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.

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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.

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The 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.

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“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.

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Smart by Scattered  by Peg Dawson, Ed.D. and Richard Guare, Ph.D.

It can be extremely frustrating for a gifted student to have the mental capacity to take on big challenges but possibly not the advanced executive functioning skills needed to complete the task. This book guides parents and students through practical tips to help develop the executive skills necessary to achieve in school and later in life.

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When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs   by Judy Galbraith, M.A. and Jim Delisle, Ph.D.

Gifted kids are intelligent, curious, creative thinkers, problem solves, and critical observers. It can often seem like an advanced learner will “be just fine,” but this is one of the greatest myths that gifted education specialists try to break down. Gifted learners often experience asynchronous development where their mental awareness may not always match their social and emotional maturity; this can lead to anxiety, depression, and/or frustration. This book does a good job of exploring and explaining the unique social and emotional needs of gifted learners.

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Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani

This book is written by the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. If you are raising a gifted girl, this book does an excellent job of explaining society’s often unfair depiction of gifted girls and how to interrupt that narrative. The book discusses breaking the habits of perfectionism and teaching gifted girls to be brave and approaching challenges with a growth mindset.

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Perfectionism by Lisa VanGemert, M.Ed.T.

Many gifted students suffer from perfectionism and are often afraid of failing or not ever being good enough. This book explores the many different facets of perfectionism and how it can manifest in anxiety or underachievement. The following chapters then give practical approaches to battle perfectionism with a variety of strategies.

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101 Success Secrets For Gifted Kids by Christine Fonseca

This is a wonderful book for any gifted middle schooler to read. Each chapter looks into a specific subject about giftedness and what that means for an adolescent. It shares relatable stories, practical tips, and simple suggestions that will help your gifted kid develop self confidence and resilience.