It was when her 12-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a stress-induced illness that Abeles, a former corporate lawyer, realized she had a problem. Out of her struggle has come Race to Nowhere. The documentary examines the pressures faced by students, parents, teachers and administrators in today's achievement-obsessed culture. We caught up with Abeles, a 48-year-old mother of three, by phone from her home in Lafayette, Calif.
What's on your nightstand?
I'm about to start reading The Blessing of a B Minus by Dr. Wendy Mogul. Her first book was a great parenting book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children. Her message is the need to allow children the room and opportunity to grow from mistakes rather than attempting to raise a generation of perfectionists. Wendy is a great storyteller. And I'm also reading Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization by Yong Zhao. We as an adult community have fear that the next generation will not be able to compete in a global economy. It helps frame what is happening in education today.
What book can parents read that would help navigate their kids through their education?
Mindset by Carol Dweck. It's about focusing on growth rather than performance.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer