A detailed but mostly straightforward kids-safety guide.

SPOTTING DANGER BEFORE IT SPOTS YOUR KIDS

TEACHING SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO KEEP CHILDREN SAFE (HEAD'S UP)

A brief, practical manual for parents and caregivers who want to help children identify and safely respond to dangerous situations.

This book aims to encourage kids’ eventual independence by teaching them basic principles of situational awareness and problem-solving. Quesenberry, a retired federal air marshal, firearms trainer, and defense training consultant, is passionate about his message that even very young children can develop ways to recognize potential threats and learn how to get help, when needed. He cautions adults against pursuing an overly simplistic “stranger danger” approach and focusing too much on kids’ use of technology, such as smartphones,rather than on real-world threats. He encourages readers to use everyday family activities to build children’s skills and strongly discourages teaching fearfulness or pushing lessons too hard. Throughout, he emphasizes building family teamwork, listening closely to kids, and talking with them honestly in ways that are developmentally appropriate. Some concepts derived from law enforcement, such as color-coded awareness levels and the OODA loop (“Observe,” “Orient,” “Decide,” “Act”), could have been presented in more reader-friendly terms, and an explanation of learning styles seems more appropriate to a business context, as few parents are likely to present their kids with flowcharts or PowerPoint presentations as learning aids. However, Quesenberry clearly explains his key concepts as well as a step-by-step process for teaching them to kids at different age levels, including recommendations for “Family Game Night” activities. Chapters include brief “Kids in Action” anecdotes involving heroism by real-life children between the ages of 3 and 13; simple exercises for parents and children to do together (usually in the form of games); and a helpful summary of “Key Points.” As the book goes on, readers are sure to gain confidence in their own ability to sensibly safeguard their young ones.

A detailed but mostly straightforward kids-safety guide.

Pub Date: May 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-59439-811-7

Page Count: 168

Publisher: YMAA Publication Center

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2021

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The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.

F*CK IT, I'LL START TOMORROW

The chef, rapper, and TV host serves up a blustery memoir with lashings of self-help.

“I’ve always had a sick confidence,” writes Bronson, ne Ariyan Arslani. The confidence, he adds, comes from numerous sources: being a New Yorker, and more specifically a New Yorker from Queens; being “short and fucking husky” and still game for a standoff on the basketball court; having strength, stamina, and seemingly no fear. All these things serve him well in the rough-and-tumble youth he describes, all stickball and steroids. Yet another confidence-builder: In the big city, you’ve got to sink or swim. “No one is just accepted—you have to fucking show that you’re able to roll,” he writes. In a narrative steeped in language that would make Lenny Bruce blush, Bronson recounts his sentimental education, schooled by immigrant Italian and Albanian family members and the mean streets, building habits good and bad. The virtue of those habits will depend on your take on modern mores. Bronson writes, for example, of “getting my dick pierced” down in the West Village, then grabbing a pizza and smoking weed. “I always smoke weed freely, always have and always will,” he writes. “I’ll just light a blunt anywhere.” Though he’s gone through the classic experiences of the latter-day stoner, flunking out and getting arrested numerous times, Bronson is a hard charger who’s not afraid to face nearly any challenge—especially, given his physique and genes, the necessity of losing weight: “If you’re husky, you’re always dieting in your mind,” he writes. Though vulgar and boastful, Bronson serves up a model that has plenty of good points, including his growing interest in nature, creativity, and the desire to “leave a legacy for everybody.”

The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4478-5

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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Fans will find comfort in Lawson’s dependably winning mix of shameless irreverence, wicked humor, and vulnerability.

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BROKEN (IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY)

The Bloggess is back to survey the hazards and hilarity of imperfection.

Lawson is a wanderer. Whether on her award-winning blog or in the pages of her bestselling books, she reliably takes readers to places they weren’t even aware they wanted to go—e.g., shopping for dog condoms or witnessing what appears to be a satanic ritual. Longtime fans of the author’s prose know that the destinations really aren’t the point; it’s the laugh-out-loud, tears-streaming-down-your-face journeys that make her writing so irresistible. This book is another solid collection of humorous musings on everyday life, or at least the life of a self-described “super introvert” who has a fantastic imagination and dozens of chosen spirit animals. While Furiously Happy centered on the idea of making good mental health days exceptionally good, her latest celebrates the notion that being broken is beautiful—or at least nothing to be ashamed of. “I have managed to fuck shit up in shockingly impressive ways and still be considered a fairly acceptable person,” writes Lawson, who has made something of an art form out of awkward confessionals. For example, she chronicles a mix-up at the post office that left her with a “big ol’ sack filled with a dozen small squishy penises [with] smiley faces painted on them.” It’s not all laughs, though, as the author addresses her ongoing battle with both physical and mental illness, including a trial of transcranial magnetic stimulation, a relatively new therapy for people who suffer from treatment-resistant depression. The author’s colloquial narrative style may not suit the linear-narrative crowd, but this isn’t for them. “What we really want,” she writes, “is to know we’re not alone in our terribleness….Human foibles are what make us us, and the art of mortification is what brings us all together.” The material is fresh, but the scaffolding is the same.

Fans will find comfort in Lawson’s dependably winning mix of shameless irreverence, wicked humor, and vulnerability.

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-07703-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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