Books and Journals

The following is not an exhaustive list. Rather, it is a starting point for anyone who wants to study giftedness and gifted people. Even if you directly consult with a specialist, you will find the following books and journals helpful.

Dr. Ruf's Book

5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options (2005) (formerly titled Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind). 5 Levels of Gifted, published by Great Potential Press, combines four years of data gathering from 50 families with nearly 30 years of research and experience in the field of giftedness, individual differences, and high intelligence. The book is aimed primarily at parents and vividly describes the upper 10 to 15 percent of the intellectual continuum in human beings from birth to adulthood as manifested in their behaviors, thoughts, accomplishments, and test scores. She introduces the concept of Levels of Giftedness and makes it very clear how many factors contribute to a person's intellectual levels and achievement. Learn more or buy now.

Kindle. We recognize that more and more books are available in digital formats, and highly recommend the use of any of the versions of Kindle.



Parenting Issues and Help

Schooling Topics and Homeschooling

Intelligence, Careers, Life Outcomes

Other Learning Issues (Twice Exceptional, Visual-Spatial, Dyslexia, etc.)

Gender Differences

Personality Differences


Schooling Topics and Homeschooling

Academic Advocacy for Gifted Children: A Parent’s Complete Guide (2008), by Barbara Jackson GilmanFormerly titled Empowering Gifted Minds: Educational Advocacy That Works, this book is the definitive manual on gifted advocacy for gifted students. The author tells parents and teachers how to document a child’s abilities to provide reasonable educational options year by year. The book provides imperative information on testing considerations, curriculum, successful programs, and planning your child s education. It is an essential guide. 


Developing Math Talent: A Guide for Educating Gifted and Advanced Learners in Math (2005), by Susan Assouline and Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik.  A comprehensive parent and teacher guide for developing math talent among advanced learners. The authors, nationally recognized math education experts, offer a comprehensive approach to mathematics education for gifted students of elementary or middle school age. 

Creative HomeschoolingCreative Homeschooling for Gifted Children: A Resource Guide for Smart Families, by Lisa Rivero. This terrific book is for homeschooling parents and more - there is information for schooling parents, schoolteachers, gifted teachers, and additional information on gifted children, learning styles, and Internet resources. Whether you home school full-time or merely want to set up some good units for partial home schooling (on or off the school’s campus), this book as invaluable.


Educating Gifted StudentsEducating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide, by Susan Rakow.   Understanding and meeting the needs of gifted students in middle school offers unique challenges. Using creative, practical, and realistic school solutions, this book provides useful ways for teachers, administrators, and parents to meet these needs. The author understands the issues of the day, those that—unfortunately—preclude ability grouping and tracking, and details methods that will be politically acceptable while getting closer to meeting the unique needs of gifted middle school students. 


Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Minds, by Jan and Bob Davidson.  A highly readable and important book about some of the most important issues in the field of gifted education today. The authors make a compelling case that schools are not meeting the educational needs of our brightest students, and offer clear recommendations on what we can do about it.


Growing Up Gifted, by Barbara Clark. This textbook is an excellent portrait of what high intellectual ability is and where it comes from.



Helping Gifted Children Soar: A Practical Guide for Parents and Teachers (2nd Ed.), by Carol A. Strip. The information and useful advice provided make this book an ideal resource both for those just starting out in the gifted field as well as those who are already seasoned veterans.  



The Homeschooling Option: How to Decide When It's Right for Your Family (2008, by Lisa Rivero. In this accessible and honest look at homeschooling, the author explores the diverse faces of homeschooled students and the ways in which it can help children with special learning needs. This book addresses the major questions parents are bound to have as they consider this option: socialization, curriculum, special needs arrangements, resources, and more. 


Intellectual Talent: Psychometric and Social Issues, edited by Camilla Persson Benbow and David Lubinski.  This book examines the political ramifications of emotionally loaded findings about individual differences—documenting cases in which findings that contradict prevailing social values are simply ignored. The book also explores what is known about educating gifted children and why educators sometimes fail to act on that knowledge. 


