Publicity: An Uncomplicated Life – Paul Daugherty

This inspiring memoir of raising a special needs daughter by longtime Cincinnati Enquirer writer Daugherty has received good advance reviews and strong regional media. Now the book gets a nice break with a segment on The Dr. Oz Show, likely to air in April.

“[T]he author brings readers the highlights of Jillian’s life and the truths he discovered about being a father of a special needs child, as well as about himself and the childhood that shaped him to be the man he is today. Small moments, like teaching Jillian to ride a bike, became bigger moments of letting go, both physically and mentally, which have allowed Jillian to live her life to the best of her ability….’Having a child with a disability is like having a life coach you didn’t ask for,’ writes the author. ‘You realize that perspective is a blessing that’s available to anyone who seeks it. Or had it forced upon him.’”
Kirkus Reviews

An Uncomplicated Life: A Father’s Memoir of His Exceptional Daughter (9780062359940) by Paul Daugherty. $24.99 hardcover. 3/17/15 on sale.

New Nonfiction: The Opposite of Spoiled – Ron Lieber

Lieber is an award-winning NYT financial writer. In this parenting book he moves beyond mere financial literacy to argue that parents can also use financial training to give their children a broader values-based understanding of the role of money in becoming a well-rounded person and useful contributor to society.

Initial media includes a NYT excerpt on the cover of the Sunday Business section, a CBS This Morning interview and overage in Good Housekeeping, Redbook and more.

“[T]here’s more of the philosophical than the methodological to this primer from New York Times columnist Lieber on helping children, especially those in the upper middle class, to approach financial matters with responsibility, generosity, and gratitude. Lieber makes a strong argument that money is something that children notice and talk about. He believes modern American parents’ reticence on the subject bypasses the opportunity to instill both good values and important skills…. Lieber’s easygoing style will encourage parents to raise a new generation that’s both confident and compassionate.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“We all want to raise children with good values — children who are the opposite of spoiled — yet we often neglect to talk to our children about money. The Opposite of Spoiled breaks new ground …This engaging and important book is a must-read for parents.”
— Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money (9780062247018) by Ron Lieber. $26.99 hardcover. 2/3/15 on sale.

Short Take: You Are Not Special – David McCullough, Jr.

It’s April and so starts publishing’s annual ritual of rounding up commencement speeches that went viral on You Tube and turning them into gift books. McCullough’s 2012 speech was indeed witty, graceful and inspiring. But how nice for us that rather than simply repackaging the speech, McCullough offers a thoughtful book exploring how, for what purpose, and for whose sake, we’re raising our kids. (Put it on the graduation table anyway. 🙂 )

I’m expecting good media. He’s scheduled for CBS This Morning, USA Today and Diane Rehm. It’s a Parade pick and there will be a feature in the Boston Globe. And there are two starred advance reviews taking us to on sale.

“Longtime high school English teacher McCullough scores an A+ with this volume for teens and parents. Rich in literary references and poetic in cadence, the author also offers plenty of hilarious and pointed comments on teens and today’s society….From the start, he examines the odd situation of teens who have every advantage but ‘[a]t some level…understand you can’t ride the chairlift and call yourself Edmund Hillary.’”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The author tackles big issues … with searching sincerity, open-heartedness, and a deft, light touch.”
— Kirkus (starred review)

Oh, if you want to watch that speech, here it is…

You Are Not Special … And Other Encouragements (9780062257345) by David McCullough, Jr. $21.99 hardcover. 4/22/14 on sale.

New Nonfiction: The Big Disconnect – Catherine Steiner-Adair

We’re now at least a couple decades into a global experiment in living digitally and the data on how it’s affecting us is starting to come in. For instance, studies are starting to show that people who read hang on to cognitive abilities longer than people who spend time more passively in front of screens. Along with the clear-cut advantages that accompany digital life, preliminary studies are showing that a life in front of screens is not only changing the way children learn, it’s changing the way they think—and not necessarily for the better. So how do we make smart choices about our lives in front of screens—and how to make wise choices for our children?

Catherine Steiner-Adair’s is a clinical psychologist in practice with small children. Her findings cut to the core of contemporary family life. The Big Disconnect outlines issues and offers solutions for parents who want to raise well rounded, empathetic children—children capable of fully enjoying life and its challenges.

William Powers, himself the author of a remarkable meditation on technology, Hamlet’s Blackberry, writes of this book: “Finally, a book that comprehensively answers the question parents everywhere have been struggling with: How to raise happy, creative, caring kids in the age of screens? Drawing on her deep professional experience, Catherine Steiner-Adair lays out exactly how technology is changing childhood and family life, and what we parents can do to make our kids’ journey to adulthood healthy and human. The Big Disconnect is not just a smart book, it’s a very, very wise one.”

Advance reviews are good and I can’t imagine anything other than strong, ongoing publicity starting with The Diane Rehm Show at on sale.

In a book that should be required reading for all parents, Steiner-Adair examines the extraordinarily negative impact of the digital revolution on parents and children. . . . Her deepest concern lies with parents who, because of their use of technology (smart phones, iPads and the Internet), are distracted from their children at moments when they would otherwise have been engaged, From birth, babies sense this distraction, so she suggests that parents ‘follow the consensus of expert medical, scientific, psychological, and other child development opinion to leave tech out of your baby’s life for the first twenty-four months.’  She sounds the alarm consistently throughout this book. Preschool-age children have told her ‘how disheartening it is to have to vie for their parent’s attention and often come in second’ to technology. She ties the ‘dramatic rise’ in ADD/ADHD diagnoses to the ‘negative effects of media and screen play on children’s self-regulation, attention, aggressive behaviors, sleep and play patterns.’ …Throughout this highly readable study, Steiner-Adair offers sound and sympathetic advice regarding this unprecedented ‘revolution in the living room.’”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age (9780062082428) by Catherine Steiner-Adair. $26.99 hardcover. 8/13/13 on sale.