Christina Baker Kline Room to Grow

ISBN 13: 9780312263843

Room to Grow

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9780312263843: Room to Grow
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Candid, reflective, and intimate essays that capture the essence of parenting. Harnessing the writing skill of a score of top contemporary writers, Christina Baker Kline has crafted an outstanding collection that touches the core of modern parenthood. The writers share their experiences as parents of children between the ages of two and ten-the period when our children are young and wholly dependent, before they have established separate identities. Each of these entertaining and evocative essays focuses on one central issue about raising young children:
the complexities of being a stay-at-home dad
the urge to avoid making the same mistakes our parents did
birth order and sibling rivalry
giving our children a sense of racial identity.

Room to Grow is a kaleidoscope of the early years of childhood, revealing new patterns and yielding insights at each turn. A remarkable exploration of the parenting experience, Room to Grow eloquently discloses those priceless moments of joy and heartache, closeness and separation, wonder and exasperation, amazement and exhaustion that parents encounter every day with their young children.

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Review:

In Room to Grow, editor Christina Baker Kline has collected the essays of 22 writers reflecting on life as parents and exploring the "whys" rather than the "how-tos" of parenting. As in her acclaimed first collection, Child of Mine, Baker Kline demonstrates her ability to draw from each of her contributors the deep essence and meaning of their experience. As a result, this book, while more diverse and less focused than Child of Mine (which concentrated on the first year of parenthood), still resounds with insight, humor, and thought-provoking excellence. The diversity of these personal essays--the trouble and trauma of naming a child, the nightly reading ritual, the experience of adoption, the decision to have only one child--is highly appropriate for the subject matter, which includes the experience of parenting children as a whole, from toddlerhood to pre-adolescence, and the voices of both fathers and mothers.

From Lindsay Fleming's heartbreak at a daughter's public soiling of herself, to Hillary Seldan Illick's hysterical essay about her difficult preschool daughter ("I thought about printing up a bumper sticker: WHAT YOU CANNOT STAND ABOUT YOUR CHILD, YOU REALLY CANNOT STAND ABOUT YOURSELF"), to Rob Spillman's learning nursery rhymes for the first time, this collection has both breadth and breath, and resounds with both love and meaning. --Ericka Lutz

About the Author:

Christina Baker Kline is the author of two novels, Desire Lines and Sweet Water. She is the co-author, with Christina L. Baker, of The Conversation Begins: Mothers and Daughters Talk About Living Feminism and editor of Child of Mine: Original Essays on Becoming a Mother. Her work has appeared in The Yale Review, Ms., Parents, Southern Living, Family Life, and The New York Times Book Review, among other publications. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband, David, and three young sons, Hayden, William, and Elias.

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