Easy-to-read, up-to-date information on the latest research into pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood.

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THE INFORMED PARENT

A SCIENCE-BASED RESOURCE FOR YOUR CHILD'S FIRST FOUR YEARS

The latest scientific findings on child-rearing from pregnancy through toddlerhood.

As Haelle (Seasons, Tides and Lunar Phases, 2016, etc.) and Willingham (The Complete Idiot's Guide to College Biology, 2010, etc.) point out in their introduction, the book does not provide advice on child care. Instead, the authors gather the latest science on a variety of issues, letting parents make their own decisions after learning what the most recent research indicates about various stages of child care. Beginning with the months and days before pregnancy has even occurred, the authors discuss the need for prenatal vitamins, weight gain of the mother and fetus, medical screenings during pregnancy, whether certain foods can affect the fetus, and how to choose the best person to assist the mother during labor. Then they move rapidly into the labor and delivery room, providing extensive information on the pros and cons of circumcision, breast-feeding vs. formula feeding, vaccines, and cloth vs. disposable diapers. Not only do they point out what is best for the infant, they also analyze the emotional ups and downs a new mother may experience, including postpartum depression, sleep deprivation, and the inability to bond with the infant. Moving beyond infancy, they discuss trips to the dentist, solid foods and food allergies, potty training, letting children use technology, air and water pollution, preschool, and a host of other pertinent topics. About 90 percent of the book centers on scientific data, but Haelle and Willingham also offer readers glimpses into their personal lives and the things they did or didn't do for their children during these first four years, which adds a more personal touch to this already accessible and informative book. For anyone headed into parenthood, this is a must-read, as it answers so many questions new parents are bound to ask.

Easy-to-read, up-to-date information on the latest research into pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood.

Pub Date: April 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-17106-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Perigee/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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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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