Book Review: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

By: Sophia Lo, Teen Volunteer

4 out of 5 stars

Everyone is always looking for the secret to success. We look up to successful moguls to emulate their actions and attitudes, numerous authors have written lengthy books which claim to be the Holy Grail for success, and we venture out into the world ourselves to learn how to become successful. Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance, explores success, but she does so from a different angle. She introduces grit.

For Duckworth, an author and scientist, grit is a combination for passion and perseverance. Not only do you have to have a dedication to something, you have to have the drive to see it through. Duckworth debunks the myth that talent is everything, and she instead emphasizes the value of grit by using success stories of professional football players to waitresses.

Through her own studies, she develops a scale to calculate grit. By answering 10 simple questions, readers can measure their grit on a scale from 1-5, 1 being the lowest level of grit and 5 being the highest. These questions assess a reader’s ability to follow through with what they’ve started and their commitment and drive. And if your grit score is lower than you would like? Fear not, Duckworth goes on to help readers find their calling and passion projects in addition to teaching her audience how to cultivate grit. From the preface to the conclusion, Duckworth uses her expertise to help her audience develop grit in order to achieve their goals.

After reading Grit, I realized that I have a long way to go before accomplishing my goals, but Duckworth’s methods have allowed me to refocus and pinpoint what I am truly motivated about. Although this book does not contain the surefire formula for success, it does serve as a much needed reminder of the effort and time needed to become successful. While it may seem obvious, Duckworth’s research highlights the importance of hard work and persistence in achieving one’s goals.

One aspect of the book I enjoyed was the Grit Scale. Being able to measure my grit was interactive, and it allowed me to gain a better understanding of what constituted grit. Besides the Grit Scale, Duckworth also provides other exercises including a method to set goals. Of course, these are optional, but I feel that they were worth doing because they provide a more concrete illustration of how to become more gritty. By including the Grit Scale and the success stories of others, Grit becomes more personal for the reader.

Throughout her book, Duckworth included a plethora of examples of gritty people and how they became successful. These stories are fascinating and made for a more interesting reach, but each chapter has a few too many examples. Although these anecdotes are worth having, each chapter has a specific topic that only needs one or two strong personal stories to illustrate grit.

All in all, I thought Grit was worth the read. I do think I would have liked the book more had it been shorter and less repetitive, but Duckworth’s comprehensive explanation of grit covers nearly every question readers may have. It’s very clear that Duckworth spent a lot of time researching to write Grit. This book is a great read for anyone who wants to find success and is unsure where to begin, but it is also great for young adults. This book can guide young adults into becoming a more gritty, which will result in a generation of dedicated individuals striving to reach their full potential. I would highly recommend everyone read some of Duckworth’s research to get an idea of what grit is and how it can be used to become successful. Although there are more factors to success than grit, anyone can take the time to develop grit and begin their path to success.

Sophia Lo is a junior at Hopewell Valley Central High School and a teen PR volunteer at the Pennington Public Library. She is also an editor of her school newspaper, treasurer for her FBLA chapter, and co-president of the Mock Trial Club. Sophia is a lover of all things fantasy and is slightly obsessed with George R.R. Martin’s series, A Game of Thrones.