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Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts Hardcover – May 3, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—Cain is well known for her adult book and TED Talk on the contributions that introverts have made to society in a world that seems powered by extroverts. In this edition, she addresses the challenges that young introverts face. Unfortunately for introverts, who make up one-third to half the population, those who often seem to thrive most in school or public situations are the extroverts. Cain believes that introverts, like her, can learn to use their "superpowers" (namely: listening, deep thinking, and focusing on the self) to flourish. The book is divided into chapters based on school, socializing, hobbies, and home, with firsthand accounts of introverted teens and examples of famous figures (e.g., Beyoncé, Albert Einstein) who have found success outside of their initial comfort zones. Included are strategies and tips on how introverts can overcome situations that prove difficult for them (preparing notes to enter class discussions, establishing a time limit for social outings, setting up a personal sanctuary). Humorous drawings throughout the text add a whimsical and light touch perfect for the intended audience. This highly accessible volume gives a voice to a group of people who are often made to feel unappreciated. There is no index, but the work does include notes, an afterword for teachers, and a guide for parents. VERDICT Many will find value in this title that emphasizes that being an introvert is not a blemish on one's personality but a benefit. An excellent addition.—Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Avondale, LA
Praise for Quiet Power:
"Humorous drawings throughout the text add a whimsical and light touch perfect for the intended audience. . . . Many will find value in this title that emphasizes that being an introvert is not a blemish on one's personality but a benefit. An excellent addition."—School Library Journal
"For kids who want to roar—on the inside."—Booklist
Praise for the original edition of Quiet:
"An earnest and enlightening 300-page inquiry into introversion and its uses. A rich, intelligent book." -The Wall Street Journal
“An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike.”- Kirkus, starred review
“Once in a blue moon, a book comes along that gives us startling new insights. QUIET is that book: it will change the way you see yourself, other people, and the world.”—Adam Grant, author of Give and Take
New York Times Bestseller
Publishers Weekly Bestseller
Kirkus Reviews' Best Nonfiction of the Year
Goodreads Best Nonfiction Book of the Year
People Magazine Top Ten Books of the Year
Fast Company Magazine #1 Best Business Book of the Year
Christian Science Monitor Best Books of the Year
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Top customer reviews
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I, of course, enjoyed reading Susan Cain's first book, Quiet, but I love that she decided to write another book aimed at a younger audience. I know my childhood experience of being shamed for being "too quiet" isn't unique. And the judgments you absorb as a child stay with you--sometimes for a lifetime, unfortunately. As a kid, I think I would have given anything to hear someone say that it was okay to, well, be me. And that is what this book gives: acceptance. There is no extrovert-bashing in here (quite the opposite, actually), but the book IS a gentle celebration of all people who prefer to approach life in a slightly more calm and deliberate way.
Quiet Power is divided into four sections: School, Socializing, Hobbies, and Home. Each section has several chapters, all pertaining to the main subject of the section. Cain gives a lot of good, practical advice, but she's never pushy or judgmental. Some of my favorite takeaways from this book:
(*) Introverts are good listeners, and they are very focused. This tends to make them good leaders.
(*) Find tactics that help you reduce social anxiety: speak up first; speak up last; or sit up front so you don't have to see others watching you.
(*) Pursue causes you are passionate about, since passion tends to override fear.
(*) It's okay to build your alliances slowly and steadily.
(*) You don't grow out of being shy, you grow into it.
(*) Stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone, but only so far; on a scale of 1 - 10, your anxiety level should be around 5 - 6.
(*) If your kid loves school, but tends to come home and immediately have a meltdown, it might be because she is exhausted by being "on" for the past several hours. Make sure your kid has time to unwind and recharge after big activities. (Um, this was life-changing for our household.)
One of the best things about this book is that all this advice isn't delivered via a lecture; it's demonstrated through personal stories. Most of the stories come from introverted kids (in middle school through college), but there are some stories from famous adults, as well (e.g., Gandhi, Beyonce, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, Eleanor Roosevelt, etc.). All of these people experience different levels of introversion. Some are straight up loners; others become class president. There is a lot of variety, which means just about any introvert is going to be able to read this book and find something useful.
Ultimately, Quiet Power is a practical and uplifting resource for introverted kids--and I think it's a helpful book for adults, too, whether you are introverted or not. It can be so hurtful to not be accepted as a kid, and I think it is worthwhile for adults to understand that quiet kids aren't weird or broken. They have their own unique way of experiencing the world and expressing themselves, but they add so much to the conversation. We just need to close our mouths, open our ears, and listen.
I am giving this book 4 out of 5 stars because it is suppose to be written to kids and teens ages 10 and up. Having passed this book around to my teenage children (who are avid fiction and non-fiction readers) I can tell you that the layout and length of the book did not encourage them to read it through. I ended up reading portions over our dinner table, which kicked off some great discussions. One evening I witnessed the light go on in my youngest and most introverted child as he saw that the way he was created could actually be of benefit to him.
The topics covered in this book include what it means to be an introvert at school, in social settings, in outside interests, and at home. Each topic covers what situations are most likely going to feel like to an introvert and how to function well within those environments. I particularly liked times when the author gives introverts ways to succeed in areas that are more difficult for them, like giving a presentation, small talk and leadership.
I see myself either using this book as a parenting resource or putting it by my kid's bedside with pertinent pages marked for them to read at their leisure.