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Free-Range Kids, Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry Hardcover – April 20, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 267 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


Library Journal Starred Review - Skenazy flies the black flag of ?America?s Worst Mom,? a title this syndicated columnist and NPR commentator earned by allowing her nine-year-old son to ride the New York City public transit alone in 2008. Here, she puts parents? fears to bed by examining the statistical likelihood of the dangers we most fear (murder, baby-snatching, etc.). Drawing on facts, statistics, and humor, she convincingly argues that this is one of the safest periods for children in the history of the world, reiterating that ?mostly, the world is safe?and mostly, people are good.? Even the lowest-flying helicopter parents would have trouble disagreeing that ?we have entered an era that says you cannot trust yourself. Trust a product instead.? Skenazy argues that it?s time to retire the national pastime of worrying and that ?childhood is supposed to be about discovering the world, not being held captive.? The obvious has never been so hilarious.

?Skenazy will find plenty of supporters for her contention that, in a world where the rights of chickens to roam freely are championed, it's time to liberate the kids.? (The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2009)

"Skenazy advocates for a child's right to separate gradually from a parent's assistance and to learn the joy and self-confidence that comes from trying out independence." --Christian Century (November 2009)


"This book is a bubbly but potent corrective for the irrational fears that drive so many parents crazy. Skenazy is witty, perceptive, persuasive, and above all, sensible."
—Robert Needlman, M.D., coauthor, Dr Spock’s Baby and Child Care, 8th Edition.

"Free-Range Kids is the best kind of manifesto: smart, funny, rigorous, sane, impassioned, and bristling with common sense. If you’re a parent, or planning to become one, read this book. You have nothing to lose–apart from your anxiety."
—Carl Honoré, author, In Praise of Slowness and Under Pressure

"Lenore Skenazy is a national hero."
—Mary Roach, author, Bonk and Stiff

"Even scaredy-cat parents like myself now have a how-to manual on overcoming irrational suspicions and, finally, differentiating between an axe murderer and a play date!"
—David Harsanyi, syndicated columnist and author, Nanny State.

"Free-Range Kids makes the perfect baby shower gift."
—Nancy McDermott, parenting blogger, Spiked Online

"Moral insight without moralizing—how rare is that?"
—Amity Shlaes, author, The Forgotten Man

"Keep Free-Range Kids on your bedstand next to your bible and the TV remote, and refer to as needed during the 11 o'clock news."
—Jordan Lite, news reporter, Scientific American online

"Read this book—Mommy said you could."
—Penn Jillette, Penn & Teller

Product details

  • Item Weight : 15.4 ounces
  • ISBN-10 : 0470471948
  • Hardcover : 256 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0470471944
  • Publisher : Jossey-Bass (April 20, 2009)
  • Product Dimensions : 6.46 x 1.02 x 9.07 inches
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 267 ratings