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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2013
The summary is accurate and quite good. However, you don't get much more than the bottom line. What you don't get is the reasoning and science behind the conclusions. Why should we believe Mr. Tough's conclusions without the science or thoughts that lead to those conclusions?

I bought this summary because I read "How Children Succeed" and wanted to share it with our school board. With nine members I was looking at about $150. I thought the summary might be an economical way to get the information to them. Having read it, I don't think it will do the job; the information that was left out is necessary to understanding and believing the conclusions.

One Amazon reviewer wrote, "This book didn't really help me much with thoughts about raising my own child. We aren't impoverished and my son hasn't had stress or trauma." His response is very reasonable for someone who has only read the summary. If he had read the book instead, he would have realized that the issue Tough was most interested in was to educate children from disadvantaged backgrounds. However, the reviewer would have also found relevant information in the discussion of how important grit is to the children of well off families and how to build it. For one thing, he would have learned that stress and overcoming failure is essential to learning grit.

In conclusion, this book is nicely done and well written, but it is not an adequate replacement for reading Mr. Tough's book. Save the seven dollars the summary costs and apply it to the purchase of the book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
The full version of this book seemed daunting and scientific, but this summary version gets to the point and was something I could swallow easily in one afternoon. I've always thought that young kids will forget bad experiences they had as a child, but boy was I wrong. In this book, the author argues that early childhood experiences can negatively affect a child's character and overall well being, way after they've overcome and perhaps forgotten about those memories. I found it interesting that he argues a high IQ doesn't necessarily equal a successful child - I know many people today think the smart kids will be successful no matter what - but every child needs strong character building to be successful in society, regardless of intelligence. This book also provides the tools to intervene and "save" a child from being unsuccessful. Not only is this applicable to the children we teach, but it certainly aids in understanding peers and other adults as well. If you're a parent, health professional, or anyone who deals with kids on a daily basis, this book is for you. It made me think twice about the way I treat my own children, as well as those others I encounter every day.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2012
The summary of How Children Succeed. . . In 30 Minutes a great quick read. It clearly outlines the main points of the book in a clear and concise manner. After reading the summary, I have a strong understanding of how childhood conditions will impact future success. Paul Tough, author of How Children Succeed Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, examines the importance of IQ scores versus the impact of character development to gauge academic success, i.e. college graduation. This summary highlights Tough's research which reveals character traits and character development throughout childhood can positively impact future success. While not all children are academically inclined, most are able to sharpen character traits such as grit, perseverance, and will power which all contribute to future success. This research appeals to a wide variety of audiences such as parents, teachers, and mentors of children. Everyone can benefit from a quick read through this summary.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2012
This book is a nice alternative to the full version--more suitable for adults with busy lifestyles! Chapters are poignant and organized-- each chapter also has a helpful overview at the end to help the information stick!

Tough walks the reader through a neuroscientific approach to childhood development. He correlates a child's experiences during infancy with how this affects his or her chances of success later in life. The author has done his research and the book is full of insightful and credible data.
He then presents the art of character building and how to go about implementing such character traits. I really like how Tough focuses on the aspects of the child's life that he or she can change! This basic yet profound approach is very empowering for parents and children alike. His methods of character building and implementation do not require the family to have any sort of wealth or privilege. Thus this book is suitable for every parent regardless of financial class! In fact, he stresses that children from more affluent households often lack true grit because they haven't had to overcome the obstacles of their impoverished counterparts. It is motivating as a parent of two children to read a book that places value on what qualities a child can learn to possess, rather than focus on material possessions the child should acquire or situations that are beyond families control. I feel today's society views stress as an entirely negative and unacceptable concept. Therefore the underlying issues that cause stress are never dealt with and in the case of a child, their problems are all too often overlooked. Tough dives right into these issues and reinforces the cognitive need to learn how to become flexible and meet stress head-on. Tough's overall viewpoint is an incredibly keen one. He stresses the importance of allowing (and teaching) kids how to identify with their stressors, examine and learn from them, and then move forward--no dwelling or shaming! This reminds me of a quote by the famous horse whisperer Monty Roberts. Aside from taking in mistreated horses, he was also a foster parent for abused children. He would always tell them failure is vital to the learning process, because you have to fail in order to succeed. How Children Succeed...In 30 Minutes takes the same approach. I like this book's overall message so much that I may even have my husband read it-- not only children can benefit from this piece of literature! As Tough says, it is never too late to retrain the habits of your prefrontal cortex!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2013
Here's a 30 second summary... children succeed by learning to deal with failure. Okay, less than 30 seconds. There are a few more points in the book, but I just couldn't finish it. It bugged me that I felt like I should be grading the authors work instead of just reading it. Really felt like a high school book report.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2013
I've always thought that success was based on much more than just great academics. The research mentioned throughout this series confirms that. This is a very quick read and worth your time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2012
Success for adults often means very little time for extra activities. On the other hand, providing for the success of children requires the contribution of parents and educators who, by virtue of the demands of their own success, have very little time to offer.

