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Community Reads Book Club Discussion: The Orchid and the Dandelion

January 26, 2021 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


We’re excited to bring you a special edition of our book club discussion as we gather VIRTUALLY on January 26 at 5:30 PM! Not only will we discuss The Orchid and the Dandelion, but we will hear from local experts on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how childhood trauma affects our community. Whether or not you have had the opportunity to read the book, we invite you to listen, learn, and partake in this important discussion. Click here to sign up. 

On the Call

  • Dr. Barzanna White – District School Psychologist, Caddo Parish Schools
  • Dr. Michael Hicks – Assistant Professor of Education, Centenary College
  • Carla Burgos – Director of Special Initiatives – Step Forward, CFNLA

In Tom Boyce’s book, he explores the “dandelion” child (hardy, resilient, healthy), able to survive and flourish under most circumstances, and the “orchid” child (sensitive, susceptible, fragile), who, given the right support, can thrive as much as, if not more than, other children.

Learn more and sign up for Community Reads Book Club at cfnla.org/bookclub.

About the Book

Boyce writes of his pathfinding research as a developmental pediatrician working with troubled children in child-development research for almost four decades, and explores his major discovery that reveals how genetic make-up and environment shape behavior. He writes that certain variant genes can increase a person’s susceptibility to depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and antisocial, sociopathic, or violent behaviors. But rather than seeing this “risk” gene as a liability, Boyce, through his daring research, has recast the way we think of human frailty, and has shown that while these “bad” genes can create problems, they can also, in the right setting and the right environment, result in producing children who not only do better than before but far exceed their peers. Orchid children, Boyce makes clear, are not failed dandelions; they are a different category of child, with special sensitivities and strengths, and need to be nurtured and taught in special ways. And in The Orchid and the Dandelion, Boyce shows us how to understand these children for their unique sensibilities, their considerable challenges, their remarkable gifts.


January 26, 2021
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm