Tag Archives: book recommendation

Leaving Behind Normalcy: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child

By Brianna Safe

Brianna has worked at IEA since 2011 and with gifted students since 2009. She graduated from Biola University with her BA in Humanities and English and is particularly interested in how literary art can inform issues in human psychology about how individuals conceive of themselves and make decisions. 

Asynchrony and the gifted childThe word “normal” is often casually batted across the field of developmental psychology, and I shudder at the implicit limitations of such a word. Sure, “normal” is a practical point of reference for understanding how children grow, in what ways and at what ages. When used descriptively, it can be a useful tool for seeing general patterns of physical, cognitive, and emotional development. The harm seems to come when we choose, often without realizing, to see normative development through a prescriptive lens. To prescribe “normal” as the measure of a healthy, happy child may confine us to a definition too narrow to allow the perspective that each child is a unique instantiation of life, and therefore will develop in his or her own unique way.


For those parenting a child at either end of the bell curve, the normalcy lens can cause more trouble than not. Any parent of a gifted or special needs child (or in some cases, the twice-exceptional child) can attest to the fact that, if normal is the rule, their child is indeed the exception. For these parents, it can be a challenge to let go of normative expectations and accept their child’s distinctive development.

Read more about asynchronous development and the gifted child.

Five Great Children’s Books for Gifted Kids

By Jennifer de la Haye

April 2 is International Children’s Book Day, so we thought it would be fun to highlight some great children’s books for gifted kids. Here are five of our picks:

Great children's books for gifted kidsHarry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Hermione is clearly gifted, as evidenced by her perpetual thirst for knowledge, heightened sense of justice, advanced academic acceleration, adult-like wisdom, and sharp intuition. The series also appeals strongly to kids who feel “different” and those with imaginational overexcitabilities.

See more great children’s books for gifted kids!

Don’t Count Her Out: A Review of Counting By 7s

Counting By 7s - a review

By Holly Goldberg Sloan
Dial Books for Young Readers

Reviewed by Seth Freeman, Writer/Producer and IEA Board Member

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old girl who sees the world in multiples of 7, patterns involving 7, subsets of 7. 7 is her favorite number.

She can learn a new language, even one as difficult as Vietnamese, in a couple of months. She will get a perfect score on pretty much any SAT-type of test that she takes, and she will finish the test in a fraction of the time allotted.

She is neither arrogant nor falsely modest about her abilities. Her facility is simply a fact of the universe, something she studies, like the growth of plants, human disease conditions, and human behavior in general. Willow also happens to be a very caring person, keenly observant and slyly funny, and it is a pleasure to share her company on every page of Counting by 7s, Holly Goldberg Sloan’s smart, engaging, and deeply moving new novel.

But Willow is also someone who has experienced more misfortune in her short life than any kid or even adult should ever have to endure. With the help of a small group of off-beat, yet well-drawn and believable, characters, Willow not only survives, she thrives, and somehow, as she meets the challenges of adversity, she manages to elevate the lives of almost everybody with whom she comes in contact.

Counting by 7s is a wonderful book, entertaining and thoughtful enough to gain a wide readership beyond its target audience of young adults. The adventures of its appealing central character will make it a novel of special interest to anyone who knows or who has experienced the life of a gifted young person.

Is there a book or resource that you love? Please share with us by commenting below or by emailing IEAgifted@educationaladvancement.org. We’d love your input for our next recommendation!

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