Jen Wood's Reviews > Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear

Small Animals by Kim Brooks
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it was amazing
bookshelves: giveaways, 18readingchallenge, parenting

I devoured this book in one day yesterday and kept waking up during the night thinking about it. Small Animals is part memoir and part sociological analysis. It’s an honest, well-researched look at how batshit crazy modern American parenting has become. The book starts when Kim Brooks decides it’s not worth the fight to get her son out of the car to run into Target for one thing so she leaves him in the car, locked, not too hot, happily occupied by a game on a tablet, for 5 minutes to grab headphones for a plane trip. He was fine and perfectly happy when she returned. Interspersed in the rest of the book are the two years following, when she gets home and finds someone had taken video of her son in the car and called the police.
The bulk of this book is a mixture of interviews and case studies, conversations, and her own thoughts about the fear drives modern parenting: Judgement, avoidance of judgement, Irrational and improbable what-if scenarios, competition, social pressures, class and race. Brooks does the research and takes the time to uncover why parents, and mothers in particular, are overwhelmed, frenetic, unhappy, and forced to parent as a competitive sport. The writing is easy and friendly, and doesn’t read like a textbook. I felt like it was a conversation with a friend and found myself identifying with nearly every chapter, like it was an echo of my own feelings and conversations with other moms. If you’re a parent you should read this book, it will change the way you think about raising your kids and what it’s doing to them, to you, to our society. 5/5 stars ⭐️

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Goodreads giveaways in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

March 5, 2018 – Shelved
March 5, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
March 18, 2018 – Shelved as: giveaways
June 18, 2018 – Started Reading
June 18, 2018 –
page 35
June 19, 2018 – Finished Reading
July 6, 2018 – Shelved as: 18readingchallenge
September 18, 2018 – Shelved as: parenting

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