Reviews


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“The belief in blue brains and pink brains has real-world consequences…Read [Eliot’s] masterful book and you’ll never view the sex-differences debate the same way again.”
–Sharon Begley, Newsweek

“In an era when advocates for boys and girls shrilly compete over which sex has it worse in school, Eliot is remarkably even-handed. . . Reading this book has made me see my kids and their world differently.”
–Emily Bazelon, The Washington Post

“Lise Eliot nimbly refutes the overemphasis on sex differences that has dominated popular thinking in our Mars and Venus age–but without resorting to a facile denial of differences, either. This is a lively, marvelously clear and readable book that combines all the latest research on sex differences with smart, sensible and humane advice to parents on how bring out the fullest potential in both boys and girls.”
—Margaret Talbot, Staff Writer, The New Yorker

“I can’t stop talking about Pink Brain, Blue Brain. Every time I see a toddler on a playground, or walk into a toy store, I remember some remarkable new fact I learned from Lise Eliot. This book will change the way you think about boys, girls, and how we come to be who we are.”
—Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide and
Proust Was a Neuroscientist

“I wish that Pink Brain, Blue Brain had been available when my children were small. It’s smart about our biology, smart about our culture—and genuinely thought-provoking in considering the way the two intersect. Read it if you’re a parent seeking some savvy insight on child rearing, as a teacher looking to help students—or just read it for the pleasure of understanding yourself a little better.”
—Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Sex on the Brain:
The Biological Differences Between Men and Women

“Eliot doesn’t take sides in the nature-nurture debate. First and foremost, she is a scientist, not an activist.”
—Tracy Clark-Flory, Salon.com

“Boys are better in math, girls are more empathetic — there’s something almost alluring about the idea that our brains are wired differently. But in her new book, Pink Brain, Blue Brain, author and neuroscientist Lise Eliot synthesizes decades of research on the topic and concludes that both sexes — boys in particular — are suffering under our assumptions about their nature.”—Heather Turgeon, babble.com

“Lise Eliot surveys the real science of sex differences in a way that is clear and careful as well as entertaining, and her advice on everything from public policy to parenting is sensible and scientifically grounded.”
— Mark Liberman, University of Pennsylvania

“Lise Eliot covers a wealth of the best scientific work on gender in an accessible and engaging style. The suggestions she offers for raising and teaching children are well grounded in research and readily implemented in practice. Pink Brain, Blue Brain is an excellent resource for parents, educators, and anyone else interested in how boys and girls develop.”
—Lynn S. Liben, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology
at Penn State University

Lise Eliot, a first-rate scholar and a superb neuroscientist, has now brought her extensive knowledge and insight to bear on the difficult and socially important issue of gender difference in her marvelous new book, Pink Brain, Blue Brain. … Eliot explains, in language that is clear to all of us, that these sex differences are plastic and can be modified by experience. ..This is a wonderfully optimistic book that will be helpful not only to parents and grandparents but to the general public as well.
—Eric Kandel, Nobel Laureate and Professor, Columbia University

“[a] sharp, information-packed, and wonderfully readable book”
Mother Jones

“This is an important book and highly recommended for parents, teachers, and anyone who works with children.”
Library Journal

“This refreshingly evenhanded take on how seemingly entrenched gender norms first develop in children refuses to take the easy way out: both nature and nurture are considered, and neither can be discounted… In addition to the science behind the argument, Eliot provides concrete ways that parents and teachers can give children of each sex the greatest possible opportunity to reach their potential.”
Booklist

“Eliot’s work demonstrates a remarkable clarity of purpose.”
Publishers Weekly


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“[What’s Going On in There? is] a fascinating and masterful account of what science knows about how a baby’s brain grows—and how what we do makes a difference. Every parent of a newborn should read it.”
—Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

“With impressive depth and clarity, Eliot…offers a comprehensive overview of current scientific knowledge about infant and early childhood brain development…[Her] confidence in the open-minded interest of her readers makes this a good bet for scientifically oriented parents who want to grasp how a child’s mind develops. All in all, this is popular science at its best.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“What’s Going on in There? is an immensely intelligent labor of love. It is based on the author’s own “odyssey of discovery” as she sought answers to questions about her own role in carrying, delivering, and parenting her children.”
Amazon.com

“Readable and informative… Eliot, a neurobiologist, doesn’t let dry science dominate her writing—after all, she has children herself—but the information she provides… is based on science, not just morality. Parents, prospective parents, friends, and teachers all stand to learn from Eliot’s well-thought-out effort.”
Booklist

“This guided tour of “the wrinkly universe inside each child’s head’’ will fascinate most readers…In an era in which genes are given most of the credit for shaping our destinies, Eliot, a neuroscientist and mother of three, is especially interested in the other half of the development equation, ‘neural plasticity,’ or, in layperson’s terms, how the brain is literally molded by experience.…[She] explains, among other things, why young children crave sweets and fats, why preschoolers can’t control themselves, how male and female brains differ, and how a simple ‘marshmallow test’ can help predict later achievement. An engrossing, challenging work that more than answers the question its title raises.
Kirkus Reviews

“This is a wonderful book, informed, instructive, empathetic, sensible, and optimistic…a must for all parents.”
—Eric Kandel, MD, Nobel Laureate and Professor, Columbia University

“Immensely readable study of how the brain develops from conception to age five. This book is both theoretical and practical, combing scientific reportage with how-to advice for new parents. With clear, mostly simple language, she guides readers through a fascinating array of new research.…A real page-turner; highly recommended.”
Library Journal

“This is the perfect book for parents… Although it’s written by a neurobiologist who’s also the mother of three, it’s not terribly technical and entertains with its descriptions of real babies… A terrific book. Expectant parents might consider reading it before the baby arrives.”
Los Angeles Times