New Books

11 May, 2022

Lindsey Palmer’s latest novel, RESERVATIONS FOR SIX (May 2022, Wyatt-Mackenzie), takes you inside the friendships and marriages of six couples that have celebrated their birthdays together for years. Yet, when the group gathers to celebrate the big 4-0, one of the friends makes an announcement that leaves the entire group shook and threatens to change their dynamics forever.

Perfect for fans of Emma Straub, J. Courtney Sullivan, and Rebecca Serle, RESERVATIONS FOR SIX is a deeply satisfying novel full of wisdom, humor, and heart. It shines a spotlight on the phase of marriage when the fabric has started to fray, and deftly observes how couples cope, grow, and eventually thrive-together or apart.

“Pull up a chair and watch the drama unfold as these six friends manage the roller coaster of midlife. Marriage, fidelity, parenting, career stress, aging.” Library Journal

“[Reservations for Six] reveals the challenges of marriage as well as the rewards… Palmer has a sure hand with her characters. Overall, this offers a shrewd but affectionate portrayal of marriage in middle age.” — Publishers Weekly

Lindsey J. Palmer is a writer, editor, and educator. She is the author of four novels, RESERVATIONS FOR SIX, OTHERWISE ENGAGED, IF WE LIVED HERE, and PRETTY IN INK. She worked in the magazine industry for many years, most recently as Features Editor at Self, and previously at Redbook and Glamour. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she earned a Master of Arts in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and taught A.P. Literature and Creative Writing at a Manhattan public school for several years. Nowadays she’s a senior editor at BrainPOP, an animated educational site for kids, which means she spends her days researching topics as diverse as Alan Turing, Juneteenth, and Mindfulness, and then translating what she’s learned into an engaging, narrative format. Lindsey lives on Cape Cod with her husband and daughter. Visit her at lindseyjpalmer.com and www.facebook.com/lindseyjpalmerauthor.

 


5 May, 2022

THE SLEEP-DEPRIVED TEEN, Lisa L. Lewis

An Eye-Opening Parenting Guide for Better Teenage Sleep

“In this timely book, Lisa L. Lewis underscores why sleep is so vital for adolescent well-being and resilience and offers detailed, actionable tools for bringing about change.”—Arianna Huffington, founder & CEO of Thrive Global

Amazon: #1 New Release in Teen Health and Sleep Medicine

In The Sleep-Deprived Teen: Why Our Teens Are So Tired and How Parents and Schools Can Help Them Thrive (Mango Publishing, June 2022), parenting journalist Lisa L. Lewis provides parents with the roadmap for more (and better) sleep for their teens—and perhaps even for themselves.

Pick up this actionable guide for parents of exhausted teens. Teenagers are tired, strapped for time, and often asked to wake up far earlier than they should due to school start times. In The Sleep-Deprived Teen, Lisa L. Lewis, who helped spark the first law in the nation requiring healthy school start times for adolescents, has written a reader-friendly book for parents who want to help their fatigued teens and tweens sleep well.

Learn the science of why teenage sleep matters and how sleep changes during the teen years. Poor sleep affects mental health, athletic performance, and academic success. It contributes to adolescent depression, anxiety, and even drowsy driving. On the flip side, when teens are well-rested, they’re happier, healthier, and more emotionally resilient.

In The Sleep-Deprived Teen, you’ll find:

  • The science of why sleep matters and how it changes during the teen years
  • A synthesis of the research, including tips and strategies to promote healthy sleep habits and help teens avoid poor sleep patterns
  • An essential primer on technology, and a look at how gender, sexual identity, socioeconomic status, and race and ethnicity can affect teenage sleep

If you’ve read books like Parenting the New Teen in the Age of AnxietyGeneration Sleepless, or Inconvenient Sleep, then The Sleep-Deprived Teen is for you.

