Novels about Gifted and Talented Children

At Royal Fireworks Press, we publish novels about gifted and talented girls and boys. Through a wide range of genres—coming of age, historical, fantasy, sports, and the arts—we offer gifted children opportunities to see other gifted and talented children in a variety of contexts, facing a multitude of situations and problems that offer perspective to readers.

The Valedictorian and I’m Not from Neptune are about highly gifted students facing the challenges of school life: how to balance the drive to succeed and negative peer labeling with a “normal” teenager’s life. His Date for the Dance Was His Science Project is another school story about a science “nerd” who surprises everyone.

Gridiron Hero, Freshman Flash, Running Against the Wind, Outside InHarly Weaver and the Race Across America, and Strap Bar are sports-oriented novels about talented children, while The Flight of the Cliff Bird is the story of an ancient Native American girl whose running ability saves her village.

The Lera Lexicon consists of fantasy novels about a gifted girl who must battle against gender discrimination in a magical kingdom. The space-age Kipton Chronicles is a wonderful eighteen-book series about a highly gifted girl meeting challenges and solving a series of mysteries that occur in an Earth colony on the planet Mars.

Robert Black’s novels venture into the supernatural with math puzzles that must be solved by Lennie Miller, a gifted girl who has been identified for her ability in practical math by mysterious creatures from other worlds. Black’s Mathematical Nights series consists of Night of the Paranormal Patterns, Night of the Frightening Fractions, and Night of the Eerie Equations.

Many of the gifted and talented children are portrayed in historical settings and are depicted using their gifts, persistence, and creativity to solve the problems they face. Julietta is a gifted girl in thirteenth-century France who wishes to learn about medicine, one of the many exclusively male areas in her world. Almost 500 years later, young Jeremy—a sensitive and gifted boy—of The Shot Not Heard Around the World has an easier time when he participates in the first battle of the American Revolution and finds that he does not have the stomach to kill a British soldier but would rather help the wounded.

Key to Honor and The Price of Command are two extraordinary novels following the adventures of a gifted boy, Nate Lawson, as he learns the hard lessons of leadership and surviving in a hierarchical organization as a midshipman and then a young officer in the American Navy in the War of 1812. Sailing ships were much more the province of gifted boys in the pre-industrial world, and we are able to follow Jeremy Slate onboard a pirate ship in Sail to Caribee, as well as the uneducated but clearly gifted young man who is the protagonist in Surviving Erebus.

Not all of the gifted people we meet in the novels are fictional. In Taking Control, we meet Alexander the Great as a gifted boy and watch him grow into one of the most extraordinary leaders the world has ever known. Joan of Arc was herself an extraordinarily gifted leader whom we meet in Girl at Arms. We encounter the incredibly gifted and talented young William Shakespeare in Runaway Will and A Will of Her Own. From the perspective of the highly gifted Gaspar Jovellanos, we experience the Spanish Enlightenment in Through Goya’s Eyes. In Finding her Way, a gifted and talented girl finds herself living next to Henry David Thoreau as he spends time living at Walden Pond.

Sometimes gifted and talented children find themselves in dangerous circumstances, and their very survival depends upon their creativity and cunning. Only the Birds Are Free is the story of a highly gifted girl who comes of age during the Nazi occupation of Greece in World War II. Her ability to adapt and come to terms with the challenges posed by a foreign invader are crucial to her survival. Two gifted boys are depicted in Strangers in Black and The Weaver’s Scar, both books about what happens when one part of a population turns violently on another. The first is about a devastated Cambodia, the second about Rwanda.

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