Judith Wynn Halsted has retired from a long career in education. After majoring in English and earning a teaching certificate, she completed a Master's degree in Library Science at the University of Illinois. When her family moved to Traverse City, Michigan, she became the librarian at The Pathfinder School. While at Pathfinder, she developed and directed a program for gifted students. Her interest in the social and emotional development of gifted children rose from her experiences as the parent of two gifted sons. At the suggestion of Dr. James T. Webb, she combined the twin threads of her career path-gifted children and books-and published the first edition of her book, Guiding Gifted Readers, in 1988. In 1985, Halsted founded Halsted Academic Advisors. Later, she became a Certified Educational Planner, helping families with gifted children of all ages make educational decisions, and guiding high school students through the college selection and application process. Updated editions of her book, titled Some of My Best Friends Are Books, were published in 1994, 2002, and 2009. She has written for journals in the field of gifted education, authoring the Judith Halsted on Books column in 2e: Twice Exceptional Newsletter. Halsted's free time, too, has focused on books and libraries. Her work as co-chair of a grass-roots group, Citizens for Libraries, resulted in a new district library, which in 1998 replaced the Carnegie library building that had served Traverse City since 1903. In retirement, she enjoys having more time for reading and music, as well as enjoying northern Michigan outdoors in all seasons, and most of all, her family-which now includes four grandchildren who keep alive her interest in children's books.
So much more than a "what to read" list, this book explains emotional and intellectual needs of both young and older readers, shows how to organize book discussions, and offers hundreds of ideas for using books to address issues of identity, difference, growth, and intellectual passions.
Lisa Rivero, M.A. Author of Creative Home Schooling: A Resource Guide for Smart Families
Halsted describes how books can be used to meet both the emotional and intellectual needs of high-ability youngsters. Her extensive selection of books is well thought out and practical.
Jim Delisle, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Education (Retired), Kent State University
Halsted's eloquent and thoughtful discussion is reassuring to educators, counselors, and parents who want to use high quality literature to guide gifted students...a major contribution.
Thomas P. Hebert, Ph.D. Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Georgia
A must-have for teachers, librarians, and parents.... Although I already have copies of all the older editions, I will definitely add this most recent edition to my collection.
Susannah Richards, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Eastern Connecticut State University