This isn't your neighborhood book club. No need to prepare a cheese plate, cram twenty people in your living room or listen to parenting advice from the woman raising the juvenile delinquents across the street. Instead you'll read (or skim) a book about kids or parents and hopefully wean some insights or fun facts to foist upon your family or therapist. I can't promise not to bore anyone but at least you won't have to pay a babysitter or wash your hair.
Another bonus, when I post Momma Data Best Parenting Books of the Year you might have finished one or two.
Here's how the club will work. I'll announce the book then give you a month or so to read it then I'll post my thoughts and you can add yours. Readers who find their inner book critics are welcome to contribute their reviews. I'll post them along with mine. Let me know if you're interested and we can talk about it more. No need to write a dissertation, a paragraph or two should suffice (note to self!).
Our first selection:
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy by Emily Bazelon
That's right, a book about a timely topic and here's the best part, it's filled with some actual empirical evidence. Love it! There's not only a large appendix with study references, resources and an index. I hope the part about character in the subtitle doesn't foreshadow some potential pop-psychology self-helpishness between the pages. I don't speak self-help well. Rest assured, I enjoyed the flap and first couple chapters so much I actually forgot I was exercising.*
Here's the blurb from the jacket that's also on Amazon.
Being a teenager has never been easy, but in recent years, with the rise of the Internet and social media, it has become exponentially more challenging. Bullying, once thought of as the province of queen bees and goons, has taken on new, complex, and insidious forms, as parents and educators know all too well.
No writer is better poised to explore this territory than Emily Bazelon, who has established herself as a leading voice on the social and legal aspects of teenage drama. In Sticks and Stones, she brings readers on a deeply researched, clear-eyed journey into the ever-shifting landscape of teenage meanness and its sometimes devastating consequences. The result is an indispensable book that takes us from school cafeterias to courtrooms to the offices of Facebook, the website where so much teenage life, good and bad, now unfolds.
Along the way, Bazelon defines what bullying is and, just as important, what it is not. She explores when intervention is essential and when kids should be given the freedom to fend for themselves. She also dispels persistent myths: that girls bully more than boys, that online and in-person bullying are entirely distinct, that bullying is a common cause of suicide, and that harsh criminal penalties are an effective deterrent. Above all, she believes that to deal with the problem, we must first understand it.
Get the book, skim it, read it, borrow it, write a paragraph, send it to me then we'll reconvene the beginning of May. I'll post the date later. Anyone read it yet? Are there any books related to children you'd like suggest for the club? Let me know.
*Walking on a treadmill.