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The Meaning of Children

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  73 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Organized into three sections—appropriately titled “Beginning,” “Middle,” and “End”—the 14 stories in this collection approach the complexities of being human during those three distinct but interdependent stages of life. The author combines emotional depth and literary appeal to view the world through the eyes of children, the sorrow and ecstasies of child-bearing years, ...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published 2011 by Exile Editions
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(showing 1-30)
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Suzanne Boles
Dec 31, 2011 Suzanne Boles rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Very well written. I felt like I wanted to read an entire book for each chapter rather than a short story. Very engaging. Worth reading.
Jul 30, 2012 Grady rated it it was amazing
Profound Vignettes of, about, or because of Children

At times chance enters our lives and we encounter moments created by a wordsmith that, like it or not, raise memories and experiences that we have either experienced, watched, heard about, or dreamed and the stories in Beverly Akerman's book of short stories THE MEANING OF CHILDREN do just that. They slowly creep into our psyches, clutch a holding place, and stay with us permanently. This collection of the whispers and screams, longings and nee
Brenda Perlin
Mar 24, 2015 Brenda Perlin rated it it was amazing
The Meaning of Children by Beverly Akerman is a beautiful arrangement. This collection is filled with mesmerizing pieces that left me wanting more. Very precise and well-written, each story was its own special jewels in a sea of treasures that captivated my interest, took me in and never let go.

So many relatable and realistic moments. I loved the ease in which the author writes. She shares from a place which seems personal/private.

There is a real life force in these stories and they didn't feel
Apr 17, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
Counter-intuitive to the title, for me these stories resonate with the sad truth of being a grownup. Life is that damn hard and just-under-the-surface tension saturates our existence. But the kids, they know what's going on. They may not understand all the details but they know the score. Akerman nails that sorrow, highlights it with unexpected humour, credits our resilience and almost never skips a beat. As with any collection of stories, some are stronger than others. Lighter Than Air, The ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Cindy rated it liked it
This was a difficult book for me to finish. It was not what I expected. I found the stories to be genuine, yet hopeless and depressing. I certainly understand that life is far from perfect and some have it far more difficult than many can fathom. I felt these stories left no hope for things to change, improve, or any reason to smile. I do not need a happy ending, just maybe a glimmer of hope.
Apr 08, 2013 Steven rated it it was amazing
Years ago, I read a remark to the effect that great writers are people who never forgot what it was like to be a child. Beverly Akerman remembers her childhood in every detail. She also remembers mine, and probably yours as well. She also remembers that for a parent there is no such thing as an unmixed emotion, and in these stories she uses emotions the way Monet used color. A collection to muse on, to savor, and to re-read.
Feb 19, 2013 Avital rated it it was amazing
Shelves: friendsbooks
I have read the stories throughout a travel and enjoyed them a great deal. These people became my company for the way...For some reason the father suspecting the daughter isn't his still haunts me. Also, from the first stories I got an echo to some memories I have from life with holocaust-hardened people and to the sense of confusion it evokes in a child. The setting is different from my own, but the spirit has something very similar.
Elizabeth Maher
Mar 14, 2015 Elizabeth Maher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book that holds your interest!

It's nice for a change to read a collection of great stories that are interesting and ironic. Some are humorous and others a relaxing read. Haven't read a good collection of stories in a long time by an author who writes for the reader's enjoyment.
Melodie Starkey
Apr 13, 2014 Melodie Starkey rated it it was amazing
This powerful collection of short stories spans early childhood to death, with all the knobbly warts and under the bed monsters along the way. Beautifully written, each story having its own unique voice and tension. I found myself not able to put it down, saying, "I'll just read one more..."
Marianne Ackerman
Sep 15, 2014 Marianne Ackerman rated it it was amazing
The Meaning of Children is excellent. The stories are witty, dramatic and often funny. Bev has a strong voice. Waiting for the next one!
Sep 09, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it
Well-written short stories all emanating from experiences of growing up in Montreal.
Apr 02, 2015 Delta rated it it was amazing
Shelves: z2015, first-reads
I think the thing I liked most about this book was the writing. You can say what you will about the stories being sad and depressing, or beautiful and uplifting, but it's the writing that really makes the book. Akerman captures the sentimentality of being a child and being an adult and the lessons and memories that come from that transition. While no one has experienced all of the situations presented in the book, Akerman writes it in such a way that you can't help but feel like you're the ...more
Jan 01, 2014 Kirsten rated it really liked it
The kindle edition was missing some pages. It would get stuck in loop trying to go to the next page part way through one of the stories. I got about half way through the book when this happened so I did not finish. I liked the stories I read.
Feb 18, 2013 Allison rated it it was ok
Better title: Depressing Short Stories Involving Children or Parents (with hints of other bizarre themes)
Christina Daniels
Christina Daniels rated it liked it
Feb 09, 2014
Anne Sargent
Anne Sargent rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2014
Randy rated it did not like it
Jan 17, 2014
Francois rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2012
Jacci Runyan
Jacci Runyan rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2014
Peter Bartkiw
Peter Bartkiw rated it it was amazing
Sep 08, 2012
Sandra Mchugh
Sandra Mchugh rated it really liked it
Oct 06, 2012
Barbara Glustoff
Barbara Glustoff rated it really liked it
Jun 11, 2016
B. Glen Rotchin
B. Glen Rotchin rated it really liked it
Jan 09, 2013
Kim Sibille
Kim Sibille rated it it was ok
Mar 03, 2016
Stacy rated it really liked it
Sep 07, 2012
Roy Huff
Roy Huff rated it it was amazing
Apr 27, 2015
Paul Rega
Paul Rega rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2012
Melissa rated it liked it
Sep 04, 2012
Diane Morris
Diane Morris rated it it was amazing
Jun 14, 2014
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After over two decades in molecular genetics research, Beverly Akerman realized she'd been learning more and more about less and less. Skittish at the prospect of knowing everything about nothing, she turned, for solace, to writing—winning accolades for her prose ever since. THE MEANING OF CHILDREN won the
More about Beverly Akerman...

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