Book Recommendations

As an avid reader, I believe a good book can be that friend who always has great ideas and inspires debate or gives guidance when we need it most. Here are some books that I have found helpful in navigating the many facets of guiding/supporting gifted learners. I hope some of them may become your good friend when you need some guidance.

Note: I am always looking for the next helpful resource, so please come back often and see what books I have added.


Self-Driven Child

The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Send of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives
by William Stixrud, Ph.D. and Ned Johnson

Gifted learners, and most adolescents, crave independence. This book does an excellent job of exploring the need for independence and how to help parents navigate the challenging task of encouraging responsibility and intrinsic motivation within their children.


image of book coverThe Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way
by Amanda Ripley

This book explores the education system through a statistical lens, as well as a student/teacher/parent experience lens. Through the eyes of three American students participating in exchange programs and first-hand professional accounts of challenges and successes, Ripley is able to juxtapose the approach to education in the United States, Finland, Poland, and South Korea. I particularly found the “How to spot a world-class education” section of Author’s Note helpful with guiding questions for teachers, parents, and students.


image of book cover“Could Do Better” Why Children Underachieve and What To Do About It
by Harvey P. Mandel, Ph.D. and Sander I. Marcus, Ph.D.

Underachievement can be so frustrating for students and parents, as well as how to inspire change moving forward. This book was published in the mid 90s, but I still find its content to be relative as we analyze the explanations for underachievement. Mandel and Marcus look at different types of underachievers and give practical tips in how to move forward and inspire a change in performance.