How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character


September 20, 2012


Paul Tough


In How Children Succeed, Paul Tough explores the question of why some children succeed while others fail. He argues that the key to a child’s success is not so much about intelligence, but character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control. Tough traces the links between childhood stress and life success, and uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do – and do not – prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides new insights into how to help children growing up in poverty. How Children Succeed is a provocative and hopeful book that has the potential to change how we raise our children, how we run our schools, and our understanding of childhood itself.


Paul Tough

Paul Tough is the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America and the author of a series of acclaimed articles on character and childhood in the New York Times Magazine and the New Yorker. He is a contributing editor to the New York Times Magazine and a frequent contributor to the public-radio program This American Life