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The Bookshelf: Oct. 12, 2017

In this week's Bookshelf, our content partner Kirkus Reviews highlights "Off the Charts."

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Tasbo+Edu is joining with respected books authority Kirkus Reviews to bring you select reviews of books to note in the field of education. For more book reviews and recommendations, visit

Off the Charts

"A journalist vividly portrays the positive and negative impacts of being a child prodigy... Hulbert follows her previous examination of the challenges of child-rearing by homing in on a special population of children: prodigies.... Investigating the correlation between genius and autism, Hulbert cites the observation of one Juilliard teacher: 'Genius is an abnormality, and can signal other abnormalities,' such as A.D.D. or O.C.D. or Asperger’s. Yet parents are apt to focus on the outsized talent, while often failing to help the child deal with social and emotional problems. Growing into adulthood, many prodigies experience depression and lash out in rebellion; early mastery 'may become shadowed by anxiety, blocking the engagement with a wider world that helps gifts and creativity flourish.' Hulbert intends these portraits to serve as cautionary tales in 'an overachiever culture of hovering adults and social media-saturated youths,' and she counsels parents against 'the impulse to herald children’s talents' at the risk of 'inspiring swelled heads and raising sky-high hopes that are likely to be disappointed.' A persuasive argument for nurturing 'childhood normalcy' even for the stunningly gifted and talented."

For the full review, visit


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