PositiveThe Wall Street JournalIn 2015, during the very week a pediatrician-turned-researcher exposed the high likelihood that lead-laced water was poisoning the child population of Flint, Mich, two officials of the Environmental Protection Agency engaged in an email exchange that, in retrospect, serves as an encapsulation of that city’s water crisis. Wrote one to the other: \'I’m not so sure Flint is the community we want to go out on a limb for.\' Came the too-succinct reply: \'I concur.\' ... The mindset among the many layers of bureaucrats who failed to protect Flint is the dragon in Mona Hanna-Attisha’s account of the crisis, What the Eyes Don’t See. And she, in the story she tells, is the dragon-slayer, that same pediatrician-turned-researcher whose weapons against a failed system were persistence, data and her own outrage ... As such, this book is not a journalistic account of Flint’s water crisis, but the memoir of an activist.
RaveThe Wall Street Journal…[an] engaging and insightful account of American childhood prodigies … The sample size of super-talented children who achieve mass recognition is vanishingly small, so Off the Charts could never be a data-driven book. That is fortunate, however, because Ms. Hulbert approaches her dozen or so subjects not as a social scientist but as biographer and essayist, where her skills are superlative … Ms. Hulbert sees the urge to dissect as one among many misguided responses to these children and their talent. Never did the simple thought arise to let these kids be kids...But then the kids grow up. That’s when it becomes evident that prodigy status comes with an expiration date.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalThe narrative that takes up most of the book’s pages is a sensitively drawn portrait of the boy referred to in the title, who is given the pseudonym Eli and whose daily reality Ms. Latson appears to have made an extraordinary effort to get to know ... Long stretches of dialogue—during lengthy car rides, at family gatherings, in counseling sessions—indicate that Ms. Latson had a tape recorder running, or else was a phenomenal notetaker, because the conversation rings true. It also works to let this family tell its own story ... It’s an open question whether we will respond as positively as his classmates did, but Ms. Latson’s book makes a persuasive case that we should try.
RaveThe Wall Street Journal...the author risks scaring away readers uncomfortable with darkness. But those who stay will learn not only what the stakes are but also why they are on this journey. The stay is worth it, for what unfolds is one of the most engrossing accounts of raising a family I have ever read, one in which Mr. Powers makes universal his themes of parental love, bewilderment and rage at the vagaries of biological fate.