Literature Links: Activities for Gifted Readers (2005), by Teresa Masiello.   Here is help for educators in meeting the needs of advanced readers in grades 2 through 6. Literature titles are included, along with discussion questions and classroom or small group activities for each title. 


 The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons From Falling Behind in School and Life (2007), by Michael Gurian with Kathy Stevens.  To follow up on this first book, The Wonder of Boys, which launched the boy's movement, Michael Gurian now confronts what he and a lot of other parents and teachers in this country truly believe to be a "boy's crisis." Gurian presents a whole new way of solving the problem based on the success of his program in schools across the country, the latest research and application of neuro-biological research on how boys' brains actually work and how they can learn very well if they're properly taught. 


A Nation DeceivedA Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students   (The Templeton National Report on Acceleration, Volumes 1 and 2), by Nicholas Colangelo, Susan Assouline and Miraca Gross. This national report highlights the disparity between the research on acceleration and the educational beliefs and practices that often run contrary to the research.   


 Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America's Schools Back to Reality (2009), by Charles Murray. Based on a series of controversial Wall Street Journal op-eds, this landmark manifesto gives voice to what everyone knows about talent, ability, and intelligence but no one wants to admit. With four truths as his framework, Charles Murray, the bestselling coauthor of The Bell Curve, sweeps away the hypocrisy, wishful thinking, and upside-down priorities that grip America’s educational establishment. 



Re-Forming Gifted Education: Matching the Program to the Child, by Karen Rogers. The author describes various types of gifted children, as well as options for school enrichment and acceleration. She reports the effectiveness for each option according to the research. Having this information can help parents and educators to know better what is possible and how to go about setting it up.  


Some of My Best Friends are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers from Pre-School to High School (Third Edition) (2009), by Judith Wynn Halsted. This book’s extensive indexing makes it easy to find books that are appropriate and yet advanced and engaging enough for gifted children. Many classic books are listed by social or emotional topic so that adults can use books for bibliotherapy – the heroes and heroines of the books deal with problems familiar to the gifted child.    


Stand Up For Your Gifted ChildStand Up For Your Gifted Child: How to Make the Most of Your Kid’s Strengths at School and at Home, by Joan F. Smutny. You’ll explore various options for your child’s education and learn how to communicate effectively with the local school and district, connect with other parents, and provide enrichment at home. You’ll discover your rights as a parent—and the benefits of taking a stand.  


Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use to Meet the Academic Needs of the Gifted and Talented (with CD-ROM), by Susan Winebrenner. This revised, expanded, updated edition reflects the author’s personal experiences and the changes that have taken place in education over the years. Her basic philosophy hasn’t changed, and all of the proven, practical, classroom-tested strategies teachers love are still here. But there’s now an entire chapter on identifying gifted students. The step-by-step how-tos for using the strategies are more detailed and user-friendly.


Teaching KidsTeaching Kids With Learning Difficulties in the Regular Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use to Challenge and Motivate Struggling Students, by Susan Winebrenner and Pamela Espeland. Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., Minneapolis, MN. This book is a comprehensive menu of options, a gold mine of proven, practical ways to help students labeled “special education,” “slow,” “remedial,” or “LD” succeed in school - without watering down content, lowering expectations, or depriving other students of a teacher's time and attention.   


The Teenagers' GuideThe Teenagers’ Guide to School Outside the Box, by John Taylor. The author explores a variety of traditional and nontraditional environments for volunteering, mentoring, alternative classes, job shadowing, internships, apprenticeships, camps, and study abroad. These are valuable ideas on how teens can enrich their lives outside of school. Dr. Ruf highly recommends this book because it supports her goal of building the child’s “portfolio” through acceptance that “school is not real life” and bright kids need to develop and highlight their strengths, not just get through school. 


The War Against Excellence: The Rising Tide of Mediocrity in America’s Middle Schools, by Cheri Pierson Yecke.  This book explains the extent to which American education has turned "giftedness" from an asset into an embarrassing mark of "elitism." It describes the typical middle school not as an educational institution where children learn important skills and knowledge but as a social engineering vehicle that has put a glass ceiling on student achievement in the name of an equity of mediocrity.