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More Than a Test Score - review

Robert A. Schultz and James R. Delisle have collected firsthand accounts about giftedness written by gifted teens for this book, “More Than a Test Score”. Hundreds of kids from all across the US share their unique stories and viewpoints, on everything from fitting in with peers to what the future may hold. Some comments are heart wrenching, while others are humorous.

The book is organized into six chapters as follows:

1.What Does It Mean to Be a Gifted Teen?
2.Fitting in With Friends and Peers
3.Dealing with Expectations- From Others AND Yourself
4.Can Your School Keep Up with You?
5.Family Life: Being Gifted at Home
6.Here Comes the Future

One of the questions in chapter one is, “What are the best and worst parts about being gifted?”

A fifteen year old boy from North Carolina replies, “Usually, my brain is my favorite playmate, but occasionally it turns on me just when I need it the most. I hate that. I really can't address this question any better than this, because since I've always been gifted, I have no basis for comparison. Do I ask other people what it;s like to be average?”
A sixteen year old girl from Oklahoma says, “Best: the teachers love us because we're the 'good' kids. Worst: people judge you before they even know you.”

Chapter two offers insight into social issues. A question included here is, “Do you ever do anything just to go along with the crowd?”

A girl from Wisconsin notes, “Senseless conformity is a mark of ignorance.”
While a gifted boy from Indiana states, “It can be fun pretending to be someone I'm not. It's really rather amusing.”
One particularly poignant reply is form from a seventeen year old New Yorker, “ No, not really. I'm just wallpaper. I try not to stick out, because as the ancient Asian saying goes, 'The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”

Each gifted teen in this collection offers a unique perspective that may be helpful to a young person struggling to make peace with his or her true self. The comments are edited both to focus on typical answers and also to highlight differing points of view. Every gifted kid should be able to relate to some of these stories, and perhaps feel less alone.

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