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If I'm So Smart, Why Aren't the Answers Easy (edition 2012)

by James Delisle Ph.D., Robert Schultz Ph.D.

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167615,960 (3.42)1
Member:BillyShakes
Title:If I'm So Smart, Why Aren't the Answers Easy
Authors:James Delisle Ph.D.
Other authors:Robert Schultz Ph.D.
Info:Prufrock Press, Inc. (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Extended Collection
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If I'm So Smart, Why Aren't the Answers by James Delisle Ph.D.

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Growing up as a gifted child is not easy, as those whose unusual abilities cause them to be segregated from their less-capable peers will tell you. And tell us they do, in "If I’m So Smart, Why Aren’t the Answers Easy," a collaboration by two experts with extensive experience in teaching and counseling gifted teens. Partly an exposition of the responses to a number of research questions, and partly a journaling-directed self-help guide, "If I’m so Smart..." is designed to help both gifted teens and their parents and teachers to understand and cope with the unique challenges of the adolescent who is intellectually advanced.

After exploring what giftedness is and how the “label” can affect a child’s life, the book goes on to explore the benefits and challenges that “giftedness” brings to the academic, family, and social spheres of a teen’s life. Each section of the book deals with a question, or a series of questions, and then lists responses from teens and young adults. Along the way, a number of journaling exercises provide prompts for the reader to explore their own experiences and thoughts regarding each topic.

Both the respondents and the authors offer creative, practical advice for dealing with some of the worst issues that gifted teens face, including social isolation, academic frustration (school is often far too slow-paced for these quick-thinking kids), and the pressure to perform. This may be the book’s only drawback: it is easy to get bogged down in the somewhat repetitive answers to the various questions, so that it becomes just as slow-paced as the school courses that frustrate gifted students.

Despite the pacing issues, this useful guide should be a part of every gifted kid’s required reading, if only because of the psychological support that the journaling exercises and the anecdotes from other gifted kids provides. After all, the most important thing for any person to know, whether they are gifted or not, is that they are not alone. ( )
  Editormum | Aug 19, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is a compilation of some stories and mostly quotes from gifted teens throughout the world. Chapters include: what is giftedness, school, peers, expectations, family and the future. The quotes are fun to read at first but quickly become repetative. I had higher hopes for the book to include coping skills and more complete stories of gifted teens.

Included in each chapter are "Your Turn" sidebars. These are journaling prompts that encourage gifted teens to think out of the box. I found these the most helpful part of the book. I used them as conversation starters with my teen. He has also used them as journal prompts. I must say he enjoyed the perspective of other gifted teens but soon became bored with the book also. ( )
  pickleme | Jan 19, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
What is it like growing up gifted? The authors asked more than 5,000 teens about fitting in, making mistakes, boredom, creativity, school, and family. Recommended for gifted teens, teachers, and parents. ( )
  westfargolibrary | Jan 16, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The subtitle of "Advice From Teens on Growing Up Gifted" is puzzling since the bulk of the book is quoting the replies or comments of gifted teens. Many of these are complaints about school, issues faced, etc. The authors use "Your Turn" sections as exercises to address aspects of the issues covered (e.g. perfectionism, sensitivity, teachers, creativity, boredom, etc.). The book itself is interesting, but the "advice" aspect was subservient to showing gifted teens that they aren't alone and that there are many other teens facing the same issues. That, if nothing else, would provide some comfort. The "Potential" section was especially intriguing, and that was the one place that the highs and lows of giftedness became apparent.

A thought-provoking read. I would have preferred *longer* quotes from these teens, since they obviously have a lot to say. The "Advice" line could be dropped too. The book supplies more "hope" (on the solidarity front) than "advice" and that is often its strongest plus. ( )
1 vote SharS | Dec 27, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
First, I want to say that I was in the Gifted program growing up as my daughter is now, I am in Mensa, my partner is qualified for Mensa. This is three people in my family who are gifted.

Now, this book is trying to do many things to different audiences and as a result I do not feel it does either of the audiences particular justice. The "Your turn" exercises are for students (and they don't have to be Gifted as these are primarily common sense exercises that I have seen teachers do with their regular classes) and the answers to the questions the authors pose to the interviewees for the most part are not "advice" as the book's title would suggest. I suppose a teacher of gifted students or parents might get something out of the answers the students give, however, given the diversity of responses to almost every question, one has to know their own student well in order to understand what is going on in their head. However, if someone knows a student that much or that well, they don't need the book.

The only people I can really see as finding this book helpful would be teachers. Even then I can suggest better books such as "Gifted Grownups" by Streznewski or "Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom" by Winebrenner. ( )
  melsmarsh | Dec 18, 2012 |
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In their own enlightening words, teens share their experiences with giftedness, including aspects like friendships and fitting in with peers, school struggles and successes, worries about the future, and their family lives. By allowing teens to share their real-life stories firsthand, the book gives readers a self-study guide to the successes and pitfalls of being gifted teens in a world not always open to their unique and diverse needs.… (more)

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