet Paper Tigers. His adventure novel series include Everest and On the Run. His first novel, This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall, was written and published when he was twelve years old.

Works by Gordon Korman with their own trope pages include:


Other works by Gordon Korman provide examples of:

  • Accidental Athlete: In The Chicken Doesn't Skate, the school's resident loser Zachary, constantly picked on by the Jerk Jocks of the hockey team, turns out to be a brilliant goalie because he has so much practice catching all the toys his toddler brother throws at his beloved computer.
  • An Aesop + Truth in Television: In Losing Joe's Place, the narrator happens to help a hot girl with her college homework. Specifically, about food costs. Then he does the math after she leaves, and finds that it's actually cheaper and healthier to cook one's food than to eat out all the time.
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  • Anti-Climax: In The D- Poems of Jeremy Bloom: A Collection of Poems About School, Homework, and Life (Sort Of), the poem "A Perfect Afternoon" has the narrator talk about how he's feeling very creative today and all the wonderful things he could do. For example, he could hollow out a tree to build a kayak, carve a nearby rock into a famous sculpture, write an opera, or create a blown-glass masterpiece. Then in the last line, he reveals that he won't actually be doing any of these things because his father is making him mow the lawn instead.
  • Crying Wolf: In The D- Poems of Jeremy Bloom, the narrator of the poem "Why I Was Late" comes to school late every day for a week, always giving a ridiculous excuse (an asteroid enveloped Earth in a time-distortion field which means he's actually on time, he had to tiptoe around an unexploded atomic bomb in his front yard, etc.). On Friday, his excuse is actually plausible: he missed the bus because he had to rescue the family cat from a tree, and he couldn't ride his bike to school because he left it in the driveway and his father accidentally backed the car over it. He insists that he was telling the truth this time — honest — but his enraged teacher refuses to listen.
  • Dork Horse Candidate: in Don't Care High, two friends at the most boring, lackluster high school in the city, completely as a gag, select a random nobody student to promote as class president... and due to snowballing events he becomes an icon of cool to the entire student body, much to his bewilderment. The hitch of the story is, from beginning to end, the kid they pick is such a nondescript cipher that they never figure out anything at all about him. Not his real address, not his phone number, not his pastimes, they never see his home or his family, all his previous addresses and schools don't or no longer exist... they even go so far as to break into his confidential records and find literally nothing in it. And at the end of the story the kid simply disappears — "moved to another town" — and his forwarding address is nonexistent as well. A cipher from beginning to end.
  • Dramatic Irony: In his Titanic trilogy, we know from the start that the ship will sink.
  • Fictional Country: Douglas in The Twinkie Squad was born in Pefkakia.
  • For Your Own Good: In The D- Poems of Jeremy Bloom, one of the titular poems is about this trope and why anything that's "for your own good" is generally horrible and depressing.
  • Go-to Alias: "G. Gavin Gunhold" is used in The Wizzle War and A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag, as well as several of his other books.
  • Ignored Confession: In The Twinkie Squad, Douglas tries to tell the principal that it was his own fault that he got hit in the face with a basketball. The principal doesn't believe him, preferring to believe that Commando hurt Douglas on purpose and threatened Douglas into lying to get Commando out of trouble.
  • Jerk Jock: After being almost completely averted in his earlier works The Zucchini Warriors and The Toilet Paper Tigers, this trope comes into play in The Twinkie Squad (Kahill, although Commando is about as much of a subversion as you can get), Jake, Reinvented (most of the football team), The Chicken Doesn't Skate (the hockey team, to Zachary), and especially in Restart (Aaron and Bear; also Chase before Amnesiacs Are Innocent kicked in).
  • Oblivious to Love: Jason Cardone, from Losing Joe's Place, doesn't notice Jessica's affections towards him until literally the very end.
  • Only Sane Man: See under Same Story, Different Names, below.
  • Same Story, Different Names: Gordon Korman made his name with This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall! featuring Crazy Awesome Bruno Walton and his Only Sane Man roommate, Boots O'Neill. In addition to writing several sequels to the book, he also wrote several other "Crazy Awesome Guy and his Only Sane Man best friend get up to Crazy Enough to Work schemes" books before eventually branching out. Such as:
    • I Want to Go Home! = summer camp version.
    • Who Is Bugs Potter? and its sequel = this time they're musicians.
    • Our Man Weston = with twins.
    • Don't Care High = A Bruno and Boots-esque team at the world's most apathetic high school.
    • A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag = this time, the Bruno Expy has the world's worst luck and is trying to finagle a trip to the world's luckiest island.
  • Save Our Team: The plot of The Toilet Paper Tigers, which follows a summer baseball team for middle-school-aged kids. Though in this case, the coach is completely clueless about the game; it's his granddaughter who actually whips the team into shape. And she has to blackmail the team to do it.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: The D- Poems of Jeremy Bloom: A Collection of Poems About School, Homework, and Life (Sort Of) includes a subversion in the form of the poem "The Olympian", in which Jeremy claims he's in training to become the greatest athlete of all time (though also admitting he stinks at every sport). The subversion comes in that while stating that he'll come in first in nearly everything, he freely admits that he'll gladly accept a bronze medal in boxing, having been knocked out by a three-year-old during practice.
  • This Is My Side: In The Toilet Paper Tigers, the bratty older brother has laid tape down the middle of the room, and penalizes any (real or imagined) affront with moving the tape to shrink the younger brother's side.


Example of: