With the author’s solid advice, parents have a good shot at achieving these goals.

READ REVIEW

THE COLLAPSE OF PARENTING

HOW WE HURT OUR KIDS WHEN WE TREAT THEM LIKE GROWN-UPS

A comprehensive breakdown of where parents have gone awry and how they can get back on track to teach virtue and character to their children.

Family physician and psychologist Sax (Girls on the Edge: The Four Factors Driving the New Crisis for Girls—Sexual Identity, the Cyberbubble, Obsessions, Environmental Toxins, 2010, etc.) has seen countless patients and spent considerable time interviewing children and parents worldwide to find out why American children, in particular, have shown a decrease in achievement levels and psychological health. The author traces the issues back to the parents and places the blame for the steady slide toward bad behavior, disrespect toward elders, and a general inability to cope with controversy on the shoulders of too-permissive parents. Using interviews and data from his practice, Sax provides readers with real-time stories of children who throw temper tantrums, pick the school they wish to attend based on friendships rather than the effectiveness of the teachers, and give up after receiving one bad grade. Sax delves into the problems surrounding medicating children in the United States, particularly for bipolar disorder and ADHD, when sleep deprivation might be the real culprit. He also examines levels of obesity in the U.S., the overuse of video games, and why children who turn to their peers for advice are not receiving the appropriate instructions. After thoroughly analyzing where parents have gone wrong in the past 30-plus years, Sax provides a series of easy-to-follow solutions that help bring parents and children back to the same page, working toward a healthier, more respectful, and conscientious attitude. “It is the parent’s responsibility not only to feed, clothe, and shelter the child,” writes the author, “but also to acculturate the child, to instill a sense of virtue and a longing for integrity, and to teach the meaning of life according to the parent’s best understanding.”

With the author’s solid advice, parents have a good shot at achieving these goals.

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-465-04897-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

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A vivid sequel that strains credulity.

THE ESCAPE ARTIST

Fremont (After Long Silence, 1999) continues—and alters—her story of how memories of the Holocaust affected her family.

At the age of 44, the author learned that her father had disowned her, declaring her “predeceased”—or dead in his eyes—in his will. It was his final insult: Her parents had stopped speaking to her after she’d published After Long Silence, which exposed them as Jewish Holocaust survivors who had posed as Catholics in Europe and America in order to hide multilayered secrets. Here, Fremont delves further into her tortured family dynamics and shows how the rift developed. One thread centers on her life after her harrowing childhood: her education at Wellesley and Boston University, the loss of her virginity to a college boyfriend before accepting her lesbianism, her stint with the Peace Corps in Lesotho, and her decades of work as a lawyer in Boston. Another strand involves her fraught relationship with her sister, Lara, and how their difficulties relate to their father, a doctor embittered after years in the Siberian gulag; and their mother, deeply enmeshed with her own sister, Zosia, who had married an Italian count and stayed in Rome to raise a child. Fremont tells these stories with novelistic flair, ending with a surprising theory about why her parents hid their Judaism. Yet she often appears insensitive to the serious problems she says Lara once faced, including suicidal depression. “The whole point of suicide, I thought, was to succeed at it,” she writes. “My sister’s completion rate was pathetic.” Key facts also differ from those in her earlier work. After Long Silence says, for example, that the author grew up “in a small city in the Midwest” while she writes here that she grew up in “upstate New York,” changes Fremont says she made for “consistency” in the new book but that muddy its narrative waters. The discrepancies may not bother readers seeking psychological insights rather than factual accuracy, but others will wonder if this book should have been labeled a fictionalized autobiography rather than a memoir.

A vivid sequel that strains credulity.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982113-60-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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Mostly conservative in its stance and choices but common-sensical and current.

HOW TO RAISE A READER

Savvy counsel and starter lists for fretting parents.

New York Times Book Review editor Paul (My Life With Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues, 2017, etc.) and Russo, the children’s book editor for that publication, provide standard-issue but deftly noninvasive strategies for making books and reading integral elements in children’s lives. Some of it is easier said than done, but all is intended to promote “the natural, timeless, time-stopping joys of reading” for pleasure. Mediumwise, print reigns supreme, with mild approval for audio and video books but discouraging words about reading apps and the hazards of children becoming “slaves to the screen.” In a series of chapters keyed to stages of childhood, infancy to the teen years, the authors supplement their advice with short lists of developmentally appropriate titles—by their lights, anyway: Ellen Raskin’s Westing Game on a list for teens?—all kitted out with enticing annotations. The authors enlarge their offerings with thematic lists, from “Books That Made Us Laugh” to “Historical Fiction.” In each set, the authors go for a mix of recent and perennially popular favorites, leaving off mention of publication dates so that hoary classics like Janice May Udry’s A Tree Is Nice seem as fresh as David Wiesner’s Flotsam and Carson Ellis’ Du Iz Tak? and sidestepping controversial titles and themes in the sections for younger and middle-grade readers—with a few exceptions, such as a cautionary note that some grown-ups see “relentless overparenting” in Margaret Wise Brown’s Runaway Bunny. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series doesn’t make the cut except for a passing reference to its “troubling treatment of Indians.” The teen lists tend to be edgier, salted with the provocative likes of Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, and a nod to current demands for more LGBTQ and other #ownvoices books casts at least a glance beyond the mainstream. Yaccarino leads a quartet of illustrators who supplement the occasional book cover thumbnails with vignettes and larger views of children happily absorbed in reading.

Mostly conservative in its stance and choices but common-sensical and current.

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5235-0530-2

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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