Review

“In this timely book, Lisa L. Lewis underscores why sleep is so vital for adolescent well-being and resilience and offers detailed, actionable tools for bringing about change. Grounded in science and filled with insights and inspiration, The Sleep-Deprived Teen is a call to action for parents everywhere to help their teens thrive.”
Arianna Huffington, founder & CEO of Thrive Global

“In her compelling and deeply researched book, Lisa L. Lewis shows why sleep matters to the physical, emotional, and social well-being of teenagers. She deftly reviews the science, then provides practical advice for putting those scientific insights into action. For parents and educators everywhere, this book is an urgent and timely read.”
Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of WhenDriveThe Power of Regret, and To Sell Is Human

“Lisa L. Lewis’s book should serve as a wake-up call to parents, lawmakers, school administrators, coaches, and teens everywhere. It’s nearly impossible to convince adolescents they need more sleep, but this book is full of persuasive facts even the most exhausted teen might heed. Don’t let your aspiring NBA players miss the chapter on sleep as a competitive advantage! The Sleep-Deprived Teen is a bright and easy read with profound implications for the health and development of teens.”
Michelle Icard, author of Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen

The Sleep-Deprived Teen is a must-read for anyone caring for tweens and teens. It explains in a clear and accessible way how kids’ sleep patterns change during puberty and why good-quality sleep is so critical to the physical and emotional well-being of our adolescents.”
Vanessa Kroll Bennett, cohost of The Puberty Podcast

The Sleep-Deprived Teen provides a conversationally paced review of the scientific background behind teen sleep challenges and outlines a roadmap for healthier and better-slept teens through community and school advocacy. Investing in today’s teens, who are tomorrow’s leaders, truly does start with a good night’s sleep!”
Maida Lynn Chen, MD, director of the Sleep Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine

“Filled with outstanding research and reporting, The Sleep-Deprived Teen should convince every parent and educator of teens to make healthy sleep a priority. Lisa L. Lewis covers the latest research on sleep-deprivation and compels readers to consider practical changes around school start times, sports practices, media use, caffeine, driving habits and more, all with a goal of improving teen health and engagement with learning. Read it with your teen today!”
Denise Pope, PhD, cofounder of Challenge Success and senior lecturer at Stanford University Graduate School of Education

“While we often view waking sleepy teens for pre-dawn school as a joke at best or annoyance at worst, The Sleep-Deprived Teen shows why this practice undermines the health and well-being of children, families, and entire communities. Whether you live with, work with, or even know any teenagers, this engaging, illuminating book will awaken you to this ‘sleeper’ of an issue and show you how we as a society can address it.”
Terra Ziporyn Snider, PhD, executive director and cofounder of Start School Later

Lisa L. Lewis, MS, is a freelance journalist who covers the intersection of parenting, public health, and education. She played a key role in California’s new healthy school start times law, the first of its kind in the nation. Lewis is a frequent contributor to The Washington Post and has written for The New York TimesThe AtlanticTIME, the Los Angeles TimesSlate, and Your Teen, among others. She’s a parent to two teens, who inspire much of what she writes about—everything from concussions and heat stroke to school lockdowns to teenage sleep.
 Rafael Pelayo, MD, FAASM, who wrote the Foreword, is a clinical professor at Stanford University School of Medicine in the division of sleep medicine.

19 April, 2022

HOW TO TELL A STORY: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Storytelling, Aristotle, Translated with an Introduction by Philip Freeman

HOW TO TELL A STORY: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Storytelling for Writers and Readers, Translated and Introduced by Philip Freeman (Princeton University Press, May 2022), is an inviting and highly readable new translation of Aristotle’s complete Poetics―the first and best introduction to the art of writing and understanding stories. 

Aristotle’s Poetics is the most important book ever written for writers and readers of stories―whether novels, short fiction, plays, screenplays, or nonfiction. Aristotle was the first to identify the keys to plot, character, audience perception, tragic pleasure, and dozens of other critical points of good storytelling. Despite being written more than 2,000 years ago, the Poetics remains essential reading for anyone who wants to learn how to write a captivating story―or understand how such stories work and achieve their psychological effects. Yet for all its influence, the Poetics is too little read because it comes down to us in a form that is often difficult to follow, and even the best translations are geared more to specialists than to general readers who simply want to grasp Aristotle’s profound and practical insights. In How to Tell a Story, Philip Freeman presents the most readable translation of the Poetics yet produced, making this indispensable handbook more accessible, engaging, and useful than ever before.

