by Katherine L.
Through the 235 pages for the children reading the book Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids, bestselling author Susan Cain explains the quiet strengths of introverted and shy kids. She tells the reader about the special way that they think: they focus mostly on thoughts and feelings at school, with friends, while doing extracurricular activities or hobbies, and at home. Because of their ability to listen to their peers, introverted people make good leaders. She also shows that they have a hard time with large groups of people, often needing a quiet spot to relax and recharge.
The stories of accomplished introverts that needed their ability to cope with solitude to achieve their goals are one of the most fascinating aspects of Cain’s book. In the case of Jessica Watson, who sailed the world by herself at the age of sixteen, spending more than seven months all alone, and Justin, who built his own submarine. In half a year, he had created his own fully functional submarine that he managed to use. These remarkable teenagers would only have performed these amazing feats if they were introverts.
Another valuable part of Quiet Power is the reasons for specific thoughts or impulses that introverted children and teens, sometimes even adults, experience. Cain explains these feelings and, if necessary, gives sufficient advice on how to cope with them. This also helps extroverts understand their introverted friends and family in a deeper way. The strengths of the book make it an inspiring and valuable read.
However, “inspiring” and “valuable” doesn’t exactly mean “interesting.” Even though it is meant for children, Quiet Power seems more like the type of book that adults would take pleasure in reading. As an eleven-year-old, I think—and others my age would agree—that there simply isn’t enough facts or fun that would grab a child’s attention, introvert or not, and manage to root it to the book.
I came across this book when my summer camp teacher handed it to me. He instructed, “Read it over the weekend.” When I first started reading, I thought it was manageable. The introduction gives facts and has a test to inform the reader whether they are an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert (the moderation of the other two). As long as the other parts are similar to the intro, I thought, this book could be great. For the most part, I was sorely disappointed.
My life experience as an introvert hasn’t been much different than others. Still, when reading Quiet Power, I noticed some connections between the stories I have and the stories that the book provides. Among the most obvious is the need for time alone, often stressing out if bothered while in my peaceful zone.
As all who read Quiet Power will learn, introversion isn’t the easiest thing to have in the world. But they also are aware that each of the introverts out there are changing the world—in their own quietly powerful way.