Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
By Susan Cain
Grade Levels: 5-10 and Parents
This week we’re taking a break from narrative fiction to bring you a recommendation for something different - the appropriately titled “Quiet,” by Susan Cain. This non-fiction book explores the divide between those of us who are energized by social situations, or extroverts, and those of us who find quiet contemplation is what gives us the space to excel, or introverts. Cain makes the case for the power and value of introverts, that group of people often overlooked in this world of ours that “can’t stop talking.”
This book reads like a particularly interesting research article covering how and why our society has become obsessed with the “Extrovert Ideal,” as she calls it. Cain details how the twentieth century saw a turn towards emphasizing extroverted qualities at all times and how we have turned a blind eye to the accomplishments of famous introverts like Rosa Parks, Frédéric Chopin, Dr. Seuss, and Steve Wozniak. She argues that now, more than ever, we need people who are able to think deeply, be introspective, and produce works that express this understanding of themselves and others.
This book is a fantastic read for any young introvert who finds themselves lost in a world that seemingly does not value their talents. It can help introverted children and young adults better understand themselves, the strengths they possess, and the things they are capable of. And for any adults who prefer an armchair and a book to the neighborhood barbeque, this book might help you understand yourself a little bit better, too.