In addition to its inviting and reliable translation, a commentary on each section, and the original Greek on facing pages, this edition of the Poetics features unique bullet points, chapter headings, and section numbers to help guide readers through Aristotle’s unmatched introduction to the art of writing and reading stories.

Philip Freeman is a Professor of Humanities at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Classical Philology and Celtic Languages and Literatures. His books have been reviewed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other national publications.


15 March, 2022

POOR RICHARD’S WOMEN: Deborah Read Franklin and The Other Women Behind the Founding Father, Nancy Rubin Stuart

A vivid portrait of the women who loved, nurtured, and defended America’s famous scientist and founding father.

“An engrossing look at the human side of Benjamin Franklin . . . Using a post-feminist lens that’s critical of gender essentialism, Stuart rescues these women from obscurity . . . This is a terrific read: poignant, provocative, and probing.”
Library Journal, Starred Review

Everyone knows Benjamin Franklin—the thrifty inventor-statesman of the Revolutionary era—but not about his love life. Poor Richard’s Women (Beacon Press, March 2022)  reveals the long-neglected voices of the women Ben loved and lost during his lifelong struggle between passion and prudence. The most prominent among them was Deborah Read Franklin, his common-law wife and partner for forty-four years. Long dismissed by historians, she was an independent, politically savvy woman and devoted wife who raised their children, managed his finances, and fought off angry mobs at gunpoint while he traipsed about England.

Weaving detailed historical research with emotional intensity and personal testimony, Nancy Rubin Stuart traces Deborah’s life and those of Ben’s other romantic attachments through their personal correspondence. We are introduced to Margaret Stevenson, the widowed landlady who managed Ben’s life in London; Catherine Ray, the twenty-three-year-old New Englander with whom he traveled overnight and later exchanged passionate letters; Madame Brillon, the beautiful French musician who flirted shamelessly with him, and the witty Madame Helvetius, who befriended the philosophes of pre-Revolutionary France and brought Ben to his knees.

What emerges from Stuart’s pen is a colorful and poignant portrait of women in the age of revolution. Set two centuries before the rise of feminism, Poor Richard’s Women depicts the feisty, often-forgotten women dear to Ben’s heart who, despite obstacles, achieved an independence rarely enjoyed by their peers in that era.

“This readable, well-researched book will appeal to those interested in the unruly intimate life of archrationalist Franklin as well as students of the too-often-ignored roles of women in the historical record. A revealing document about early American history.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A fresh perspective on Benjamin Franklin in this revealing study of his relationships with women . . . Stuart paints a nuanced portrait of Deborah and the other women in Franklin’s life, briskly recounts the highlights of his long and varied career, and incisively analyzes the era’s gender dynamics. American history buffs will be fascinated.”
Publishers Weekly

“Stuart has an engaging style and weaves in significant historical context. Readers will encounter illegitimate offspring, broken engagements, long silences, suspicious gifts, eighteenth-century social conventions, and unique and compelling women.”
Booklist

“A delightful addition to biographies and bookshelves everywhere.”
Colonial Review

“Ben Franklin, our enigmatic founding father, continues to fascinate, and in Poor Richard’s Women, Nancy Rubin Stuart gives the women in his life their due, showing them as real persons, with both limitations and achievements, rather than the pathetic, laughable figures so often described in books about him. Poor Richard’s Women is a treat for anyone interested in women of his time or Ben himself.”
—Betty Boyd Caroli, author of Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President

“Nancy Rubin Stuart highlights a side of Ben Franklin too often ignored by historians. . . . Stuart uncovers a man often dependent upon women’s care and support, a man eager to be loved, and a man driven by passions as much as by politics and science. Poor Richard’s Women fills in the blanks of the life we’ve known this founding father to live and provides a necessary reminder that the women who came into his life are as deserving of our attention as Ben himself.”
—Carol Berkin, author of Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence

