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Square Peg: My Story and What It Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries, and Out-of-the-Box Thinkers Hardcover – March 5, 2013
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Both “a memoir and a manifesto,” Square Peg recounts Rose’s turbulent adolescence in 1980s rural Utah. Always a troublemaker, Rose—who now teaches educational neuroscience at Harvard—was diagnosed with ADHD in middle school. At age 17, he was a married high-school dropout and expectant father with no career prospects. Rose credits his eventual turnaround to his mother’s intuitive parenting and the encouragement of several nonrelative mentors. He also begins taking Ritalin, which he had refused to do for years. The book’s final chapters, the manifesto, call for reinventing American education, transforming a “cookie-cutter” system into one that takes into account students’ “natural learning variability.” Rose peppers his narrative with pertinent findings from brain research and cognitive science, and provides glimpses into technological innovations that offer hope (with some caveats) for a coming “learning revolution.” This upbeat and accessible book, cowritten by Ellison (Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention, 2010), is geared to both parents and young adults wishing to understand the biology underlying ADHD and the progress that is possible with the right combination of “contextual” supports. --Carolyn Saper
"A mind is (indeed) a terrible thing to waste! This up-close-and-personal account will resonate viscerally with countless parents and youngsters, and provide them with renewed hope and practical guidance."―Charles Fadel, author of 21st Century Skills and Founder of the Center for Curriculum Redesign
"A compelling story about Todd Rose's journey from boy trouble-maker to highly successful scholar and teacher, "Square Peg" also offer engaging and memorable research findings about what can help individuals with attention deficits and attendant emotional and social challenges. Parents, teachers, and kids will find here both a powerful story and specific steps to improve so many lives and life chances."―Martha Minow, author of Making All the Difference: Inclusion, Exclusion, and American Law
"Located along the same continuum as Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs, David Brooks' The Social Animal, and Wes Moore's The Other Wes Moore, Todd Rose's book, Square Peg, manages to weave a deeply personal and often unsettling narrative into a work that captures the complexity of human development while celebrating the triumphs of parents who allow their all too often misunderstood children to grow up to be exceptional adults. It is a must read for anyone seeking to better understand how nature, nurture, timing and chance influence who we ultimately become."―Dr. Chris Howard, President of Hampden-Sydney College
"In Square Peg, Todd Rose takes the reader along on his hard journey in the education system; one that is bumpy, sometimes painful, sometimes joyful, and always insightful. He reflects on himself as a student and on the school system, in general, with a sharp eye and a sharp pen."―Larry Rosenstock, CEO and co-founder of High Tech High
"Todd Rose's journey from high-school dropout to Harvard professor is a welcome success story--one that leaves me rooting for square pegs everywhere."―David Finch, New York Times bestselling author of The Journal of Best Practices
"On any given morning, thousands of American children dread going to school out of fear of bullying and boredom. With its poignant stories, wise insights, and helpful tips, Square Peg points the way to a kinder, better future."―Molly Ringwald
Top customer reviews
I have read many books looking for inspiration for my son, who has an IQ of 130, but due to his ADHD and Dyslexia, has struggled, mostly unsuccessfully, to get through school. It's a tragedy that he has been made to feel stupid, only because our current school system is unable to educate him the way he needs and deserves to be educated. Only now, since we began homeschooling him in 10th grade, has he begun to see himself as a smart kid who has a bright future ahead of him. Interestingly, by following our gut, we have modeled his schooling on the 4 areas that Todd Rose suggests, and it was so reassuring to have it confirmed in this book.
I feel very strongly that we must begin to reevaluate our antiquated educational system, and I wish all school administrators would read this book and be spurred into action because of it. Thank you, Todd Rose, for sharing your painful journey!
As a parent with two ADHD children, who also has ADHD, I found Todd's accounts poignant and believable. If you read this book you will know more than you do now, and you will be better prepared to help.