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Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain

by Dana Suskind and Beth Suskind

  • Hardcover
ISBN: 9780525954873
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  • Hardcover
ISBN: 9780525954873

Publisher Description

The founder and director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative, Professor Dana Suskind, explains why the most important--and astoundingly simple--thing you can do for your child's future success in life is to to talk to them. What nurtures the brain to optimum intelligence and stability? It is a secret hiding in plain sight: the most important thing we can do for our children is to have conversations with them. The way you talk with your growing child literally builds his or her brain. Parent talk can drastically improve school readiness and lifelong learning in everything from math to art. Indeed, parent-child talk is a fundamental, critical factor in building grit, self-control, leadership skills, and generosity. It is crucial to making the most in life of the luck you have with your genes. This landmark account of a new scientific perspective describes what works and what doesn't (baby talk is fi≠ relentless correction isn't). Discover how to create the best "language environments" for children by following the simple structure of the Three Ts: Tune In; Talk More; Take Turns. Dr. Suskind and her colleagues around the country have worked with thousands of families; now their insights and successful, measured approaches are available to all. This is the first book to reveal how and why the first step in nurturing successful lives is talking to children in ways that build their brains. Your family--and our nation--need to know. Nominated for the Books for a Better Life Award

Author Biography

Professor Dana Suskind, MD , is both founder and director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative, which is based on scientific research that demonstrates the critical importance of early language exposure on the developing child. Dr. Suskind received the University of Chicago Medical Faculty Award as "Distinguished Leader in Program Innovation." She is an advisor on The Clinton Foundation's Too Small to Fail Initiative and part of the White House initiative on creating a pathway to ending the achievement gap. She lives in Chicago, Illinois. Beth Suskind is codirector of the Thirty Million Words Initiative and is integral to translating the complexities of the science behind their research into a curriculum. She lives in Chicago, Illinois. Leslie Lewinter-Suskind , BS, MSS, MFA, former Director of International Program, Psychiatry and Pediatrics, LSU Medical School in New Orleans, provided invaluable assistance in the writing of Thirty Million Words. She lives in southern California.

Review Quote

"Suskind''s vision is empowering, her methods are surprisingly simple to execute, and the results have been proven to nurture children toward becoming stable, empathetic adults. Informative, exciting new data that confirms the significant benefits gained by talking to your child." -- Kirkus Reviews

Excerpt from Book

PRAISE FOR THIRTY MILLION WORDS "Suskind''s vision is empowering, her methods are surprisingly simple to execute, and the results have been proven to nurture children toward becoming stable, empathetic adults. Informative, exciting new data that confirms the significant benefits gained by talking to your child." -- Kirkus Reviews "How empowering the realization that each of us can be our children''s personal neuro-developer, that the sheer quality of our interactions can impact the attitude of inquiry and health of our kids. The practical application of Dr. Suskind''s work is limitless; as a dad, and as (a ''gritty'') someone invested in early child development, I''m excited to see how far it takes us." --Steve Nash, president of the Steve Nash Foundation and two-time National Basketball Association MVP "I thank Dana Suskind for opening doors to solutions and hope. The answer to the growing problem of social inequalities in our country is to make use of America''s top two resources: its children and their parents. If we care about this country and the children who will live in it as adults, we have to make Dr. Suskind''s advice become reality." --Sandra Gutierrez, founder and national director of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors "Grounded upon experience as a cochlear implant surgeon, informed by compelling social science research, and inspired by a profound commitment to children and families, this book helps all of us understand the importance of communicating abundantly, pleasantly, and responsively with infants and toddlers. Tell everyone you know to read it! Together, we can enrich language environments for generations to come, in all types of homes and communities. The book is a gem!" --Ronald F. Ferguson, faculty director at the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University "Straight from the front lines Dr. Dana Suskind tells the story of the power of talk in helping children learn. Easy to read and with striking insights on every page, this book will not only make you think differently about how you parent but will give you the tools to help your child be at his or her best." --Sian Beilock, professor at the University of Chicago and author of Choke and How the Body Knows Its Mind "Suskind writes with clarity and authority to explain why parents need to talk to their infant children, and why some forms of communication are better than others. Thirty Million Words belongs on the shortlist of books that every parent, teacher, and education policy maker should read." --Adam Alter, associate professor at New York University and author of Drunk Tank Pink "Anyone who cares about children, anyone who cares about the future of this country, should read this book." --Barbara Bowman, Irving B. Harris Professor at Erikson Institute "A passionate, personal account of the power all parents have to raise thriving, successful children." --Diana Mendley Rauner, president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund "Prepare for a revolution. This book will make you cry, laugh, and deeply reflect on what we should be doing to give everyone a chance to succeed in life. As a scholar I was in awe, as a teacher I was dazzled, and as a father I was thankful to the authors of this book. When you pick it up, have a few hours to spare because you will not put it down. Unequivocal 5 stars." --John A. List, Homer J. Livingston Professor at the University of Chicago and author of The Why Axis "Dana Suskind hails others as heroes, but she is the true hero! She stepped out of the safe harbor of her role as a pediatric cochlear implant surgeon when she realized that helping deaf children hear was not enough to help them learn language. She takes us on her compelling and page-turning journey, navigating the best research in children''s early learning, always sharing sound and extremely helpful examples of what we all must do to help children learn language and much more, always in joyful and loving ways." --Ellen Galinsky, president of Families and Work Institute and author of Mind in the Making "Dr. Suskind''s work reveals that the greatest gift we can give our children is free. How empowering to understand that it doesn''t take money to give our children advantages in the world, it takes words. Her research is vital." --Chris Nee, creator and executive producer of Doc McStuffins "Three cheers for the promise of parents, prevention, and neuroplasticity!" -- Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at Harvard Medical School An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC 375 Hudson Street New York, New York 10014 Copyright

Description for Library

After a 1995 study found that by their fourth birthdays some children heard 30 million more words than others, leading to a significant achievement gap, medical doctor Suskind joined with sister-in-law Beth Suskind to found the Thirty Million Words Initiative. This successfully tested program aims to bridge that gap by showing parents from all walks of life what kinds of parent-child communication optimize neural development.

Product Details

Dana Suskind, Beth Suskind
Short Title
Dutton Books
Publication Date
How to Build a Child's Brain