Poor Richard’s Women is narrative history at its best, as it offers compelling insights into the character of Benjamin Franklin. Nancy Rubin Stuart rescues Franklin’s women from the margins, making them central to our understanding of a man who fought a never-ending internal battle between ‘prudence and passion.’ Engaging and fascinating, Poor Richard’s Women is a must-read for anyone looking to learn more about the man they thought they knew.”
—Sheila Skemp, author of The Making of a Patriot: Benjamin Franklin at the Cockpit

“[A] fascinating and fast-paced new look at the life of Benjamin Franklin, as told through the colorful prism of the women around him. Nancy Rubin Stuart explores his longest relationships, his fleeting infatuations, and everything in between. She shines a fresh light on old Ben while giving us a new appreciation for the women, who live and breathe in these pages as they haven’t since the eighteenth century. A refreshing read.”
—William Martin, author of Citizen Washington and December ’41

About the Author

Nancy Rubin Stuart is an award-winning author and journalist whose eight nonfiction books focus upon women and social history. Her most recently published works include Defiant BridesThe Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married and The Muse of the RevolutionThe Secret Pen of Mercy Otis Warren and the Founding of a Nation. A former journalist, Stuart has written for the New York TimesHuffington Post, the New England Quarterly, and national magazines. She serves as executive director of the Cape Cod Writers Center. Connect with her at www.nancyrubinstuart.com.

10 March, 2022

THE PROMISE OF THE PELICAN, Roy Hoffman

For fans of Harper Lee and Rita Mae Brown, Roy Hoffman’s new novel is steeped in a sense of place–coastal Alabama–with its rich tapestry of characters caught in a web of justice not for all.

“Roy Hoffman has written a fast-paced, mesmerizing and incredibly moving contemporary novel about human and civil rights,”– bestselling author Lee Smith

At once a literary crime novel and an intergenerational family drama, The Promise of the Pelican (Arcade Crimewise, March 2022) is set in the multicultural South, where justice might depend on the color of your skin and your immigration status. Hank Weinberg is a modern day Atticus Finch, recently retired as a defense attorney in Mobile, Alabama, and a Holocaust survivor, who fled the Nazis as a young child. With his daughter in rehab, he’s now taking care of his special needs grandson. Mourning his dead wife, spending mornings fishing on the pier with other octogenarians, he passes the rest of his days watching over his sweet grandson with the help of Lupita, a young Honduran babysitter. When her brother Julio, an undocumented immigrant, is accused of murder, Hank must return to the courtroom to defend him while also trying to save his daughter and grandson’s life from spinning out of control. The Promise of the Pelican takes its title from the legend that a pelican will pierce its own breast for blood to feed its starving chicks, a metaphor for one old man who risks all to save the vulnerable.

In a crisp prose style Harper Lee called “lean and clean,” Hoffman writes from an enormous well of compassion. He fills his new novel with a cast of finely drawn characters of all ages and abilities facing life’s harshest challenges and rising to meet them with dignity.

“A thrilling novel, with characters as memorable as those of Shakespearean tragedy…I could not put it down.” –Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife  

“Though a murder is at the center of this masterly novel, Roy Hoffman is most interested in writing about people; the best of us and the worst of us, how we feel, how we think, how we act, how we react in a crisis. In The Promise of the Pelican, Hoffman weaves an extraordinary tale of heartache and pain, of people desperately trying to connect, trying to make sense out of the senseless, ultimately asking whether true justice is possible in an imperfect world.”–Charles Salzberg, twice Shamus nominated author of “Second Story Man” and the Henry Swann series

“With The Promise of the Pelican, Roy Hoffman secures his place alongside the great American writers from the Deep South — Robert Penn Warren, Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, Lee Smith, and Harper Lee.  Our best novels transport and transform us, and The Promise of the Pelican does that and more. The story is compelling, the writing is elegant and economical, and every scene poignant and powerful. You can feel the heat of the Deep South, the tensions throughout, and the hope of a better world that gives meaning and life to his characters.” — Michael J. Gerhardt, distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School, and author of Lincoln’s Mentors:  The Education of a Leader.

