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

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013 - Education - 231 pages
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"
PAUL TOUGH is the author of "Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada s Quest to Change Harlem and America." He has written about education, child development, and poverty in "The New Yorker" and in cover stories for the "New York Times Magazine," where he is a contributing writer. His journalism has also appeared in "Slate," "GQ," and "Esquire," and on "This American Life." Learn more at or follow him on Twitter: @PaulTough.

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About the author (2013)

PAUL TOUGH is the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America . He has written extensively about education, child development, and poverty in cover stories for the New York Times Magazine, and in The New Yorker, Slate, GQ, Esquire, and the New York Times .

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