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Selected Books for Parenting Book Clubs

This list of books is presented just to get people started with gifted parenting book clubs. If your favorite book is not on this list, please let us know! Comments are just to guide you initially.


TitleAuthor Comments to aid in selection
A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children Webb Comprehensive: covers many aspects of gifted kids, though long and a bit much to absorb in a month.  SENG recommends it be read over the course of 8 - 10 get togethers in a SENG model Parent Group…  

Understanding Your Gifted Child Child from the Inside Out


Focuses on the social and emotional aspects of giftedness, highlighting new information on the issues of perfectionism, self-advocacy, underachievement, mindfulness, and the impact of technology on gifted kids' relationships.
Gifted Kids Survival Guide


This is targeted at kids - but might be another good book for getting discussions rolling.

Giftedness 101
Silverman Highly recommended as a starting point for someone with gifted children.  

Guiding the Gifted Child

Webb Precursor to A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children.  It is shorter and still contains the important stuff.
Helping Gifted Children SoarHirsch & Whitney 
Parenting Gifted Children
Treffinger Published by the National Association for Gifted Children.  
Parenting Gifted Children 101: An Introduction to Gifted Kids and Their Needs


From the publisher:  This practical, easy-to-read book explores the basics of parenting gifted children, truly giving parents the "introductory course" they need to better understand and help their gifted child. Topics include myths about gifted children, characteristics of the gifted, the hows and whys of advocacy, social and emotional issues and needs, strategies for partnering with your child's 
Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Gifted Children

Delisle Delisle is more flowery in his understanding of gifted kids.  He is a teacher and a parent of gifted, so often brings both perspectives to his work.  Here he provides very specific guidance on structuring you parenting.  
Raising a Gifted Child: A Parenting Success Handbook
The Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Kids
Walker Short. A good intro book.  Will fuel discussion. Older.
They Say My Kid's Gifted, Now What
Olenchak Brought to you by NAGC.
When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs

A hands on guide to working with gifted kids.  Contains worksheets and useful lists.  Very readable and actionable.


Keys to Parenting the Gifted Child Rimm Parenting gifted through the ages - preschool through college.  
Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind Ruf

Ruf introduces her Levels of Giftedness (distinct from IQ) and discusses giftedness and parenting.
Off the Charts: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child Piechowski Compilation of articles regarding giftedness.


 A Parent's Guide to Gifted Teens: Living with Intense and Creative AdolescentsRivero From the publisher: Learn how to understand your adolescent's intensity and excitability, how to nurture creativity and self-directed learning, how to offer support without taking control, and how to care for yourself as the parent of an intense and creative teen. 
Coloring Outside the Lines


One man's approach to parenting bright kids.

Cradles of Eminence: Childhoods of More Than 700 Famous Men and Women


Old book that looked at what creates eminence.  (Spoiler alert:  a pushy mom!)  Worth picking up, but not until you have an established group, I would say.
Gifted Lives: What Happens when Gifted Children Grow Up Freeman Follows 20 gifted people for 35 years.

How to Talk to Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk Faber Not specifically gifted, but discussed in a room of gifted parents, takes on a whole different tone.  There is a teen version as well. 
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Dweck This is the book that launched the fixed versus growth mindset debate.  
Outliers:  the story of success

Gladwell Explores the nature of achievement and claims that extraordinary achievement is usually more about opportunity than ability
Raising a Thinking Child Shure

Old, but still relevant.  Not specifically gifted oriented. There is also a workbook and a version for pre-teens
The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon

Great Minds And How To Grow Them: High Performance Learning 


Berliner & Eyre

Kids are not merely miniature adults.  This book discusses the dangers of missing that point.  Not a gifted specific book, but great for the gifted parent. 

Ten Things Not to Say to Your Gifted Child: One Family's PerspectiveNancy Hielbronner This book offers a different perspective on parenting gifted children: what not to do!
The Orchid and the Dandelion: Why Some Children Struggle and How All Can Thrive Boyce While he meanders around a lot and isn't addressing gifted children specifically, there were many good observations that carried over to our population.  

Parenting Young Gifted Children - What to Expect When You Have the Unexpected

 GruenerPractical information about young gifted children (behaviors, traits, and characteristics), along with research backed parenting theories, approaches, and tools.

Social Emotional Needs:

On the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Children


Series of very short chapters/articles on specific issues and their effect on the gifted.  Digital natives to terrorism, self-injury to nerdy stereotypes.
Living With Intensity


As I recall this one had lots of chapters on different topics.  It is dense but you could pick off a few chapters that are of interest to your group.