Roy Hoffman is the award-winning author of the novels Come LandfallChicken Dreaming Corn, and Almost Family, and nonfiction Alabama Afternoons and Back Home. He has written essays for the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal and was a journalist and speechwriter in New York before returning south. He has reviewed numerous works for the New York Times Book Review and is on the faculty of Spalding University’s Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing. A native of Mobile and Tulane University graduate, he resides in Fairhope, Alabama.

 


9 March, 2022

MOMS MOVING ON, Michelle Dempsey-Multack

Trust your gut, take care of yourself, and find new life on the other side with this empowering guide to divorce for moms.

We hear about it all the time on the news. The divorce rates are rising. More children are being raised in split up homes.

But you didn’t think it would happen to you.

Luckily, you’re not alone. Popular divorce coach Michelle Dempsey-Multack not only survived her own divorce, but figured out how to move on with her life, just like you will, too. Now happily remarried with a blended family, she’s living proof that no matter which “firsts” you might be experiencing as you end your marriage, and no matter how long you stayed with someone who didn’t meet your needs, your best days are ahead.

Mom’s Moving On: Real Life Advice for Conquering Divorce, Co-Parenting Through Conflict, and Becoming Your Best Self (Simon Element, March 2022) is filled with practical, actionable, and empowering advice from someone who has been through it and has come out the other side. Through Michelle’s guidance, you’ll learn how to navigate your divorce with confidence, adjust to life as a single mother, and shift your perspective to find your way back to your best self. From co-parenting to dating as a single mother, you’ll learn how to truly move on and create the life you deserve.

Moms Moving On is straightforward and to the point. It’s a must-read for anyone going through a divorce, contemplating a divorce, or having been through a divorce. As a marriage and family therapist, I recommend this book to anyone dealing with the emotional challenges of co-parenting, and dealing with the unique challenges faced while getting a divorce. —Ilene S. Cohen, Ph.D. and Award-Winning Author

“This book is what every mother who is either contemplating divorce, presently going through divorce, or living through a divorce needs to read in order to feel more empowered and secure as a parent and as a woman, particularly during a time that tends to challenge one’s confidence and self-assurance. Michelle’s authenticity and relatability feels trustworthy, and will leave mothers feeling like they are speaking to a best friend who just happens to be an expert in the area. This book can be an incredible resource to help mothers transition from “surviving” mode to “thriving” mode!”  —Evelyn Mendal, LMHC & Early Childhood Expert

Michelle Dempsey-Multack MS, CDS, is a writer, mom, coach, certified divorce specialist (TM) (CDS), speaker, and genuine girl power enthusiast. She graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in journalism and communication and then earned a double masters degree in education from Adelphi University. She hosts the weekly podcast Moms Moving On, and writes regularly for ParentsScary Mommy, and others. A former New Yorker, she now lives in Miami with her husband, daughter, and stepdaughter.


8 March, 2022

THE REBEL NUN, Marj Charlier

NOW IN PAPERBACK!

*#1 Amazon Bestseller
*A Library Hub Pick of Not-to-Miss-Books from March
*A Buzzfeed Books Pick of Most Anticipated Books of Winter

Marj Charlier’s The Rebel Nun is based on the true story of Clotild, the daughter of a sixth-century king and his concubine, who leads a rebellion of nuns against the rising misogyny and patriarchy of the medieval church.

At that time, women are afforded few choices in life: prostitution, motherhood, or the cloister. Only the latter offers them any kind of independence. By the end of the sixth century, even this is eroding as the church begins to eject women from the clergy and declares them too unclean to touch sacramental objects or even their priest-husbands.

