by Kelly Gray, Development Assistant
While certain tasks or assignments may come easier for gifted students, it does not mean that they do not struggle or have setbacks. In many cases, due to the very high expectations gifted students set for themselves, they can face even greater challenges than other students. It is also a misconception that gifted students have a clear path set out for their future from a young age. Thus, it is important for these advanced learners to be able to read accounts of the challenges (academically and personally), inspirations and ultimately, triumphs of some the worlds’ most influential people.
Here’s a list of inspiring books about individuals who have made contributions in the areas of science, technology, literature and music:
Bill Gates is the co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation and philanthropist.
Book: Who is Bill Gates? (2013) by Patricia Brennan Demulth (author) and Ted Hammond (illustrator) details how a persistent and gifted young boy from Seattle became one of the leading entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. For younger readers.
Joshua Bell is an acclaimed violinist who made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 17 with the St. Louis Symphony. He has since performed with many of the world’s major orchestras and conductors and has recorded more than 30 classical albums.
Book: The Dance of the Violin (2017) by Kathy Stinson (author) and Dušan Petričić (illustrator) tells the story of a young Joshua Bell who challenges himself to play a difficult piece of music at an international competition. During the performance he makes a mistake, but garners the courage to start again and put forth his best effort. For younger readers.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a Columbian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist affectionately known as Gabo or Gabito. He won the Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 1982 and is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century.
Book: My Name is Gabito (2007) by Monica Brown (author) and Raul Colon (illustrator) beautifully chronicles Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s life from his childhood in Columbia to his later years as a celebrated author. For younger readers.
Sally Ride Ph.D was an American physicist and astronaut. In 1983 she became the first U.S. woman to go into space.
Book: Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space (2014) by Lynn Sherr recounts the story of the woman who broke gender barriers at NASA and went on to found Sally Ride Science, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting STEM literacy for young people. For teens and above (LGBT issues discussed).
Jane Goodall is a primatologist and anthropologist. Considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, she is best known for her over 55-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania.
Book: Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man (2008) by Dale Peterson details the triumphs and setbacks of Goodall’s life, including the private quest that led to her now-famous activism. For teens and above.
Carl Sagan Ph.D was an astronomer, writer, and creator of the television series, Cosmos that helped popularize science.
Book: Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmos (1999) by William Poundstone recounts the life of a gifted young man whose interest in the stars and life on other planets propelled him to become science’s first authentic media superstar, making science accessible to the general public. For teens and above.
You can find more inspiring role models in the book, Heroes of Giftedness: An Inspirational Guide for Gifted Students and Their Teachers, Maurice E. Fisher Ph.D & Eugenia M. Fisher, Ed.D, Editors and Michael E. Walters, Ed.D & Harry T. Roman, M.S., Senior Writers.
Tell us who inspires you by sending your own book recommendations!
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