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The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way Paperback – July 29, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,005 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Ripley] gets well beneath the glossy surfaces of these foreign cultures and manages to make our own culture look newly strange…The question is whether the startling perspective provided by this masterly book can also generate the will to make changes.” ― New York Times Book Review

“Compelling . . . What is Poland doing right? And what is America doing wrong? Amanda Ripley, an American journalist, seeks to answer such questions in The Smartest Kids in the World, her fine new book about the schools that are working around the globe ….Ms. Ripley packs a startling amount of insight in this slim book.” ― The Economist

“[T]he most illuminating reporting I have ever seen on the differences between schools in America and abroad.” ― Jay Mathews, education columnist, The Washington Post

“[The Smartest Kids in the World is] a riveting new book….Ripley’s policy recommendations are sensible and strong….The American school reform debate has been desperately in need of such no-nonsense advice, which firmly puts matters of intellect back at the center of education where they belong.” ― The Daily Beast

The Smartest Kids in the World should be on the back-to-school reading list of every parent, educator and policymaker interested in understanding why students in other countries outperform U.S. students on international tests.” -- US News & World Report

“Gripping….Ripley's characters are fascinating, her writing style is accessible, and her observations are fresh….If you're interested in how to improve public schools, read Ripley's book today.” -- The Huffington Post

“In riveting prose...this timely and inspiring book offers many insights into how to improve America’s mediocre school system.” -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"If you care about education, you must read this book. By recounting what three intrepid kids learned from the rest of the world, it shows what we can learn about how to fix our schools. Ripley's delightful storytelling has produced insights that are both useful and inspiring." -- Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Benjamin Franklin

“This book gives me hope that we can create education systems of equity and rigor—if we heed the lessons from top performing countries and focus more on preparing teachers than on punishing them." -- Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

“This is a no-nonsense, no-excuses book about how we can improve outcomes for all kids, from the poorest to the wealthiest. It avoids platitudes and ideology and relies instead on the experiences of students.” -- Joel Klein, CEO, Amplify, and former chancellor, New York Department of Education

About the Author

Amanda Ripley is the New York Times bestselling author of The Smartest Kids in the World and The Unthinkable. She writes for The Atlantic, Politico, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.

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Product details

  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (July 29, 2014)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 145165443X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1451654431
  • Item Weight : 8.9 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.38 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 1,005 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
1,005 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2018
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24 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2017
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36 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2018
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19 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Nia M
1.0 out of 5 stars The Title of the book is misleading.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 25, 2018
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3 people found this helpful
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joeeng
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read - brings the experience of children in different countries to life.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 24, 2015
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One person found this helpful
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Liam Kelleher
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome piece of journalism
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2015
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sweet_chilli
5.0 out of 5 stars Compares different countries education systems- interesting book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 26, 2016
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adaziv
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book to start you thinking about the state and philosophy of education
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 20, 2017
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