Craving the legitimacy thwarted by her bastard status, Clotild seeks to become the next abbess of the female Monastery of the Holy Cross, the most famous of the women’s cloisters of the early Middle Ages. When the bishop of Poitiers blocks her appointment and seeks to control the nunnery himself, Clotild masterminds an escape, leading a group of nuns on a dangerous pilgrimage to beg her royal relatives to intercede on their behalf. But the bishop refuses to back down, and a bloody battle ensues. Will Clotild and her sisters succeed with their quest, or will they face excommunication, possibly even death?

In the only historical novel written about the incident, The Rebel Nun is a richly imagined story about a truly remarkable heroine.

First published in hardcover in March 2021, the paperback release from Blackstone Publishing came out March 2022.  The Rebel Nun is also available in audio from Blackstone.


17 February, 2022

THRIVERS: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine, Michele Borba, Ed.D.

NOW IN PAPERBACK!

The bestselling author of UNSELFIE explains why the old markers of accomplishment (grades, test scores) are no longer reliable predictors of success in the 21st century — and offers 7 teachable traits that will safeguard our kids for the future.

People say, ‘I wish kids would come with a manual.’ Well now they do. If you want to get parenting right, pick up this book.” – Dr. Phil

“A must-read for parents and anyone who works with kids.” –Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Thrivers shows the urgency in updating current parenting and educational practices to follow science so children will have the potential to thrive and become their personal best.” —Psychology Today

“Practical guidance that parents urgently need today.”–Lisa Lamour, Ph.D., author of Untangled and Under Pressure

Michele Borba has been a teacher, educational consultant, and parent for 40 years — and she’s never been more worried than she is about this current generation of kids. The high-achieving students she talks with every day are more accomplished, better educated, and more privileged than ever before. They’re also more stressed, unhappier, and struggling with anxiety, depression, and burnout at younger and younger ages — “we’re like pretty packages with nothing inside,” said one young teen.

Thrivers are different: they flourish in our fast-paced, digital-driven, often uncertain world. Why? Dr. Borba combed scientific studies on resilience, spoke to dozens of researchers/experts in the field and interviewed more than 100 young people from all walks of life, and she found something surprising: the difference between those who struggle and those who succeed comes down not to grades or test scores, but to seven character traits that set Thrivers apart (and set them up for happiness and greater accomplishment later in life).

These traits–confidence, empathy, self-control, integrity, curiosity, perseverance, and optimism–will allow kids to roll with the punches and succeed in life. And the even better news: these traits can be taught to children at any age…in fact, parents and educators must do so. In Thrivers, Dr. Borba offers practical, actionable ways to develop these traits in children from preschool through high school, showing how to teach kids how to cope today so they can thrive tomorrow.

THRIVERS was published in hardcover by Putnam in March 2021, and will be released in paperback in March 2022.


28 October, 2021

THE WIDEST NET: Unlock Untapped Markets and Discover New Customers Right in Front of You, Pamela Slim

Discover and create a dynamic new model for growing your business by connecting with customers outside your usual field of view

Do you think you know your ideal customer?  Think again. Many businesses create an ideal consumer profile―aiming all their sales and marketing efforts towards this single type of person―and end up missing out on endless opportunities to sell their services or products.

Award-winning business coach, speaker and author Pamela Slim has helped thousands of entrepreneurs around the world start, sustain, and scale their businesses. In The Widest Net (McGraw-Hill, November 2021), she explains how to build strong diverse relationships, identify and connect with new partners, expand markets, generate leads, and find new customers in places you may never have considered.

Social media is a valuable business tool, but it can often create a comfortable cocoon for entrepreneurs, marketers, and leaders who all need to understand the entirety of the marketplace, not just their own social graph. With this book as a guide, you’ll learn how to connect with potential clients and customers using the true breadth of the marketplace, which she calls an ecosystem of living connections.

The Widest Net shows how to:

  • Search outside your own lens/bias/routine/history to target ideal customers.
  • Attract the interest and attention of new leads by learning more about them authentically.
  • Develop products and services suited to these customers.
  • Sell through a trusted reciprocity framework where your customers become part of your ecosystem and you each help the other grow.
  • Build and sustain loyalty and trust with new customers.
  • Nurture a diverse and resilient customer base by identifying and adjusting to the ideal customer target over time.