Garamond's Concise Summary of Paul Tough's How Children Succeed . . . in 30 minutes is a quick guide allowing parents, teachers, and other concerned adults to quickly grasp concepts necessary to put children on a path to their own success.

This short book analyses social and psychological factors and offers insight into key elements that must be groomed into children to give them the skills and strengths to flourish as adults. It demystifies success by pointing out that academics and financial security are often less important than a positive outlook and persistence that can be encouraged in children regardless of social and economic factors.

In just a half hour you can learn how to promote a resistance to failure, positive character traits, thinking strategies, crucial noncognitive skills like work habits and problem solving, and what the larger society can do to better prepare children for success in the future. Pick it up!
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I got this book from the library because after listening to the unabridged audio version. I thought maybe I would like Paul Tough's book more if it were more concise. The audiobook rambled, went on and on about study after study, but seemed to provide no framework for understanding each study, particularly when the findings of one conflicted with the findings of another. All of the studies and experiments he talked about just seemed to be "a bunch of stuff that happened." His conclusion always seems to be "Well that didn't work. I guess that's not the answer."

I thought at least this summary would provide a little clarity, pare the book down to the author's main points, if in fact he had any. I also suspected that the very existence of this "30 minute" version suggested I was not alone in thinking Paul Tough's book was convoluted.

Turns out the condensed version didn't help except to confirm my original suspicion Paul Tough doesn't actually understand these studies himself. He's not a psychologist or an educator or a social worker. He didn't participate in any of the research he's discussing. He simply found the subject matter compelling, found a bunch of people who had been studying child development, and related their opinions--largely unfiltered--in the form of this book. When their research (or more often anecdotal examples) conflicts, Tough doesn't know how to interpret that except with vagaries like "the answers are elusive" or "children need a certain indefinable quality in order to succeed."

In other words I've just wasted my own time. Twice.

Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from my local library, but I received a copy of the audiobook How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough, from Edelweiss. I was not compelled to write a favourable review nor was I otherwise compensated All of the opinions expressed, in both cases, are strictly my own.
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on January 16, 2013
Richard Buckminster Fuller's realistic statement that there is no such thing as genius, some children are just less damaged than others, expresses the unquestionable impact circumstances have on the growth and development of children. In the succinct summary of 'How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character' journalist Paul Tough examines such circumstances that impede childrens' ability to succeed. He illuminates the extremes of circumstances - poor children who face hardships and children of the rich who are completely insulated from adversity. In both scenarios children miss the key ingredient of building character, which according to Tough is facing and overcoming failure.

The summary has an indepth account of research from neuroscientists presented in a comprehensive manner. It explains how stress and unhealthy experiences during childhood damage brain's ability to develop executive functions which are the higher order mental abilities that help children succeed later in life as adults. Research also emphasizes the importance of children's attachment to parents especially early in life. The summary is a cumulative result of research by psychologists, educators, doctors and its theories are supported by statistical data from Adverse Childhood Research (ACE) questionnaires. Medical explanation of how stress takes toll on the body of children, called the 'allostatic load', sheds new light on the proper upbringing of children. Synopsis at the end of each chapter are particularly helpful. Examples from different schools and research tips from psychologists discuss how to build strength of character in children, which is more helpful towards a successful life than IQ or academic success. The book is informative and helpful for parents, teachers alike helping them to raise children in a better manner. Backed by intensive research from varied fields, Tough succeeds in establishing that non-cognitive characteristics like self-discipline predict success better than academic excellence.
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on December 18, 2012
This book is a great dilution of the original for any parent, educator, or childcare professional with questions about education, cognitive ability, and character-building. Though it is a lot of information packed into a short read, it's easy to understand and states each case clearly per chapter. The summaries after each chapter are very helpful--it's like having study notes for each section you read.
I found all the cognitive correlations interesting--for instance, just because you have a high IQ doesn't mean you do well in school, and that the reason lots of low-income children do poorly in school is because of the stress of living in poverty. Also the importance of character-building in children was fascinating, from the chess programs for inner city kids to the privileged private-school students. It makes complete sense that to be a successful adult you have to be able to deal with challenges (i.e., failure). I found it fascinating that privileged, private-school students tend to seek "safer" jobs rather than becoming entrepreneurs, etc. This book has great insights, and I would highly recommend it for someone constantly "on the go" who may not have time to read through the non-condensed version.
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