The first book follows the adventures of Martin, a smart-aleck sent to Edgeville Alternative School, a correctional facility. Here he meets the aptly nicknamed Torchie, a supposed pyromaniac; Cheater, an Asian and Nerdy boy sent to the school on accounts of cheating on tests; Flinch, a future comedian with hair-trigger reflexes that make him a disruptive influence in school; the introverted Lucky who was sent to Edgeview for kleptomania; and Trash, a loner artist and past vandal. They become close friends as they evade ruthless bully Bloodbath and attempt to stay out of trouble, with varying results on both fronts. Although they initially disbelieve him, even to the point of ostracizing him when he persists in his theory that they are not delinquents as the rest of the world presumes, Martin manages to make them accept their gifts. Asian and Nerdy : Cheater.

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If my wrists had been chained to the seat, the scene could have been taken straight from one of those movies where they show the bus bringing the new guy to the prison. Fill my pockets with rocks, add a couple more layers of winter clothes — wet winter clothes — and I might push the scale up toward ninety pounds. The bus driver looked like he weighed three times that much. His wrists were thicker than my neck. He could probably crumple me up like a used tissue and still keep one hand on the steering wheel.

No way I was going to cause him any trouble. I was the only passenger on the bus. A guard out front holding a clipboard waved us inside, then talked with the bus driver for a minute. The two of them reminded me of a pair of dogs who stop for a quick sniff as they pass each other on their way to important doggy missions. I smiled at the thought of the driver wriggling around on his back in the grass.

Once the driver and the guard finished yapping, we rolled through the yard. The building even looked kind of like a prison — big, cold, gray stone, all wrapped up with a high brick fence.

Yeah, this was a place for things nobody wanted. End of the trip. End of the line. As the bus stopped near the front door of the building, I noticed all the windows had that dead look of glass filled with wire — the type of windows they use in a gym or a warehouse.

A man slipped out from behind the door and walked stiffly down the steps. At first, I thought he was real old. He was wearing a dark suit with a bow tie.

I never trusted anyone with a bow tie. The driver leaned over and pulled the handle, thrusting open the bus door. Then he glanced back at me. Everyone out. The big, stupid hunk of meat laughed like that was the funniest joke in the world. I got up. My whole body made little cracking sounds as I straightened out. My spine was having its own Fourth of July celebration, six months late. Thanks to all the construction on the highway, the ride here had taken two hours.

Me and Dad. What fun that was. He just gave me that where-have-I-failed? I just gave him my how-would-I-know? Mom would have made me wear the jacket. Probably a dorky scarf, too. He laughed again, wheezing like a donkey with asthma. Then I hopped to the ground before he could grab me.

Behind my back, I heard the door slam hard, cutting off the stream of swear words the driver was spewing at me. Some people sure are touchy. I looked at the stiff little man with the bow tie. Welcome to Edgeview. Gee, nice place you have here, thanks for inviting me.

I waited. Previously expelled from Upper Spencer Junior High, expelled before that from To my right, the bus rolled out through the gate and rumbled down the road, carrying the driver back to the free world.

I followed Principal Davis inside the building. The entrance was dark, barely lit by two weak bulbs that hung from the ceiling on frayed cords.

The air hung down over me, too. Warm and heavy air. I felt like I was breathing soup. We climbed a steep flight of stairs to the left of the front door. The steps ended in the middle of a long hallway. Something that might have been a carpet a million footsteps ago clung to the floor. More dim bulbs made a halfhearted attempt at lighting the area, revealing walls covered with scrawled graffiti. He ignored my guess and kept walking, leading me up a second flight of steps. The wall felt rough, and the dull green paint had flaked away in a couple of spots.

The odor of old varnish on the second floor gave way to the sharper stench of unwashed clothing as I climbed higher. I tried again. I wrote the winning essay? I got the highest score in Final Jeopardy? Actually, I almost ran into him. His suit smelled like dusty mothballs. The place is too much for you to handle by yourself. That one got rid of his smile. His face turned mean and angry for an instant — the sort of meanness that needs to lash out and cause pain.

I could almost hear his teeth grinding together. Unlike the smile, this was an honest expression. This was Principal Davis at his finest. But, like a true professional, he hid the anger quickly.

From down the hall, we were interrupted by a shout: "FIRE! I got the kid to the bus. I stopped at the office on the way home. Richard Anderson: Who knows? I hope this place does him some good. Heaven knows nothing else has worked. That always kept me in line. Tell that to the scout troop that threw him out. You know how bad that made me look when he mouthed off to the coach? I just know it. I saw this psychologist on a talk show, and he said — Richard Anderson: Forget that nonsense.

Or me. His sister is turning out fine. We did everything we could. Listen, want me to pick up a pizza on the way home? Dorothy Anderson: I guess. Yeah, that would be nice. My feet won. Suddenly, kids were running all over the place. Along both sides of the hall, doors flew open and kids popped out, almost like they were throwing a giant surprise party. Far down at the end of the hall, smoke drifted from a room. Do I have to do everything myself?

A guy raced up the stairs carrying a fire extinguisher. He sprinted past us and hurried toward the room. I followed, trying to slip my way through the crowd that had gathered at the edge of the smoke.

I managed to squeeze next to the doorway and catch a glimpse inside the room. A small fire smoldered on a desk. It looked like a bunch of papers were burning. A kid stood pressed against the far wall, staring at the fire. I figured that must be Torchie. A trickle of sweat ran down his forehead, past his right eye.


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Shelves: finished-irp-books The book I read was True Talents. The sequel continues from the first book Hidden Talents, the story of the six psychic teens who became friends at Edgeview. A year has passed since "Trash" learned he has telekinetic powers and his friends found their skills too. Cheater reads minds he hates it because he was always getting accused of cheating , Torchie lights fires he always catches objects on fire and causes problems , Flinch forecasts the future he can see whats coming so he flinches , The book I read was True Talents. In the book Trash decides to see what he could do at the nearby bank. He steals the cash from the open vault, but is caught when he makes the telekinetic withdrawal.


True Talents

Start your review of Hidden Talents Talents, 1 Write a review Jan 17, Adam Hahn rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: anyone that likes ironic books that keep you going till the end, and have surprise endings. The book Hidden Talents, by David Lubar was a very, very good book. It is about a young boy, about our age, who has gotten kicked out of all of the schools back in his hometown for lipping off to the teachers and somehow always knowing just the right thing to make them feel bad. Now Martin is onto his last resort, Edgeview Alternative School. At this school he pretty much starts to do the same thing. He begins meeting a lot of new friends in the process and eventually finds out that they all The book Hidden Talents, by David Lubar was a very, very good book.


David Lubar



Hidden Talents


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