The Widest Net is available in print, ebook and audio (the latter from Penguin Random House).

Pamela Slim from Mesa, Arizona has helped thousands of entrepreneurs around the world start, sustain, and scale their businesses for more than two decades. She is an award-winning business coach, speaker, and the author of Body of Work and Escape from Cubicle Nation.
“My experiences with Apple and Canva have taught me that an ecosystem is a beautiful thing. This book will help you build your ecosystem in a beautiful way. If you have a great product, you need Pam’s expertise to build your audience.”
—Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist at Canva, host of Remarkable People Podcast

“Pam Slim is every entrepreneur’s dream—a wise and compassionate advisor who will help you grow your enterprise while staying true to your values. The Widest Net is a powerful guide to finding new opportunities for your business and new possibilities in yourself.”
—Daniel H. Pink, author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human


30 August, 2021

WHY IS MY CHILD IN CHARGE? A Roadmap to End Power Struggles, Increase Cooperation, and Find Joy in Parenting Young Children, Claire Lerner

Solve typical toddler challenges with eight key mindshifts that will help you parent with clarity, calmness and self-control.

Through stories from her practice, Claire Lerner shows parents how making critical mindshifts—seeing their children’s behaviors through a new lens —empowers parents to solve their most vexing childrearing challenges. This process puts parents back in the driver’s seat, where they belong and where their children need them to be. These real life stories provide a roadmap for how to tune into the root causes of children’s behavior and how to create and implement strategies that are tailored to the unique needs of each child and family. Through these stories, Claire provides a treasure trove of practical solutions that are based in science and which work in real life.

Why Is My Child In Charge? (Rowman & Littlefield, September 2021) picks up where other books have left parents hanging. Most parenting books offer solutions that sound good on paper but don’t work in practice. They are aspirational rather than achievable, or they offer one-size-fits-all approaches that don’t meet the needs of an individual child. They can compound parents’ feelings of frustration and thus, can be counterproductive. Case by case, Claire unpacks the individualized process she guides parents through to solve the most common challenges such as throwing tantrums in public; delaying bedtime for hours; refusing to participate in family mealtimes; and resisting potty-training. Employing a relatable story-telling approach, Claire elucidates:

  • The faulty mindsets that pose obstacles to parents seeing the situation more objectively
  • The essential mindshifts that enable parents to quickly identify the root causes of the problem
  • The development of an action plan tailored to each unique child and family

Why is My Child in Charge? is like having a child development specialist in your home. It shows how you can develop “win-win” strategies that translate into adaptable, happy kids and calm, connected and in-control parents. It will help you be the parent you want to be.

Social worker and child development specialist Lerner was the director of parenting resources at the national organization Zero to Three for nearly two decades, during which she met with many parents who expressed feelings of helplessness or loss of control when in conflict with their toddlers. In this book, Lerner argues that eight “faulty mindsets” can prevent parents from objectively approaching conflict. She addresses ways parents can shift their mindset when facing common concerns of toddler years (tantrums, cooperation, aggression, sleep, potty training, feeding, dealing with children with highly sensitive temperaments). These are accompanied by case studies of parents struggling with a variety of situations. This helpful resource posits that shifting one’s mindset can help parents see conflicts objectively and identify causes; its tactics should equip parents to center their needs and their child’s.

― Library Journal

Child development–specialist Lerner turns her decades of experience into an easy-to-implement guide for navigating common sticking points of early childhood. Her goal is to shift parents’ perspectives so as to accept “that you can’t control your children but you can control the situation,” as that mindset “enables you to focus on changing your reactions in a way that reduces power struggles.” After identifying eight “faulty mindsets” (such as “my child is misbehaving on purpose” and “experiencing failure is harmful for my child”), Lerner tackles thorny issues such as tantrums (parents should view them as a form of “temporary distress” that ultimately leads to resilience), aggression (creating a “cooldown space” can help), and potty training (reframe it as “potty learning,” to start). Lerner bolsters her advice with case studies and real-world anecdotes: to end mealtime battles, for example, Lerner writes of a child who was provided two plates, one for preferred foods and the other a “learning plate,” which encouraged her to try new things. Recap strategy lists round out chapters, providing straightforward steps that will help readers put her advice into practice. Parents of young children in particular will welcome Lerner’s perspective and actionable advice.

