Loading content...
ZSH Literary
Amanda Ripley
Amanda Ripley

Amanda Ripley

Agent: Esmond Harmsworth

Amanda Ripley is an investigative journalist for Time, The Atlantic and other magazines. She is the author, most recently, of The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way, a New York Times bestseller. Her first book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes—and Why, was published in 15 countries and turned into a PBS documentary. Before joining Time as a writer in 2000, Amanda covered the D.C. courts for Washington City Paper and Capitol Hill for Congressional Quarterly. She graduated from Cornell University. She currently lives in Washington, D.C., where she is an Emerson Senior Fellow.

What others are saying

"The Smartest Kids in the World should be on the back-to-school reading list of every parent, educator and policymaker interested in understanding why students in other countries outperform U.S. students on international tests."

US News and World Report

 by Amanda Ripley
The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way
By Amanda Ripley | Simon & Schuster, 2013

A New York Times Bestseller

In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they've never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy.

What is it like to be a child in the world's new education superpowers?

In a global quest to find answers for our own children, author and Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley follows three Americans embedĀ­ded in these countries for one year. Kim, fifteen, raises $10,000 so she can move from Oklahoma to Finland; Eric, eighteen, exchanges a high-achieving Minnesota suburb for a booming city in South Korea; and Tom, seventeen, leaves a historic Pennsylvania village for Poland.

Through these young informants, Ripley meets battle-scarred reformers, sleep-deprived zombie students, and a teacher who earns $4 million a year. Their stories, along with groundbreaking research into learning in other cultures, reveal a pattern of startling transformation: none of these countries had many "smart" kids a few decades ago. Things had changed. Teaching had become more rigorous; parents had focused on things that mattered; and children had bought into the promise of education.

A journalistic tour de force, The Smartest Kids in the World is a book about building resilience in a new world—as told by the young Americans who have the most at stake.