101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids: Author Q&A
101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids: Author Q&A
PUBLISHED: Monday, November 16, 2020 by Andilynn Feddeler

101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids (2nd ed.) is a must-read for gifted kids ages 8 to 12 who want to find success in school, relationships, and life. This book gives gifted kids insight into everything they’ve ever wanted to know about being gifted. Learn more about the book and proven strategies for the unique issues gifted kids face in this interview with the author, Christine Fonseca.

Q: What are topics you knew you needed to include in the second edition that were not in the first edition? 

A: I have had the honor of conducting many workshops especially for gifted children over the past 10 years. Over that time, I have received much feedback about the kinds of information children wanted—advice about giftedness and how to live a life of meaning. Things like defining one’s strengths, rethinking intensities, and putting more meaning into your life. These are all things I wanted to be sure to include in the new edition of 101 Success Secrets.

Q: How have gifted kids’ needs changed since the first edition was published?

A: Things have definitely changed for children in general. Gen Z and Gen Alpha—the two generations of children currently in schools—are different with regard to perceptions of safety, social-emotional skill development, and resiliency. These changes extend to our gifted population, with more of a need for emotional and behavioral regulation and coping strategies than ever. This book hopes to address that changing need.

Q: How is the book structured? What is included in each chapter?

A: This book has four parts: an overview of giftedness, issues related to school, issues related to home, and issues related to life in general. The book ends with a resource section for parents and kids. The book is designed to be used as kids need it, tapping into the question or section most needed at the time. This enables a nonlinear reading of the chapters.

Q: What are some issues (academic and social-emotional) gifted kids face that typical kids may not?

Many of the more typical issues facing gifted kids are ones that all kids deal with from time to time—things like peer relationship troubles, bullying, and poor school performance. But our gifted children bring a level of intensity to these common issues that can make navigating the issue more difficult. That said, there are some issues unique to our gifted population and born out of the characteristics of giftedness—things like perfectionism and severe academic underperformance, extreme difficulties with existential depression and anxiety, and being misunderstood by both teachers and peers resulting in feelings of being unseen and unheard. These are all issues I wanted to tackle in this book. 


Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to gifted kids?

A: Don’t be afraid of being yourself. And don’t try to change who you are to benefit others. Accept your giftedness, even the parts that are hard to manage, and learn to manage your intense nature so that you can function from a place of strength.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from reading this book?

A: More than anything, my hope is that readers learn to view all aspects of giftedness from a lens of strength. I want readers to take away nuggets of advice that help them navigate the often-tumultuous world of emotional and other intensities typically experienced by our gifted children, and realize they are not alone in their feelings. As one gifted student said, “[through this information] I discovered that being emotionally intense is not always a negative thing . . . you can benefit from these emotions and from being passionate.”


Critically acclaimed and award-winning nonfiction and fiction author Christine Fonseca is dedicated to helping children and adults find their unique voice in the world. Currently, she works as a consultant helping school districts support the behavioral and social-emotional needs of students.