Book review: Gifted

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Author:Nikita Lalwani
Reading Level (Conceptual):For grown-ups
Reading Level (Vocabulary):For grown-ups
Genre:Fiction, parenting

Unless you have been through it yourself, it is probably impossible to understand how challenging it is to parent a gifted child.

The gifted child in this story, the daughter of two immigrants from India, is identified in kindergarten by a teacher who seems not to understand that being a gifted child might not be an unmitigated blessing and that raising a gifted child may not be as easy as it would seem.

Rumika Vasi's father determines to honor her giftedness by yanking her out of the public school and forcing her to concentrate almost entirely on mathematics. Her mother is overwhelmed and threatened by British culture and defers to her husband.

By the time Rumika lives up to her father's dream -- being accepted to Oxford at 14 -- Rumika feels isolated, deeply resentful of her intellectual gifts, almost -- determined to throw them away.

The book comes off, a bit, as an indictment of raising a gifted child as an immigrant parent. But I think that parenting a child who is smarter than you are is difficult in any culture. Being culturally displaced may make that even more difficult, perhaps. But being the parent of any child who is vastly different from his or her peers is always going to be hugely challenging.

My review of another incisive novel about parenting a gifted child can be found here: excerpt.

If you found this review helpful and/or interesting, consider supporting our book habit: Buy this book!: Gifted

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