Why Smart Kids Worry: And What Parents Can Do to Help Edwards

The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends Elman

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students Fonseca
Good Friends Are Hard to Find: Help Your Child Find, Make, and Keep Friends  Frankel

You Know Your Child Is Gifted When… Galbraith Another short book that would work well to get people talking.
The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What do we know? Neihart

Collection of academic articles on different topics of giftedness published by the National Association for Gifted Children
"Mellow out" They Say. If I Only Could: Intensities and Sensitivities of the Young and Bright Piechowski

A bit dry - but full of useful information

Inside-Out: Understanding the Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Children  Silverman

I'm Not Just Gifted: Social-Emotional Curriculum for Guiding Gifted Children Fonseca 

Education Related:

A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students Belin-Black This was a research study that came out 10-12 years ago on how gifted kids are educated and systematically effected.  I don't think you can get the book anymore, but the report is online.  There is now a followup on the same web site.  
Being Smart About Gifted Education Matthews
Dumbing Down America: the War On Our Nation's Brightest Young Minds (And What We Can Do to Fight Back) Delisle How is our education system systematically disadvantaging gifted kids?  Why that's a problem and needs to stop.  

Homeschooling Gifted And Advanced Learners West
The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve Tyre Very readable, and actionable.  

The Power to Transform : Leadership That Brings Learning and Schooling to Life Marshall Written by the first president of IMSA, it is her vision on what education should/could be.  


A Case of Brilliance  Hein The homeschooling journey of one family with profoundly gifted children. Light read with introspective discussions. 
Raisin' Brains: Surviving My Smart Family Isaacson Chatty - might be good for people to read in order to normalize their own experiences.
Infinity and Zebra Stripes: Life with Gifted Children Wendy Skinner Chatty and light.


Assessment of Giftedness: A Concise and Practical Guide Milligan Good concise explanation of assessing giftedness.

Executive Function:

Smart But Scattered: The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential Dawson There are also teens and young adults editions. 


Perfectionism and Gifted Children 

Freeing our Families from Perfectionism 



Moving Past Perfect: How Perfectionism May Be Holding Back Your Kids (and You!) and What You Can Do About It
Perfectionism: What's Bad About Being Too Good? Adderholt Written so it can be read by children, but still laden with good information.  
Perfectionism: A Practical Guide to Managing "Never Good Enough" van Gemert Newly published summer 2017

Twice Exceptional:

If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional Merrill

Funny book - Jen Merrill is a local.  She has a blog: Laughing at Chaos

Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults


Excellent resource for parents with 2E kids or kids they suspect might be.  Gifted people are wired differently and the helping professions often want to label them when that isn't strictly speaking appropriate.

Parenting Is Hard; Suffering Is Optional King Funny book - Kim King is a local.  Focus on taking care of yourself as a parent.
Uniquely Gifted: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of the Twice-Exceptional Student Kay

Awkward: The Science of Why We're Socially Awkward and Why That's Awesome Tashiro 
The Power of Different: the Link Between Disorder and GeniusSaltz 


The Underachieving Gifted Child: Recognizing, Understanding, and Reversing Underachievement Siegle

Why Bright Kids Get Poor Grades Rimm

Underrepresented Groups:

Bright, Talented and Black Lawson

Gifted Girls:

Smart Girls: A New Psychology of Girls, Women and Giftedness Kerr

This book made me so angry.  She is very judgy in her definition of "success."  But there are some good nuggets in here.  
Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls


Why are adolescent girls prone to anorexia and depression - this book explores what about our culture leads to this and how to effectively parent to avoid it.  
Reclaiming the Lives of Gifted Girls and Women Smutny Short book by local legend, Joan Smutny, the founder of World of Wisdom and the Terence Center for Creativity, currently housed a Northern Illinois University.  Joan meanders her way through this short book, but touches so many interesting points. 


LifeLines: An inspirational journey from profound darkness to radiant light Bernstein  Poetry amid the exploration of personal existential depression by the highly successful creative mind behind Melissa and Doug.


The Gifted School   Holsinger  A novel written about the opening of a new gifted school and ridiculous lengths to which parents will go to get their children into it.
 Head of School Kahn Through the eyes of a young woman torn between her responsibility to the school she leads and her growing appreciation of the inequities it perpetuates, Head of School grapples with issues of race, class, culture, and competition, while exploring the nature of intelligence, the power of privilege, and our drive to separate ourselves from others.

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