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How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Characterby Paul Tough
Synopses & Reviews
“Drop the flashcards—grit, character, and curiosity matter even more than cognitive skills. A persuasive wake-up call.”—People
Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter more have to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control.
How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators, who, for the first time, are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their stories—and the stories of the children they are trying to help—Tough reveals how this new knowledge can transform young people’s lives. He uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do—and do not—prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides us with new insights into how to improve the lives of children growing up in poverty. This provocative and profoundly hopeful book will not only inspire and engage readers, it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.
“Illuminates the extremes of American childhood: for rich kids, a safety net drawn so tight it’s a harness; for poor kids, almost nothing to break their fall.”—New York Times
“I learned so much reading this book and I came away full of hope about how we can make life better for all kinds of kids.”—Slate
A foremost The New Yorker and New York Times journalist reverses three decades of thinking about what creates successful children, solving the mysteries of why some succeed and others fail - and of how to move individual children toward their full potential for success.
What would it take?
That was the question that Geoffrey Canada found himself asking. What would it take to change the lives of poor children—not one by one, through heroic interventions and occasional miracles, but in big numbers, and in a way that could be replicated nationwide? The question led him to create the Harlem Childrens Zone, a ninety-seven-block laboratory in central Harlem where he is testing new and sometimes controversial ideas about poverty in America. His conclusion: if you want poor kids to be able to compete with their middle-class peers, you need to change everything in their lives—their schools, their neighborhoods, even the child-rearing practices of their parents.
Whatever It Takes is a tour de force of reporting, an inspired portrait not only of Geoffrey Canada but also of the parents and children in Harlem who are struggling to better their lives, often against great odds. Carefully researched and deeply affecting, this is a dispatch from inside the most daring and potentially transformative social experiment of our time.
Advice for raising resourceful, resilient, and responsible children--based on the latest child development research.
Success” is a popular buzzword in discussions about children. But instead of prescribing what success looks like for kids, we should be making sure that they develop the skills they will need to become doers”—people who proactively seek out what they want in life. Raising Can-Do Kids offers parents hands-on, proven ways to raise kids who embrace the uncertain and challenging adventure that is growing up.
About the Author
PAUL TOUGH is an editor at the New York Times Magazine and one of Americas foremost writers on poverty, education, and the achievement gap. His reporting on Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Childrens Zone originally appeared as a Times Magazine cover story. He lives with his wife in New York City.
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