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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook provides an entertaining, enlightening look at the art of raising self-reliant, independent children based on one American mom's experiences in Germany

When Sara Zaske moved from Oregon to Berlin with her husband and toddler, she knew the transition would be challenging, especially when she became pregnant with her second child. She was surprised to discover that German parents give their children a great deal of freedom - much more than Americans. In Berlin, kids walk to school by themselves, ride the subway alone, cut food with sharp knives, and even play with fire. German parents did not share her fears, and their children were thriving. Was she doing the opposite of what she intended, which was to raise capable children? Why was parenting culture so different in the States?

Through her own family's often funny experiences as well as interviews with other parents, teachers, and experts, Zaske shares the many unexpected parenting lessons she learned from living in Germany. Achtung Baby reveals that today's Germans know something that American parents don't (or have perhaps forgotten) about raising kids with selbstandigkeit (self-reliance) and provides practical examples American parents can use to give their own children the freedom they need to grow into responsible, independent adults.

This instructive audiobook is perfect for new parents and anyone else interested in how different cultures approach child-rearing.

©2017 Sara Zaske (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"[Sarah Zaske] reads her fascinating book on contemporary German parenting with friendly confidence and a delightful curiosity about her discoveries while raising two young children in Berlin...Zaske's gift for narrative and her keen observations about German and American parenting make this a refreshing, eye-opening audio for those raising young children." (AudioFile Magazine)

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Average Customer Ratings

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Didn't Care for It

What did you like best about Achtung Baby? What did you like least?

The idea of hearing another mother's cultural experiences abroad.

I had hoped for a more open telling and then to let the listener make their own conclusions. I did not like the constant tone of why America is the worse place for families and "what is wrong" with us. I ignored it for a few chapters, but got irritated as it continued. I also disliked the revisionist history lesson at the beginning about the Soviet liberation of Berlin which I found ruefully rose-colored on more than one detail; I felt quite angry at one point.

Got through several chapters after that, but didn't even finish it.

What could Sara Zaske have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Read about what the Soviets did to the Berliners they "liberated", how our forces were ordered to stop their advance to Berlin on the basis of political gains sought with Stalin, and the conditions under which the Red Army treated their soldiers.

What didn’t you like about Sara Zaske’s performance?

It was not very expressive or interesting to listen to.

Could you see Achtung Baby being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No, sorry.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I want to move to Germany!

Where does Achtung Baby rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Achtung Baby ranks very highly among all the audiobooks that I have listened to so far. I have been listening to tons of parenting books since having my daughter recently. I love hearing about how other cultures/countries do things. I think that they have some great ideas in Germany about raising children. I plan on using many of the ideas that I got from this book in my own life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This is a must read for any American Mom<br />

I love this book. Having grown up in Germany but living in the states as a mother. This book was a good reminder of how I grew up and what I might just deprive my son by protecting him in the Name of Love and safety. If it doesn't prepare them for Life Is it really protecting them? probably not! Thank you Sarah Zaske
love love love the book

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this book failed its topic

I bought this book with the expectation to learn about the differences about American and German way of raising a child.
however this book has a lot of assumtions and bolt statements underlined with a personal opinion. The author did some research however this book is way to politicaly involved with way to many German terms I as a German didnt understand (due to Pronounciation). there are also a lot of statements that do not fit to my experience living, growing up in Germany for 30 years and in fact being German und migrated to the states a couple of years aho. The information about Elterngeld and Elternzeit is partially true but a lot of facts are missing. I also have NEVER seen or heard about parents leaving their sleeping infant outside in the winter in the stroller while the adults are in a restaurant. I had to stop listening to the book when it came to the religious and historical part as well as political opinions as the author has a set opinion it sounds and I highly question her recources when she for example talks about teaching WWII in schools. Because you're certainly taught about this topic starting with the age of 10 until grade 13. so from a students perspective the topic for sure gets old and some get immune to it, especially when you don't have relatives that suffered from the war. its not only taught but you're brainwashed that you're never allowed to be proud of Germany and that its still your fault. students get resilient and you have 3 categories after that: the ones that keep researching and being interested in the topic, the ones that don't feel related but respect and honor the history and try to not make itself repeat and the ones that are getting upset because it's not their history and they want to be proud of their country and want to hang up the flag without being called a nazi. playing WWII down that some Germans were victims a huge nono because the author clearly has no idea what was going on in Germany during that time but I won't talk about that. Another topic the author doesn't understand are refugees in germany and this as well is a topic besides the ones above do not belong in a book that's supposed to focus on raising a self reliant child. I told my husband what this book is about and he said he thought its a political book over raising a child in Germany. My point is that the author talks more about her political view and understanding than how to raise a self reliant child. There are several research gaps and again the book seems to be filled with personal opinion than facts. Very disappointed as I was either was expecting a kind of humerous way of what the differences are or a guide that shows us the cultural differences in raising a child but not a 90% politically involved book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I wish I could raise my kids in Berlin

I love the parenting messages in this book. I only wish our American parenting culture was similar.

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Interesting and thought provoking

As a Child Development enthusiast and Principal of a private elementary school I found this book extremely interesting.

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Don’t read

If you’re a parent with small kids, I warn you: stay away from this book. Else you might just end up packing your bags and moving to Berlin by chapter 7.

Seriously, the book is amazing! A must read for everyone.