Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Book Blog Tour: NurtureShock by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman

September 1st, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


Thanks to Anna at Hachette Book Group for organizing this tour!

Description: In a world of modern, involved, caring parents, why are so many kids aggressive and cruel? Where is intelligence hidden in the brain, and why does that matter? Why do cross-racial friendships decrease in schools that are more integrated? If 98% of kids think lying is morally wrong, then why do 98% of kids lie? What’s the single most important thing that helps infants learn language?

NurtureShock is a groundbreaking collaboration between award-winning science journalists Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. They argue that when it comes to children, we’ve mistaken good intentions for good ideas. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, they demonstrate that many of modern society’s strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring–because key twists in the science have been overlooked.

Nothing like a parenting manual, the authors’ work is an insightful exploration of themes and issues that transcend children’s (and adults’) lives.

This book doesn’t fall into my normal genres of books I enjoy reading.  However, I have a two year old daughter and the book blurb immediately caught my eye. The first chapter covers the inverse power of praise in which they mention several studies that showed that parents who over praise their children’s intelligence they may actually cause the child to under perform.  One chapter also covers teen rebellion and present findings that arguments between parents and teens can sometimes be constructive in their relationship.  My favorite chapter was the one about if children can learn self-control.  I found the description of the curriculum called Tools of the Mind intriguing and would love to see it in action.  I am curious if any schools around my area implement this program as studies showed that not only did it help improve the standardized testing scores of the children but also helped minimize behavioral issues.

I may not have agreed with everything mentioned in this book but it is thought provoking.

About the authors:


Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s New York Magazine articles on the science of parenting won the magazine journalism award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Clarion Award. Their articles for Time Magazine have won the award for outstanding journalism from the Council on Contemporary Families. Prior to collaborating, Bronson authored five books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller What Should I Do With My Life? Merryman’s journalism has appeared in The Washington Post and The National Catholic Reporter.

Bronson lives in San Francisco, with his wife and two children. Merryman lives in Los Angeles, where she runs a church-based tutoring program for inner-city children.

Posted in Books, Non-fiction

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