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The Gifted Teen Survival Guide

Smart, Sharp, and Ready for (Almost) Anything
(Revised & Updated 4th Edition)


Support gifted teenagers with this one-of-a-kind book full of sage advice to help them understand themselves, relate well with others, and reach their potential in life. Based on surveys of nearly 1,400 gifted teenagers, this updated classic is the ultimate guide to thriving in a world that doesn’t always support or understand high ability. Full of surprising facts, cutting-edge research, revealing quizzes and survey results, step-by-step strategies, inspiring teen quotes and stories, and insightful expert essays, the guide gives readers the tools they need to appreciate their giftedness as an asset and use it to make the most of who they are.

The fourth edition has been revised to provide a new generation of gifted teens with strategies and facts about giftedness, including:

  • information about twice-exceptionality
  • the truth about IQ, tests, and intelligence (emotional, social, and creative intelligence)
  • in-depth discussions about intensities and personality types associated with giftedness
  • research findings about brain development in gifted teens
  • strategies for dealing with expectations, perfectionism, study habits, and stress
  • ways to take charge of their education
  • advice on choosing a college or college alternative
  • ways to deal with teasing, bullying, and cyberbullying
  • guidelines for being “net smart” and staying safe online
  • information about depression, suicide, and giftedness
  • sections on being gifted and queer, developing wisdom and a personal philosophy, and handling existential crises
  • a wealth of additional resources including books, publications, associations, programs, websites, and much more

With more than a quarter-million copies in print, The Gifted Teen Survival Guide is essential reading for gifted teens, their parents, teachers, counselors, and anyone who cares about smart, talented, curious young people.

Part of Self-Help for Teens®
Free Spirit is the leading publisher of learning tools that support teens’ social-emotional health.
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Paperback $15.99 23814W Paperback 23814W $15.99

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ISBN: 978-1-57542-381-4
Reading Level: Grades 7 & up
Interest Level: Ages 11 & up
Guided Reading Level: Z
Lexile Measure: 1150L
Illustrated: two-color, illust.
Trim Size: 7" x 9"
Page Count: 272

Praise for The Gifted Teen Survival Guide
“This revision of its predecessor continues the same high standards . . . Likely to appeal to the secondary gifted student.”—Lincoln Public Schools

“Teachers and parents of gifted adolescents will glean insight into social and emotional challenges faced by gifted teens as they explore this valuable resource.”—Gifted Child Today

“Readable, engaging, and positive without being moralistic . . . offers answers and suggestions that are not simplistic. This book can help [teens] negotiate their way through the snares of being a teenager with confidence and success.”—VOYA

“What was good about the previous edition is even better in the new, fourth edition.”—Lisa Rivero, Everyday Intensity blog and author of A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Teens: Living with Intense and Creative Adolescents

“Offers specific, often pithy advice. This updated edition . . . feels fresh and timely. An intelligent, entertaining look at the unique and not-so-unique issues that gifted teens face.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A truly excellent, thorough, and up-to-date book! It will help gifted teens understand themselves in ways that will change their lives.”—James T. Webb, Ph.D., psychologist and founder of Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted

“Reading this guide is like having an expert on giftedness, an excellent teacher or mentor, and a best friend to talk with—all at the same time. The combination of great information and great writing makes it a ‘can’t put it down’ book! I recommend it highly for all gifted teens.”—Susan Daniels, Ph.D., professor of educational psychology and counseling at California State University in San Bernardino, and coauthor of Living with Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults

“This new edition is the best yet! It has a fabulous format that is very appealing to teens. I consider it a ‘must have’ book.”—Margaret Gosfield, acquisitions editor, Gifted Education Communicator

“Judy and Jim packed this book full of actionable steps along with real-life stories, facts, and examples from many gifted teens. These stories will help build self-esteem, confidence, and important qualities for any teen to succeed further in life.”—Lane Sutton, age 14, entrepreneur, social media coach, and founder/writer of

“This comprehensive, insightful, fascinating book is the classic guide for gifted teens, and the new, updated topics are essential in today’s complex society.”—Bertie Kingore, Ph.D., educational consultant and author of Developing Portfolios for Authentic Assessment, PreK–3: Guiding Potential in Young Learners

“Gifted teenagers should keep this book under their pillows to read at night while reflecting upon their days. It offers tremendous insight into the issues this group of adolescents faces.”—Randee Blair, associate director, Center for Talent Development, Northwestern University

“A necessary toolkit that encourages and empowers gifted teens to take charge and make the most of who they are.”—Colleen M. Harsin, director, the Davidson Academy of Nevada

The Gifted Teen Survival Guide is chock full of useful information for gifted teens and the adults who care about them. In these pages you will find an open, honest discussion of what it means to be gifted, as well as all kinds of tips for relating to the world as you are and for taking yourself wherever you want to go! Galbraith and Delisle skip the platitudes, deconstruct common misconceptions, and get to the heart (and brain) of real issues for gifted teens.”—Corin Barsily Goodwin, executive director, Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, and author of Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Work for Your Typical Child

“Judy and Jim have outdone themselves with the 4th edition of their popular survival guide. This book is essential reading for gifted teens, as well as for their parents and teachers. It’s one of the most comprehensive overviews of the issues gifted adolescents face. Packaged in a lively and easy-to-read format, the book offers myriad practical tips for students.”—Del Siegle, Ph.D., professor, University of Connecticut, and past president of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

Praise for the previous edition
“Filled with information that answers students’ questions about being gifted and provides strategies for them to make their education and their lives more fulfilling.”—California Association for the Gifted

“A superior resource that provides so many fine ideas and fresh insights that it clearly has the potential to transform lives.”—School Library Journal                                                                             

“Helps adults become more respectful of the knowledge and abilities that young people have.”—YouthWorker Journal

  • Midwest Book Award
  • Read, America! Selection
  • ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success

    MS.1, MS.2, MS.3, MS.4, MS.5, MS.6
    BS.LS.1, BS.LS.2, BS.LS.3, BS.LS.4, BS.LS.5, BS.LS.6, BS.LS.7, BS.LS.8, BS.LS.9, BS.LS.10
    BS.SMS.1, BS.SMS.2, BS.SMS.3, BS.SMS.4, BS.SMS.5, BS.SMS.6, BS.SMS.7, BS.SMS.8, BS.SMS.9, BS.SMS.10
    BS.SS.1, BS.SS.2, BS.SS.3, BS.SS.4, BS.SS.5, BS.SS.6, BS.SS.7, BS.SS.8, BS.SS.9

Related Resources

Bright Complex Kids PLC / Book Study Guide
A field guide for understanding the social and emotional needs of gifted kids.
Get Gifted Students Talking
Start Seeing and Serving Underserved Gifted Students
Teaching Gifted Kids 2018
Power of Self-Advocacy for Gifted Learners
Survival Guide for Money Smarts

User Reviews

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April 13, 2021 / Stacey Pryor - Missouri
Excellent Resource for Gifted teens, their parents, and their teachers!

I have been in Gifted education for almost twenty years from K-12th grades and this is one of my go-to books I recommend to teens who struggle finding their place in the awkward lands of middle school and high school. I highly recommend this book!


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