Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World

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  • a worthwhile treatise on how great innovation can be supported by parents and teachers
  • spends more time mulling the grey areas of creating an innovator than presenting a quick step-by-step guide for doing so
  • educators might not appreciate how the author downplays the value of academics in innovators’ rise to greatness

Looking for a secret weapon to boost your child’s leadership and genius potential? Creating Innovators might unnerve you with how little it avoids any sense of a greatness-by-numbers approach. But for its deep insight into the complexities of rearing a future mover and shaker in America, Tony Wagner’s title won’t easily be put down.

The book opens with a presentation of the narratives of several young but compelling innovators, mining their personal stories for commentary on the ways in which parents and educators can groom youngsters for similar creative output. Teachers might not appreciate how Wagner shapes these anecdotes in ways that sometimes offset the importance and influence of an education on these original thinking dynamos, almost as if schooling was just an interruption in their inevitable path to a creativity high point. But savvy readers can sift this slight misstep in argument for a truly valuable nugget: the seeds of entrepreneurship and critical thinking brilliance are sown both within and outside of the classroom.

The book concludes with the heartwarming denouement of Wagner’s “Letter to a Young Innovator,” ladling wise and inspiring words on the next generation of great thinkers. Creating Innovators deserves to have a well-placed spot created for it on the bookshelves of ambitious parents curious about the process of rearing an impressive problem-solver.