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Wilton Library: Author Talk: Jennifer Wallace - Never Enough: How Toxic Achievement Culture Hurts Kids and What We Can Do About It

Submitted by elmstreetbooks on Tue, 09/26/2023 - 2:59pm

Event Details from Wilton Library

In the ever more competitive race to secure the best possible future, today’s students face unprecedented pressure to succeed. They pack their schedules with AP classes, fill every waking hour with resume-padding activities, and even sabotage relationships with friends to “get ahead.” Family incomes and schedules are stretched to the breaking point by tutoring fees and athletic schedules. Yet this drive to optimize performance has only resulted in skyrocketing rates of anxiety, depression, and even self-harm in America’s highest achieving schools. In Never Enough, award-winning reporter Jennifer Breheny Wallace investigates the deep roots of toxic achievement culture, and finds out what we must do to fight back.

Wallace draws on interviews with families, educators, and today’s leading child psychologists as well as an original survey of nearly 6,000 parents. Through this deep research, Wallace shows what kids need from the adults in the room is not more pressure, but to feel like they matter, and have intrinsic self-worth not contingent upon external achievements. Packed with memorable stories and offering a powerful toolkit for positive change, Never Enough offers an urgent, humane view of the crisis plaguing today’s teens and a practical framework for how to help.

“This deeply reported book is a wake up call for all of us. Skyrocketing expectations and the unrelenting grind to achieve are doing immeasurable damage to an entire generation -- but as Jennifer Wallace persuasively argues, it doesn't have to be this way.” –Katie Couric

Jennifer Wallace is an award-winning journalist and social commentator covering parenting and lifestyle trends. She is a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, and appears on television to discuss her articles and other hot topics in the news. After graduating Harvard College, Jennifer began her career in television at "60 Minutes," where she worked as a journalist for many years. She lives in New York City with her husband and their three children. will be selling copies after the talk.  A portion of the proceeds goes to Wilton Library.


The media sponsor of our author talks is GOOD Morning Wilton.

No charge. Co-sponsored by Wilton Library, Wilton Youth Council, and Thrive With A Guide. Registration required. For more information visit, call the library’s reference librarians at 203-762-6350 or email

Event date: 
Tuesday, October 17, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
Wilton Library
Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic-and What We Can Do About It By Jennifer Breheny Wallace Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593191866
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Portfolio - August 22nd, 2023