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Creator / Gordon Korman

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Canadian author of High School comedies, as well as darker 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 (2002) and On the Run. His first novel, This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall. was written and published — and was extremely successful — 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.
  • 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.
  • Arab Oil Sheikh: Who Is Bugs Potter? features a notoriously unlucky emerald. One of its latest owners (and one of the few to survive owning it), Sheikh Muley Hassan, had one of his oil wells run dry shortly after he purchased the gem. At the advice of his astrologer, he gave the emerald away to a visiting movie star, who has since found herself plagued by constant (albeit nonfatal) bad luck.
  • Book Dumb: Many of Korman's protagonists are skilled tacticians, or intuitive people who nonetheless do poorly at school.
  • Bully Hunter: Commando, in The Twinkie Squad, is quick to intervene when he sees any of his nastier teammates picking on people.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Happens multiple times per book in his comedy stories.
  • 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.
  • Dramatic Irony: In his Titanic trilogy, we know from the start that the ship will sink, while the characters wonder about the meaning of an odd drawing that has figured out on of its weaknesses.
  • The Family That Slays Together: Faker follows the son of a con artist who takes his two kids from town to town and uses them to rope in new victims among other parents at their schools, a lifestyle his son is getting sick of.
  • 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.
  • High School AU: Jake Reinvented is a retelling of The Great Gatsby with the characters as high school students and Jake, a version of Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby, determined to reinvent himself to win the affections of Didi - the updated Daisy - through elaborate and destructive house parties.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The Verbed Title-s of Prefix-Gifted for Ungifted and Supergifted.
  • 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 (with Kahill, although his abullyHunter teammate 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).
  • Only Sane Man: See under Same Story, Different Names, below.
  • Redeeming Replacement: In Notorious, ZeeBee's dog Barney was a somewhat dangerous dog that stole food from shoppers, chased bicyclists, destroyed fences and gardens and was genuinely mean to everyone but his owner, to the point where people tend to be happy that be died. Her new dog, Barney Two is obedient, starved for affection, sweet to just about anyone (even cats) and defends his owner when she's is in danger, with everyone loving him except for ZeeBee, who is still mourning her old dog and views Barney Two with bored disdain until the end.
  • Same Story, Different Names: In addition to the Bruno and Boots books, Korman wrote several other "Crazy Is Cool Guy and his Only Sane Man best friend get up to Crazy Enough to Work schemes" novels 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) has 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). Subverted 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.