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Publisher's Summary

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 for a very different understanding of what makes a successful child. Drawing on groundbreaking research in neuroscience, economics, and psychology, Tough shows that the qualities that matter most have less to do with IQ and more to do with character: skills like grit, curiosity, conscientiousness, and optimism.

How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of scientists and educators who are radically changing our understanding of how children develop character, how they learn to think, and how they overcome adversity. It tells the personal stories of young people struggling to stay on the right side of the line between success and failure. And it argues for a new way of thinking about how best to steer an individual child - or a whole generation of children - toward a successful future. This provocative and profoundly hopeful book will not only inspire and engage listeners; it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.

©2012 Paul Tough (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Well-written and bursting with ideas, this will be essential [listening] for anyone who cares about childhood in America." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

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  • Overall
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awesomely informative book

this book has been well structured and informative
they use many good examples and many good case studies of schools that succeed in nurturing children from early ages on through college.
I highly recommend this for teacher parent and maybe even some students to read if they're going to go to college or in have any kind of a personal growth plan in their life.

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A book for everyone who was a child ...

This is a book for everyone who was a child, works with children or have at least a child. Character and intelligence are malleable. Although intelligence builds competence, character creates effectiveness.

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Reader was distracting and I just couldn't finish.

What didn’t you like about Dan John Miller’s performance?

The reader had a tendency to try on different voices, and they were unconvincing (and a little stereotypical) and just really distracting.

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Why not five stars!?

The main reason I did not provide five stars for this book is that it was not very prescriptive. It did not provide me any guidance on what can be done about the data that was presented in the book. What are teachers, parents, and nonprofit organizations able to do to help mitigate The risk of our children failing as well as encourage and help those children who desperately need it. I really enjoyed reading the book, I just wish it was a little bit more prescriptive about what we can do to help.

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Not practical

Many important and political issues raised, yet no solution for everyday parenting.
Interesting stories of different people fro al walks of life, but, again, too circumstantial and without practical application to a parent.
Overall, felt like the author was exploiting well-known issues and doing a meta analysis of someone else's research.

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Please Record This Again

Would you try another book from Paul Tough and/or Dan John Miller?

The narrator fancy's himself an actor. This is not a dramatic interpretation-it is a nonfiction book! It sounds more like a Saturday Night Live sketch when the narrator uses a high pitched stereotypical African-American female voice for quotes from a young girl and when he uses his British accent for the voice of a researcher. Out of place at best- offensive and insensitive at worst.

  • Overall

Incredible

READ READ READ. One of the best books on this topic I've ever read. Wow. Heart, soul, science & research with powerful conclusions. Absolutely loved it.

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To much research, not enough "bringing it home"

This book is ridiculously long and the author introduces to many long stories which are unnecessary. To much research and not enough of explaining what that research means or how to apply it to your child. Here is the gist of it.

How to have a Brave and curious child: protect them from serious trauma, stress and provide a secure nurturing relationship. When a kid is stressed out we need to help them calm down and teach them how to deal with stress and tantrums. Lots hugging and listening during 0-3 is the most important.

Needs child size adversity growing up. Especially in 10-18. Teach them how to manage failure and learn from failure.


  • Overall
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  • PhilMac
  • HAZEL CREST, IL, United States
  • 07-21-14

Excellent - Refreshing - Insightful

Would you consider the audio edition of How Children Succeed to be better than the print version?

Didn't read the print version. But can't imagine it could be be better or worse. This is about the information and I felt it so compelling I listened twice already.

What was one of the most memorable moments of How Children Succeed?

The story about the young lady from one of Chicago's roughest inner city schools. At some point she developed the grit to push on and change her circumstance. Although she didn't get into Duke, she got into school. Story is inspiring.

What does Dan John Miller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Like Medina wrote in "Brain Rules", hearing the information is basically a more efficient way to learn. I believe this whole-heartedly.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Developing the grit to succeed is as important as the success itself.

Any additional comments?

Just a great read. Success is relative but the book provides interesting perspective into the idea of maintaining success and how those that might have had the tougher journey are more likely to hold onto it.

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Starts strong

What made the experience of listening to How Children Succeed the most enjoyable?

The first section explores the research on education, psychology, child development, and interventions that have been shown to be effective in improving educational and life outcomes. It is by far the most interesting section of the book and was very enjoyable. The narration was pleasant and not annoying, which really is all that this book needed.

Would you be willing to try another book from Paul Tough? Why or why not?

I would. I follow his writing in the New York Times as is, and enjoy reading his analysis of education.

What did you learn from How Children Succeed that you would use in your daily life?

As a teacher this book is particularly relevant to my daily life. What I took from How Children Succeed is something that is reinforced by every administrator and teacher in my district: parents don't keep their best and brightest at home, we get who there is as they are.

Any additional comments?

The research presented by this book is good, and highlights the importance of strong intervention programs for families and early childhood.