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Free-Range Kids Paperback – April 19, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 383 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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)

"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

"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

From the Inside Flap

Critical Praise for Free-Range Kids

"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

"A bubbly but potent corrective for the irrational fears that drive so many parents crazy."
Robert Needlman, M.D., coauthor, Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, 8th Edition

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

READERS RAVE TOO

"I read the whole thing and feel so much better! The pressure of always trying to do the exact right thing for my kids was exhausting. In truth, I have two normal, high-energy boys who need to be able to explore the world. Thank you!"

"Your book had me laughing so hard that my husband had to come and see if I was okay! (I think my gasping sounded like sobbing.)"

"Just what the doctor ordered. I'm a single mother of two girls, 7 and 10, in a middle-class suburb that is very safe. I needed the advice in your book and had a lot of belly laughs reading it."

"I didn't even realize the path I was going down until I stumbled across your book. Letting go feels great, and I can really see a difference in my son. He plays outside all the time with his group, and he loves being able to run to all of his friends' houses, alone, to see if they can play. It's a proud moment for both of us."

"I was finding myself getting paranoid. I am so happy I read your book! It has really helped me relax."

"Now if I can just get my wife to read it."

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (April 19, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0470574755
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0470574751
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.1 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 383 ratings

About the author

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Ever since her column “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone” created a media firestorm, Lenore has been declaring that our kids are safer and smarter than our culture gives them credit for. In response to the blowback, she started Free-Range Kids, the blog-turned-book-turned-movement that garnered her the nickname, “America’s Worst Mom.” She has lectured everywhere from Microsoft to DreamWorks to conferences and schools across the country, and even the Bulgarian Happiness Festival. You may have seen her on The Today Show, The Daily Show, Dr. Phil, or her own reality show, World’s Worst Mom.

Lenore is co-founder and president of Let Grow, a nonprofit promoting childhood independence. Before all this, she was a reporter and columnist at The New York Daily News and New York Sun. Her other books include, “The Dysfunctional Family Christmas Songbook,” and “Has the World Gone Skenazy?” She also used to write for Mad Magazine, and Cracked. (Note: She did not “write for crack.”)

Lenore lives in New York City with her husband and beloved computer. Her sons are gainfully employed.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
383 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 20, 2009
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 18, 2014
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Celi
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the world's worst mum. Far from.
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6 people found this helpful
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james bailey
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
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Frances Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 4, 2019
S. Bergemann
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
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Cranberry
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and a relief to read!
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on January 14, 2019
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