Books For Your Library

With so much emphasis in our culture on college admissions, more and more titles on a variety of related topics are published each year. Here are a few books that are worth a second look.

The Parents We Mean to Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development by Harvard’s Richard Weissbourd cautions that we are doing our children a disservice by driving them toward achievement at all costs. Most worrisome is that the quest for personal fulfillment has replaced an emphasis on helping children build empathy. Parents increasingly seek to be their children’s friends rather than their adult role models. He touches on how the college admissions frenzy fits into this dynamic and does so with a helpful, non-judgmental tone.

If you have ever wondered why the boy next door with the nearly A average in all honors and advanced placement classes and the close to perfect SAT scores didn’t get into the college of his choice, you might want to read The Price of Admission, How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges and Who Gets Left Outside the Gate by Daniel Golden. Golden is a former Wall St. Journal reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize for his series of article on which the book is based.

Marjorie Savage directs the parent-liaison program at the University of Minnesota. Her book, You’re On Your Own (But I’m Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years provides advice to parents about letting go and how to respect a child’s independence while still providing support.

Considering a gap year? Taking Time Off: Inspiring Stories of Students Who Enjoyed Successful Breaks from College and How You Can Plan Your Own by Colin Hall and Ron Lieber profiles dozens of young people’s experiences working, studying and performing community service in the USA and abroad.

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