Saturday, 8 June 2013

Book Name : How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

Author Name: Paul Tough

Price: $12.88

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Today I am going to discuss about a very popular child development book "How Children Succeed - Paul Tough". Actually this was the very first child development book I bought from a local bookstore.I read the entire book and was amazed by the insight this book provided on the development of children.This book immediately became my favorite book on child development.But, Back then I didn't realize that the book I was reading was one of the best sellers child development book of all time.It was only when I was searching for some story books on amazon, I came across this book again(in the 'Children's Book' section). It was only then I realized that I actually had a gem with me.

This book is like a breath of fresh air and provides fresh perspective on why some children go on to become winners in life which others are not so successful.It is generally assumed by us parents that children who score highest in various pre school tests and other exams go on to become more successful in life.But that's not entirely true.The author (Paul Tough) argues that qualities that matter most are not intelligence but character related i.e. skills like perseverance,optimism,self control etc. are those that determine the success of any child.This book changed my perspective completely as a parent.He uncovers numerous ways in which we parents do and do not prepare our children for the real test of life.This book is very well researched and discusses about the extremes of American Childhood in so much details.He discusses about the parenting ways of both the rich ones of the society as well as not so fortunate ones.The insights he provides is really absorbing.

After reading this book I presume that the author is a very good story teller and that he has used his story telling abilities to help the readers imagine and understand the life of children, who do not belong to well-to-do families, trapped in cycles of failure and poverty.He explains how nurturing character in children and adults is the key to their success.

Here is an interesting excerpt from the book:

"....There exists in our society a troubling and growing achievement gap between the have and the have-nots. The cause of that gap is neither merely poverty nor IQ, but a specific set of non-cognitive skills including executive function and conscientiousness...." , which Paul calls "character." Children who are taught these skills can break historic cyclical patterns of failure.

In one instance the author compares two schools which are very contrasting to one another.One school typically consist of children coming from rich families while other school consist of children who come from family with less strong economic background.However the aim of both the school is same i.e to prepare students for college and give them the necessary "character" tools for success.He goes on to show that some of the children who completed their schooling from the lower grade school also went on to become successful in their life owing to the strength of their character.It was an intriguing and motivational read.However people(or parents) who tend to blame their economic disparity,situations and environment for their failure are not going to agree with the author.Though I personally found it very motivational.

The book is both very interesting and enjoyable to read but the facts presented are not just philosophical in nature as everything written in this book is very well researched and logically based.

"How Children Succeed " book combines detailed studies with anecdotal narrative making it a compelling read.I would strongly recommend it to all the parents who want to inculcate and develop positive qualities in their children.

You can Get It Now at $12.88 from

Product Name: How Children Succeed - Paul Tough
Reviewed by Arthur Benjamin
Country: United States
Rating: 4.5


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