― Publishers Weekly

Lerner shares her 30-plus years of experience of working with families and the eight faulty mindsets she believes “prevent parents from setting loving limits.” First she explains how these flawed mindsets, from “my child is misbehaving on purpose” to “experiencing difficult emotions is harmful to my child,” negatively affect behaviors in early childhood. Lerner next walks readers through several real-life examples of parents struggling with their young children. Lerner advises that rather than expecting their toddlers to control their emotions, readers should, with empathy, know that their children are driven by emotions and need help to follow rules and cope with frustration. Lerner describes how to shift these faulty mindsets and addresses the most common areas of challenge during the toddler years: cooperation, tantrums, aggression, sleep, potty learning, and feeding. The final chapter, on discipline, encourages responsive instead of reactive parenting. Solid guidance for rediscovering the joy of parenting and creating more positive connections with children.

― Booklist

The roadmap that Ms. Lerner provides to meet the challenges of parenting littles ones is filled with practical examples that will resonate for so many parents. This book is compelling to read, as parents will find their own struggles mirrored in the examples that Ms. Lerner provides, along with clear and practical solutions. From my own perspective as a primary care pediatrician, this book meets the needs of families like so many I’ve seen throughout my years in practice who despaired in gaining control at home with their toddlers. Based on sound principles of child development and years of experience, this volume guides parents by providing clear strategies to finding or regaining the joy in parenting. — Ellie Hamburger, MD, Medical Director, Children’s National Pediatricians and Associates

Claire Lerner’s new book Why is My Child in Charge? is a truly amazing book. Lerner brings her vast clinical experience working with families together with her deep knowledge about child development and brain development to write a book that will help every parent with young children. The brilliance of Lerner’s book lies in its core message: young children communicate with us through their behaviors; if we can understand what their behaviors are telling us, we will be able to give children what they need. Lerner shows parents how to shift their perspective to see their child’s behaviors in the context of their child’s development, temperament, and in the context of their unique family and culture. And she teaches parents how they can use this understanding to develop a new approach that has a plan of action and a plan for assessing whether this new approach is working. With Lerner’s wisdom and advice, parents have the insights and tools to “experience less stress and more joy,” as a family—something that every family with young children needs! — Helen Egger, MD, cofounder and chief medical and scientific officer at Little Otter, former chair of department of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Health, and division director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Duke University Health Center

As both a mother and school counselor, I wish I had this book years ago! Claire Lerner draws on her many years of experience with young children to help parents navigate some of the most common and frustrating challenges, from sleep and mealtime issues to managing transitions and disappointment. Through relatable stories and practical tips, she reframes “discipline” as simply teaching and setting loving limits, and helps parents shed any other faulty mindsets that might be getting in their way. If you want to know what to do when a child melts down because they can’t have a cookie for dinner, makes a million demands to delay bedtime or fears the potty, Why is My Child in Charge is your book! It’s the reassuring roadmap that will help you battle your child less and enjoy parenting them more. — Phyllis L. Fagell, LCPC, school counselor, Sheridan School, Washington, DC, and author of “Middle School Matters”

CLAIRE LERNER, MSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and child development specialist. She served as the Director of Parenting Resources at ZERO TO THREE for more than eighteen years. Lerner has been a practicing clinician for over thirty years, partnering with parents to decode their children’s behavior and solve their most vexing childrearing challenges. She also provides training to local preschools and pediatric residents. Lerner is the author of hundreds of parenting resources, including books, blogs, podcasts, and videos. She writes a column for PBS Kids, and her work has been published by several parenting publications. She has also served as a content expert for numerous national daily newspapers. Lerner is the mother of two very spirited children of her own, and two stepchildren. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband and two dogs.