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Publisher's Summary

This program includes a bonus interview with the author. 

One morning, Kim Brooks made a split-second decision to leave her four-year old son in the car while she ran into a store. What happened would consume the next several years of her life and spur her to investigate the broader role America’s culture of fear plays in parenthood. In Small Animals, Brooks asks: Of all the emotions inherent in parenting, is there any more universal or profound than fear? Why have our notions of what it means to be a good parent changed so radically? In what ways do these changes impact the lives of parents, children, and the structure of society at large? And what, in the end, does the rise of fearful parenting tell us about ourselves?

Fueled by urgency and the emotional intensity of Brooks’s own story, Small Animals is a riveting examination of the ways our culture of competitive, anxious, and judgmental parenting has profoundly altered the experiences of parents and children. In her signature style - by turns funny, penetrating, and always illuminating - which has dazzled millions of fans and been called "striking" by the New York Times Book Review and "beautiful" by the National Book Critics Circle, Brooks offers a provocative, compelling portrait of parenthood in America and calls us to examine what we most value in our relationships with our children and one another.    

©2018 Kim Brooks (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Part memoir, part history, part documentary, part impassioned manifesto...it might be the most important book about being a parent that you will ever read." (Emily Rapp Black, New York Times best-selling author of The Still Point of the Turning World)

Small Animals by Kim Brooks came at me like a giant exhalation, a release of so much of the stress I’ve carried around since [becoming] a mother.” (Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers)

"Small Animals interrogates how we weigh risk as parents, how we judge one another's parenting and what the costs might be - not just to parents, but to children, too - of a culture of constant surveillance." (New York Times Book Review)

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It could have been great...

There are parts of this book that are fantastic. Unfortunately, it isn't cohesive overall. I'm a numbers person and would have loved more statistical data to back up the claims that were made. We agree on many things, but her dismissal and contempt for anything conservative or "right wing" is obvious and off-putting.

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Disapointing

Not worth the time spent. Was expecting way more. Some facts, data as to parenting topics addressed. And the tone of the voice so unemotional. Read about the story online and spend credit elsewhere.

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Great Book

Narration was a bit bland, but the book was excellent. A very interesting and different perspective on how we are potentially harming our children by a fear-driven force.

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Like hitting the pause button on the neurotic state we’ve found ourselves in as mothers. MUST READ!

Finally someone says what we’ve all been thinking and wondering in the deep recesses if our instinctual parental souls. will be buying a copy of this book to give to all my new Mom friends. A very worthwhile perspective to consider as we all blindly navigate the passages of parenthood and pointedly stop to consider the effect some of our FEARS (irrational or otherwise) may be - no - definitely ARE having on our children as we prepare or worse, handicap them for real world adulthood.

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Eye Opening!

I enjoyed this book. I think every parent has had a moment when they think "It was differentbl when I was younger." I think my mother would have received many CPS visits for allowing us to walk to the park alone, stand on the bus stop alone, go to the grocery store alone, and sit in a car (with the windows down) alone. This book brings all of these things to light. What are we protecting our children from? And in an effort to protect them, are we limiting their childhood and their ability to just be kids.

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Thank you.

I’m not much of a crier, well at least I wasn’t before having kids. Twice while listening to this book, I broke down into tears of relief. (The kind of crying that Matt Damon does in the movie Good Will Hunting, when Robin Williams keeps telling him “It’s not your fault, it’s not your fault” for being abused as a little kid.) I think I felt this way because of the open, honest nature and connection I felt to this book. An unbelievable relief that I wasn’t alone. Cathartic relief that feeling overwhelming anxiety, almost word for word, about the birth and raising of my children, now five and two, was similar to so many.

The book is a perfect mixture of scientific research and empathy. It is about letting go of the pressure placed on a mother by society, ourselves and other parents. Thank you for writing this book and hopefully going forward, I will “try to be less afraid”

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A Must Read Book for ALL Americans, Not Just Parents

This book does a great job of looking at parenting and our crazy societal norms that have taken over lives in the last generation. Our country is all about FEAR. We are bombarded with it, and it keeps us quiet, passive, scared, and divided against each other. We surveil each other and feel a sense of self-righteousness when we bring others down. It’s time for all of us to stop cowering in the corners and stand up for ourselves and our children!

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Life Changing

I highly recommend this audiobook. I could relate so much to the author’s anxiety since motherhood. This made me question where my fears stem from and want to scream to all my friends that we need to find a better way. It has made me reevaluate myself as a parent and my perception of risk. I really appreciated the author’s openness and honesty throughout a dreadful experience. I’ll recommend this to all my parenting friends.