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The Kindergarten Wars: The Battle to Get into America's Best Private Schools
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The Kindergarten Wars: The Battle to Get into America's Best Private Schools

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  16 reviews
THE KINDERGARTEN WARS is the first narrative nonfiction book ever to take the reader inside all aspects of the private school application process. Eisenstock follows several families across the country from their first school tours until the moment they open their admissions letters. He interviews admissions directors, school heads, teachers, educational consultants, and k...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 18th 2006 by Grand Central Publishing
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This is an incredibly interesting book, and it is worth a read whether private schools are on your radar or not. Having attended a Catholic school myself I was interested to see how the admission process plays out at some of the country's most elite private schools. The book does not disappoint.

Eisenstock talks about some of the best schools in the country (often using fake names). He interviews their admission counselors, prospective parents and students, and education consultants. The informat...more
Kim Palacios
Sep 24, 2012 Kim Palacios rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Parents interested in private school admissions.
"The Kindergarten Wars" is a dually entertaining and fascinating read that gives a "train wreck" view of elite school admissions (i.e. grotesque, but you can't look away). Particularly strong is its attention to the importance of power, status, and other forms of influence over admissions decisions--"The Kindergarten Wars" accurately depicts this issue better than any other book on the topic.

Another strength is its readability: it is a non-fiction expose written in the best possible style: that...more
I thought this was a really fun (completely crazy) quick little read. I may have enjoyed it more simply due to the fact that I am in the process of hunting for preschools in Chicago, and have been totally shocked by how difficult a process it is. So I guess I found a little peace of mind knowing that this process is actually occuring in large cities across the country, and that many other parents out there are dealing with the same issues (when the local public school is just not an option, do I...more
I am shocked that parents spend so much to send their children to private schools! However, it was interesting to see how the parents made their decision. I wish this book had offered more details into how the schools chose their kindergarteners. I have read college admissions books that showed a lot more behind the scenes details.
Interesting read that makes me so thankful that our quest for admittance into private school was super easy and successful without this much stress. It was stressful enough as it was without all that was described in this book. I was able to relate in some ways to the process described and then blown away in some other respects.
I loved This book. The best thing about it, was I didn't feel like I was reading some biased, mean bitter, skeptic adults opinions on the whole thing. It was like reading fiction, but real. I couldn't stop reading it, and when my sister read it she was hooked, too. I learned a lot. VERY informative.
Wow! How amazing is this entire process. A great book for any parent to read (or anyone interested in education in general). I'm so far removed from the world of private schools, but some of the descriptions of the schools really make me wish I could have gone to them when I was a kid.
ron newman
Easy to read and moving. Although it's somewhat depressing to be presented with the sad shape of Americas public school system. I can empathize with the desperate parents who's actions appear over the top.
This book was easy to read and presented some fascinating evidence and observations about the nature of private education. I read the whole book in a couple of sittings, and loved it.
Dawn Mortazavi
should have been classified as nonfiction/fiction. the storyline of the moms' trying to get into private school was WAY funny, but it wasn't really an informative book
pet peeve/obsession! helicopter parents where only a 20,000 a year kindgergaraten is good enough for their lil johnny to get into harvard.
Justine Glynn
Alan Eisenstock's style is so easy and enjoyable to read, even when dealing with a difficult subject. Great book for any parent to read!
This book has such a limited niche audience, but since I am part of same at the moment, I found it a quick, mildly fascinating read.
Old TT mini-review:

Kindergarten Wars was really something, quite the page-turner. Thank God we don't live in NYC.
Barbara Brockhaus
Thank God we have a fabulous public school. These people are crazy.
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I've been a writer most of my life. I've written books, magazine articles, TV shows, movies, plays, advertising copy, and brochures for my kids' school. A few years ago, I decided to walk away from a successful television writing and producing career and follow my dream of writing prose for a living.
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