Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)

The Gifted School

Best Seller
The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger
Audiobook Download
Jul 02, 2019 | ISBN 9781984888501 | 833 Minutes

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (2) +
  • Jun 30, 2020 | ISBN 9780525534976

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Jul 02, 2019 | ISBN 9780525534983

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from The Gifted School

Product Details


“A page-turning meditation on what it means to be gifted — and how far parents will go to prove it.”—NPR

“[A] timely and relevant read for the summer.” –

“Holsinger’s sharp observation, knack for dialogue, acerbic social commentary and droll descriptive gifts all add up to a heady brew. As the adults scheme intently and their beleaguered children act out their frustrations, The Gifted School becomes a sharp, skeptical primer on how things stand in 2010s America where everyone is desperate to get their slice of an ever-shrinking economic pie.”—The Boston Globe

“A surprisingly hopeful novel. There’s a sweetness to its resolution, a satisfying possibility that no matter what monsters we parents are at times, we can still graduate to something better.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
“Holsinger renders his helicopter moms and soccer dads so precisely that one understands their motivations, even feels their longing and pride. . . [The Gifted School] exposes how easily a mix of good intentions, self-delusions, and minor sins can escalate into the kind of skullduggery that might prompt an F.B.I. sting.”—The New Yorker

“Clever and au courant. . . top of the syllabus for book clubs.”—People

“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. . . .The book goes down as easy as a gin and tonic on a summer day, but the takeaway is damning. In their quest to give their offspring the best, these parents have committed, as one member of the group realizes too late, ‘a collective crime against childhood..”—J. Courtney Sullivan in The New York Times

“A thoughtful, engaging examination of a subject torn from the headlines: how parents succumb to a kind of temporary insanity as they jockey for position, status, and prestige—for their children and for themselves. Recommended for parents and for fans of literary fiction.”—Library Journal
“Reading this is way more fun than taking a standardized test, trust me.”—Popsugar

The Gifted School is not only a book to add to your list this summer for pure entertainment, but because it skewers the intense, high-stakes culture of parenting prevalent in so many suburbs and in the upper echelons.” – Real Simple
“Like Big Little Lies with standardized testing, this addictive novel digs hard into the culture of striving parents and anxious children, exploring privilege, competition and the elusiveness of happiness. A deeply pleasurable read.” – Meg Wolitzer, New York Times-bestselling author of The Female Persuasion

“Bright, and expertly observed.” – Town & Country
“A (hilariously) timely book explores the lengths to which privileged parents will go to get their kids a top education.”—New York Post
“Reminiscent of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, The Gifted School is a story of trouble in paradise with timely commentary on hyper-parenting and the lengths to which parents will go to ensure that their kids remain ‘exceptional.” – BookPage
“An insular epic that questions the notion of meritocracy, the hypocrisy of white liberalism, and the politics that trickle from the adult world down to their children.” –The Paris Review

“Addictive, whip-smart, acutely observed and sharply funny, The Gifted School trains its lens on a community where a talented child is a social commodity and asks how far some families might be willing to go in pursuit of status. A delicious read.” – Gilly Macmillan, New York Times-bestselling author of What She Knew

“I LOVED THIS NOVEL. Pitch perfect, razor sharp, compulsively readable and rich with delicious detail, this darkly funny satire combines the gimlet-eyed world view of Jonathan Franzen with the propulsive narration of Liane Moriarty. I can’t remember the last time I’ve enjoyed a novel as much.”— Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times-bestselling author 

“[Holsinger’s] subject of parents charging past every ethical restraint in pursuit of crème de la crème education could not be more timely, and the Big Little Liestreatment creates a deliciously repulsive and eerily current page-turner.”— Kirkus, starred review

“Sharply entertaining…This depiction of the depths to which some parents will stoop to win social advantage for their offspring makes for a smart, piercing novel, and timely given recent headlines.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“I was blown away by The Gifted School. A smart, insightful, and engrossing story about how the prospect of getting their children into a school for the gifted causes a group of competitive parents to comport themselves in the most unseemly and ultimately destructive ways. Snapping with tension, this is a book for our times. It will push a lot of buttons for a lot of people.” — Shari Lapena, New York Times-bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates about Bruce Holsinger
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking “SIGN UP”, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and understand that Penguin Random House collects certain categories of personal information for the purposes listed in that policy, discloses, sells, or shares certain personal information and retains personal information in accordance with the policy. You can opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information anytime.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top