Free-Range Kids Book Gets Its Cover — Thanks To You!

Perhaps you will recall, readers, a few months back when I asked for your input on the cover for my upcoming book, “Free Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts With Worry.” Overwhelmingly – 10 to 1 — you voted for the girl on the wall (versus the aviator boy). But a bunch of you added, “There should be a boy on the cover, too.”

Amazingly, the publishers then found a photo with a girl on the wall…trailed by a boy!

All right. Maybe someone Photo-shopped the fellow in. They don’t tell authors these things. All I know is, this is the cover of my book and I’m thrilled:

The Cover!

The Cover!

 The book itself is filled with stories, rants and “The Fourteen Free-Range Commandments,” including things like, “Play Dates and Axe Murderers: How to Tell the Difference.” “Boycott Baby Knee Pads and the Rest of the Kiddie Safety-Industrial Complex.” And, “Relax! Not Every Little Thing You Do Has That Much Impact on Your Child’s Development.”

It’s also chock full of delightfully irrefutable statistics. So when someone says, “I’d like to let my child play outside, but times have changed,” you can retort, “They sure have. According to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, juvenile sex crimes are down SEVENTY-NINE PERCENT since 1993.”

Then there’s a big section in the book called, “Safe or Not? The A-to-Z Review of Everything You Might Be Worried About,” where you can look up things like BPA in baby bottles and raw eggs in cookie dough to find out which, if any, you really have to watch out for – and which are just hype. And then there are a lot of dumb puns (because I can’t resist), and a lot of your own wisdom, since I’ve learned so much from your notes!

All of which is to say: If you’d like to pre-order, I’m not stopping you. In fact, I’m making it exceedingly easy. Just click one of these:

The book will be out at the end of April, just in time for Asparagus Month. (And — what do you know?  Mother’s Day! But May really IS Asparagus Month.)

That’s it. And now we return you to our regularly scheduled blog. Have a Free-Range day! – Lenore

40 Responses

  1. Fabulous! I’m looking forward to getting my copy, Lenore!!

  2. Where is Australia can I get my hands on a copy??
    I would love a copy!

  3. I plan to pick this book up. I think you’re blog is great and you have a much better grasp on parenting in today’s world than most parents do.

  4. I’m going to buy a copy for all my friends who have kids (since I don’ t yet!). Go Lenore!

  5. Hey, the book is coming out just in time for my first baby! 🙂 I’m due towards the end of April. Totally added to my online baby registry.

  6. Wow, that looks fantastic! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Any idea when it will be available north of the border?

  7. Love the new cover – it is better than either of the other two!

  8. This is really great work you are doing in spreading the truth and education. As soon as the book is out I will definitely blog about it to spread the word as far and as wide as possible.


  9. SUPER FAB cover…I did vote for the girl one, and love they ‘somehow’ added the boy.

    I’ve had your book preordered on Amazon since before the holidays 🙂 …actually a few copies…to help my friends celebrate Mother’s Day…I mean Asparagus month! ;p

  10. Good for You!!! I & my brother used to ride our bikes all over Chicago from the safe enclaves far Northwest side to the often sketchy inner city that would have helicopter parents today crying. We would just choose a road to take to go to the lakefront or sometimes we would have a specific destination.

    From seeing & meeting folks we would have never met, we experienced decisions and choices we would not have otherwise been able to make. Not to mention the memories.

    Our Mother owned her own small business & our father worked 2nd shift. Being latch key kids we were often left to our own devices with the directive “don’t call unless there is fire or enough blood to float a boat”. Funnily enough, nothing ever happened. Safe & secure, neither one of us turned wild or crazy. We did our homework, chores blood loss was minute.

    Subsequently at 36 & 34 we often laugh at the “mini drama’s” our peers experience today because they were so isolated from any life learning experiences.

    I hope your book goes #1!!!!

  11. I just subscribed to this website but I have found more common sense information here than anywhere on the web. I grew up when kids still walked to school and came home for lunch. Where neighborhood parents called yours if you did something wrong and where it took a whole village to raise kids. I miss those days!!

  12. I’m thrilled for you and happy for me to have the ideas behind the free range attitude collected into one handy dandy book to share with others. I’ll get a bigger purse and hand your book out to my friends like chewing gum. Can’t wait to read it, what fun!

  13. Great news! When will it be available in Spain? Any idea?

  14. Congrats L! This is a huge accomplishment…and I will buy a copy for myself and a dozen to give to everyone I’m close to with kids.

  15. Congratulations! I am very much looking forward to buying and reading it 🙂

  16. Fabulous! I added it to my wish list and recommended it to my local library.

  17. Can’t wait! It’s on my baby registry now : ) Can we have a sneak peak one sentence sum of your take on BPA to tide us over until then?

