This forgiving, intelligent look at raising smart children will help parents teach their kids that there’s more to life than...

SMART PARENTING FOR SMART KIDS

NURTURING YOUR CHILD'S TRUE POTENTIAL

Two psychologists offer a perceptive guide to help smart children succeed academically and socially.

Kennedy-Moore (The Unwritten Rules of Friendship, 2003, etc.) and Lowenthal evaluate the roadblocks that frequently arise for smart children between the ages of 6 and 12. The authors identify “seven fundamental challenges” faced by smart children—and, of course, their parents. They use those challenges to look at how parents can help intelligent children succeed not just in school, but in life, too. Each chapter is devoted to analyzing a challenge: tempering perfectionism, building connection, managing sensitivity, handling cooperation and competition, dealing with authority, developing motivation and finding joy. The authors discuss why each is important for children’s development, aided by vignettes drawn from exhaustive research and their psychology practices. The result is a treasure trove of strategies parents can use to help their children interact with peers, teachers and family members. They also address how children can combat their insecurities in a way that will generate “inner strength and outward compassion.” The authors suggest conversations parents can have with their kids, activities they can engage in together, and songs parents can sing to help lead their children to new intellectual and emotional growth. Near the end of each chapter are suggestions for how parents can model healthy behaviors for their kids; the well-structured chapters then close with a short summary. The authors are also attuned to the nuances that can affect children’s relationships, even noting how the “increase in technology-related play” has altered children’s social lives. Charts and graphs help make the authors’ approach truly “solution-focused,” and the vignettes will be achingly familiar for most parents. Although the book targets the parents of bright children, the lessons herein will be relevant to any parent.

This forgiving, intelligent look at raising smart children will help parents teach their kids that there’s more to life than academic achievement.

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0470640050

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Jossey-Bass/Wiley

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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A concise personal and scholarly history that avoids academic jargon as it illuminates emotional truths.

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ON JUNETEENTH

The Harvard historian and Texas native demonstrates what the holiday means to her and to the rest of the nation.

Initially celebrated primarily by Black Texans, Juneteenth refers to June 19, 1865, when a Union general arrived in Galveston to proclaim the end of slavery with the defeat of the Confederacy. If only history were that simple. In her latest, Gordon-Reed, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and numerous other honors, describes how Whites raged and committed violence against celebratory Blacks as racism in Texas and across the country continued to spread through segregation, Jim Crow laws, and separate-but-equal rationalizations. As Gordon-Reed amply shows in this smooth combination of memoir, essay, and history, such racism is by no means a thing of the past, even as Juneteenth has come to be celebrated by all of Texas and throughout the U.S. The Galveston announcement, notes the author, came well after the Emancipation Proclamation but before the ratification of the 13th Amendment. Though Gordon-Reed writes fondly of her native state, especially the strong familial ties and sense of community, she acknowledges her challenges as a woman of color in a state where “the image of Texas has a gender and a race: “Texas is a White man.” The author astutely explores “what that means for everyone who lives in Texas and is not a White man.” With all of its diversity and geographic expanse, Texas also has a singular history—as part of Mexico, as its own republic from 1836 to 1846, and as a place that “has connections to people of African descent that go back centuries.” All of this provides context for the uniqueness of this historical moment, which Gordon-Reed explores with her characteristic rigor and insight.

A concise personal and scholarly history that avoids academic jargon as it illuminates emotional truths.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-63149-883-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Liveright/Norton

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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This guide to Black culture for White people is accessible but rarely easy.

UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH A BLACK MAN

A former NFL player casts his gimlet eye on American race relations.

In his first book, Acho, an analyst for Fox Sports who grew up in Dallas as the son of Nigerian immigrants, addresses White readers who have sent him questions about Black history and culture. “My childhood,” he writes, “was one big study abroad in white culture—followed by studying abroad in black culture during college and then during my years in the NFL, which I spent on teams with 80-90 percent black players, each of whom had his own experience of being a person of color in America. Now, I’m fluent in both cultures: black and white.” While the author avoids condescending to readers who already acknowledge their White privilege or understand why it’s unacceptable to use the N-word, he’s also attuned to the sensitive nature of the topic. As such, he has created “a place where questions you may have been afraid to ask get answered.” Acho has a deft touch and a historian’s knack for marshaling facts. He packs a lot into his concise narrative, from an incisive historical breakdown of American racial unrest and violence to the ways of cultural appropriation: Your friend respecting and appreciating Black arts and culture? OK. Kim Kardashian showing off her braids and attributing her sense of style to Bo Derek? Not so much. Within larger chapters, the text, which originated with the author’s online video series with the same title, is neatly organized under helpful headings: “Let’s rewind,” “Let’s get uncomfortable,” “Talk it, walk it.” Acho can be funny, but that’s not his goal—nor is he pedaling gotcha zingers or pleas for headlines. The author delivers exactly what he promises in the title, tackling difficult topics with the depth of an engaged cultural thinker and the style of an experienced wordsmith. Throughout, Acho is a friendly guide, seeking to sow understanding even if it means risking just a little discord.

This guide to Black culture for White people is accessible but rarely easy.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-80046-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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