The Gifted School

The Gifted School

A Novel

eBook - 2019
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INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER One of NPR's "Favorite Books of 2019"! "Wise and addictive... The Gifted School is the juiciest novel I've read in ages... a suspenseful, laugh-out-loud page-turner and an incisive inspection of privilege, race and class."--J. Courtney Sullivan in The New York Times "The summer read that predicted the college-admissions scandal." -The Wall Street Journal Smart and juicy, a compulsively readable novel about a previously happy group of friends and parents that is nearly destroyed by their own competitiveness when an exclusive school for gifted children opens in the community This deliciously sharp novel captures the relentless ambitions and fears that animate parents and their children in modern America, exploring the conflicts between achievement and potential, talent and privilege. Set in the fictional town of Crystal, Colorado, The Gifted School is a keenly entertaining novel that observes the drama within a community of friends and parents as good intentions and high ambitions collide in a pile-up with long-held secrets and lies. Seen through the lens of four families who've been a part of one another's lives since their kids were born over a decade ago, the story reveals not only the lengths that some adults are willing to go to get ahead, but the effect on the group's children, sibling relationships, marriages, and careers, as simmering resentments come to a boil and long-buried, explosive secrets surface and detonate. It's a humorous, keenly observed, timely take on ambitious parents, willful kids, and the pursuit of prestige, no matter the cost.
Publisher: [S.l.]: Penguin Publishing Group, 2019.
ISBN: 9780525534983
Characteristics: 464 p.
Additional Contributors: cloudLibrary

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shelbyg92
Aug 15, 2020

Having grown up in a community similar to the fictional Crystal, Colorado, much of what’s depicted in “The Gifted School” felt like coming home in the most obnoxious way possible. The helicopter parents, the “progressive” politics, and the competitive kids feeding off parents’ antics. This is a well-written, entertaining, and timely satire. The last couple of chapters divulged into soap opera territory and took me out of book for a bit, but overall this is a great read.

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Dee_BPL
Jun 12, 2020

Fantastic audiobook! Relatable for all parents with school age children!

c
carolwu96
Mar 31, 2020

In the scenic town of Crystal, Colorado reside our characters. Four friends. Five families. Six children. Life is as peaceful as it has ever been. ⁣

Until there is news of a new public school for gifted children. ⁣

All of a sudden everyone is scrambling to secure a coveted seat for their precious child. As decade-old relationships unravel, the gifted school seems to be the last straw for these middle-aged social climbers and their crumbling dignities. ⁣

I know that some readers might have a difficult time liking and resonating with these characters. However, as an education consultant and aficionado, I have only seen too much craziness in this rat race. Intensive helicopter parenting for children do not even know what to pick for their own lunch? Check. Parental competitiveness turning siblings against one another? Check. Outright bribing school officials? What, don’t you recall the college admissions bribery scandals involving Yale, Stanford and USC last year?⁣

Thus while the parents may seem hysterical, they are only too real. Even more realistic are the other problems constituting their middle age crises — chilling marriages, financial pressures and rebellious children, to name a few. Although the book is titled The Gifted School, the school itself is only a catalyst to the explosion of their piling skeletons. ⁣

I took half a star off because the final twist was simply too unreasonable, but I do like the ending and the way everything eventually seemingly returns to normal. Life goes on, despite the arguing, fighting, and back-stabbing. At the end of the day, people move on, not because they forgive, but because changes are simply unthinkable. ⁣

Overall, this is a well-written, juicy work and, despite its vulgarness, can even be poetic at times. It is a Gossip Mothers of Crystal of sorts, a combination of Gossip Girls and Primates of Park Ave.

For more book and movie reviews, visit me on Instagram @ RandomStuffIRead !

l
Lizdmoser
Dec 06, 2019

march book club

t
tegan
Nov 24, 2019

A bit over-the-top, but amusing.

t
tammygfarmgirl
Nov 21, 2019

Interesting story about how a new school for gifted students brings out the worst in a group of close friends, both the students and the parents.

h
hermode
Nov 20, 2019

Badly written, poor editing, disappointing character development. Picked this up for what I thought would be an interesting story concept. Writer must not spend much time around, or frankly even like, women and children. The women are either weak and devious or obnoxiously dominant and manipulative. The children are overly precocious, offer unbelievably mature insight and all appear to have a dark side. Odd plot holes throughout. This was painful to finish.

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midori_hon
Nov 01, 2019

Holsinger writes dialogue like he was eavesdropping. Such amazing timing for this book to be released shortly after an admissions scandal made headlines in unreal life (water polo, seriously?) It resonated even more because the setting was close to home and where I made memories during my misspent youth.

s
smfdenver
Sep 30, 2019

This story is about four families who live in a Boulder-like community outside of Denver and their quest to get their children into a brand new public K-12 school for “gifted” children. These families have been friends for over a decade and helicopter their kids particularly believing their kids are more exceptional than each other’s kids. Through the testing process they manipulate, self-sabotage, lie and cheat all while continuing their social engagements with each other. The first half of the book was interesting because it showed the length of what parents will go through for a label of “giftedness” and what is perceived to be supreme education. Being a mom raising kids in Douglas County and living close to Boulder this is not the first time I’ve encountered this so I found the dynamics interesting. The second half of the book however, went rapidly downhill. It turned into a “soap opera” with ridiculous drama and lost the focus of the social commentary I was enjoying. The characters were not well developed but that was fine, none of them were likable. I found it frustrating and did not care for it.

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MargeBanks
Sep 10, 2019

Mary Ellen

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black_cat_5703
Aug 01, 2019

black_cat_5703 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 21

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