Alissa Quart

Hothouse Kids
  • Hothouse Kids

  • Alissa Quart's deeply disturbing account looks at the intensely competitive and frenzied lives of America's children. Travelling the country and talking to scores of parents, teachers and children she looks at the overhyped world of baby edutainment and 'better baby' early education programmes, takes the lid off the world of IQ testing and child competitions (from Scrabble and chess to child preaching), and explores the lives of particular children who have been identified as prodigies - from a four-year-old painter whose works sell for $300,000 to an eight-year-old professional skateboarder who is backed by nine corporate sponsors. And she asks the questions that many parents find themselves asking. Where should parents and teachers draw the line? How do we establish when children are being under-stimulated or over-stretched? And can the hothousing of children lead to irreparable problems later in life? Hothouse Kids is a thought-provoking, often shocking exploration of a subject that is only too worryingly topical.

Alissa Quart grew up in the UK and used to write a column for the Independent. Although she now lives in the US, she still writes arts features and opinion pieces for them regularly.