Are young Americans being properly trained for complex thought and competing in a global economy? Amanda Ripley, a Times journalist, studied this issue through the lives of three American teens studying abroad in The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way. Kim is a 15-year old who leaves Oklahoma for Finland. Eric is 18 and leaves Minnesota for South Korea. Tom is 17 and takes Poland over Pennsylvania. Ripley examines why a handful of countries are gaining critical thinking skills and outpacing America in subjects across the board. As Ripley examines the data, Kim, Tom, and Eric give her the inside scoop or what student life is like and how the educational mindset of teenagers in other countries compares to the United States.