Child(ish) Reads: Thirty Million Words

This book appeared on my radar earlier this year. Author Dana Suskind, M.D. just came out with a new title, Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child’s Potential, Fulfilling Society’s Promise, and this was one of her previous books listed in her bio. Thirty Million Words was available from my library, so I gave it a try on a work trip in April.

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Child(ish) Reads: The School for Good Mothers

Surprise! This is the first time Child(ish) Reads has reviewed a fiction title. So, a couple rule changes:

  1. I’m not going to spoil the ending.
  2. There will be no actual “advice”.
  3. Judgement-free zone here. Let’s call it a mix between a book review and coffee chat.

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

Blurb: Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. She can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with Harriet, their cherubic daughter, does Frida finally attain the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she is just enough.

Until Frida has a very bad day.

The state has its eyes on mothers like Frida. The ones who check their phones, letting their children get injured on the playground; who let their children walk home alone. Because of one moment of poor judgment, a host of government officials will now determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion.

Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that a bad mother can be redeemed. That she can learn to be good.

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Child(ish) Reads: The Most Important Year

It’s kinda serendipitous that I picked this book this month. The Georgia PreK Lottery opens today!

In Fulton County, Georgia, incoming 4-year-olds looking for free, public PreK enter a lottery on March 1st. You apply for the public elementary school that you are zoned in, and each school has a limited number of PreK slots. If you don’t get selected, you can be waitlisted for other schools if space allows.

I have absolutely no frame of reference for the odds of getting selected. When we moved last year, I was satisfied with the elementary school we were zoned for, looking at the GreatSchools scores and stats. From reading The Family Firm, Troy and I were able to weigh our options for how we were going to tackle this very big school year. But still, some of our decisions would be null and void depending the outcome of a lottery that is in no way in our control.

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Child(ish) Reads: The Family Firm

Dr. Emily Oster is one of my favorite parenting authors. Her previous books (Expecting Better and Crib Sheet) come from a very informed, data-driven, evidence-based background. These have definitely made my parenting life easier when I’m navigating all of the different issues, controversial topics, and pitfalls of raising kids from pregnancy through the infant stage. Her latest book, The Family Firm, takes a look at the Early School stage and to say that she has a very different approach is a mouthful.

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