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


Gender Differences


Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men (2009), by Leonard Sax. The author delves into the scientific literature and draws on more than twenty years of clinical experience to explain why boys and young men are failing in school and disengaged at home. He shows how social, cultural, and biological factors have created an environment that is literally toxic to boys. He also presents practical solutions, sharing strategies which educators have found effective in re-engaging these boys at school, as well as handy tips for parents about everything from homework, to videogames, to medication.  


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.  

 The Sexual Paradox: Men, Women and the Real Gender Gap, by Susan Pinker. The main point of this book is to highlight the different choices that very highly talented or gifted people make with their lives and careers, helping the reader understand a common trajectory of gifted girls and women compared to gifted boys and men. Pinker's use of case study interviews leads to explaining why it is that there remains a gender gap in many fields and why this may be so. This book is especially helpful in getting parents of gifted children to understand why it is their gifted boy may appear to have ADHD in school and their gifted girl may decide after years of academic success not to pursue -- or stay in -- that highly competitive, time-consuming career that she is so qualified to pursue. Highly recommended.


Smart Boys: Talent, Manhood, and the Search for Meaning, by Barbara Kerr and Sanford J. Cohen. “Why do so many of our brightest boys and young men underachieve in school and fail to reach their full potential in the world of work? Why do so many smart boys have problems with depression in adolescence or later in their adult years? The authors use their extensive work with gifted youth, current research, reviews of other books, and interviews with gifted men. They give suggestions for parents and teachers to help, as well as insights for gifted men.   


What Could He Be Thinking? How a Man's Mind Really Works, by Michael Gurian. Gurian uses PET scan and MRI brain research and his own years of psychological work with individuals, couples, and families to interpret just how very different the brain chemistry, motivations, and overall thought processes and abilities differ between males and females. Invaluable guide for everyone interested in guiding boys into men and learning how to interpret and communicate with them.  


The Wonder of Boys, by Michael Gurian. This book goes into more specific details and suggestions for parents and educators working with boys. They are so different in their needs that one would be remiss not to learn more about it.  



The Wonder of Girls, by Michael Gurian. This book goes into more specific details and suggestions for parents and educators working with girls.