  18. looks great!

  19. Woo hoo! Congratulations! I know a few people who are going to get a copy for their birthdays this year….

  20. This sounds like an awesome book. Hopefully we can change the mindset of our friends to not over indulge and over infantalize our children.

  21. Somewhat unrelated to your book but i couldn’t find an email to contact you with.
    i was watching “Finding Nemo” with my 3-year-old the other night and it occurred to me that Crush the turtle and Marlin the fish could be the perfect mascots for Free Range Parenting and Non-Free Range.
    Or like, promotional tie-in merchandising for the book-launch?

  22. Mazel Tov – I can’t WAIT to get this book for every new parent I know. I hope it become the next “What to Expect…”

  23. Love your blog!
    I was once chided by a father for not keeping our house door locked while his daughter was at our house for playdate. Of course, I blame Fox News for making parents to bizarre. Of course…I blame Fox News for everything.

  24. I cannot WAIT to get my hands on a copy of this book! I love the cover, too, with both kids on the wall.

  25. My daughters are in their 40’s (interested in pension plans rather than prom preparations) and I have no grandchildren, but common sense is in such short supply these days, I’ll buy a “Free Range” book just for its coefficient of sensibility.

  26. Many congrats, and I’ll be first in line in my town to pick one up. Maybe I’ll pick up an extra one for my mother.

    Sadly, we had a recent falling out where she chided me in public for not hovering, paranoid, around my son (while he was within our sight, milling about a bookstore). She threw out all the “times have changed” and “pedophiles lurk everywhere” rhetoric, but I stood firm in my beliefs and ended up taking my son and leaving. We still haven’t spoken.

    The bitter irony in all this: she, while always the nervous type, was the antithesis of the Helicopter mom! We played outside for hours, even when I was younger than my son is now. Ah, but “times have changed”. How silly of me…

  27. As a 13 year old I have noticed that as my mom is under going chemo that the people who are picking us up from school are mainly non free range and it unfortunatly my mom is becoming that way to. that just means that I should buy 1 copy for me 1 fo my mom and 1 for her friends when they visit!

  28. I’m brand new to your blog and I’ve read the past page of blogs and I have to say I really admire what you and other parents are doing with this Free Range idea. I bounce horribly between safety and free range ideas for my own son (who’s two and a half) and am looking forward to reading and learning more. Thankyou! Good luck with you book (I might just get a couple of copies for myself and friends!)

  29. I am looking forward to getting a copy of your book. I just discovered this site and wish I found it last year (and earlier this school year) when having to deal with my school district who claimed that my children couldn’t be dropped off FIVE MINUTES before the “approved time”. I am trying to train my children now how to deal with being “latch key” kids (like I was in the mid-70’s) in preparation for when I find employment when I re-enter the workforce. Our local school district is not working parent or single parent friendly. I’m so looking forward to reading your book as well as browse around your site. Keep on Keeping on!

  30. Congratulations on the book!

    Sorry for hijacking the comments here on an unrelated note, but I couldn’t find an e-mail address for you and thought you might be interested in tearing apart this ridiculous study that was splattered all over the front page of the Ottawa Citizen today:

    I’m hoping to find some time to post about it myself and if you happen to write about it too, I would certainly link to your post as well.

  31. I´m a danish woman who for many years was a single mom with 5 kids. If I had´nt believed in my children beeing smart and cabable of doing more things that grownups expect, my life as a single mom would have been hell. They had to get up in the morning by themselves because of my job. They had to ride their bikes to the school and so on. Now that they are grownups themselves we often talked about their childhood, and they tell me that it was alright and that it made them independent which wasn´t a bad thing and they don´t blame me or think that I was beeinge careless about their safety.

  32. Play Dates and Axe Murderers?! Hahhaha, that’s awesomely disturbing.

    hahhaha 🙂

  33. I wish you luck with your book. You should call your local news company and tell them about how a regular women changed her life by writing a book and they will probably do a news story on you. My friend did it with a book they sold and showed the website. they ended up selling 750 books on that first day!!

  34. It could be the case that juvenile sex crimes are down *because* people don’t let their kids play outside anymore.

    I’m not saying it is, or that keeping kids indoors is a good thing, but you can’t go making arguments based on statistics all willy-nilly, without thinking about whether the statistic really says what you think it does.

  35. thefringthing: There are multiple reasons to believe that the decline in child sexual abuse is part of an overall trend of lower vicimization, and not due to overprecaution. The decline has been tracking a general decline in crimes against persons over the last decade and a half. The vast majority of cases of child sexual abuse have always involved trusted adults close to the child, not “stranger danger” (you only see the stranger cases, about 5% of the total, on the news because in the other 95% of the cases the perpetrator is close enougn to the victim that any amount of news coverage would end up revealing the victim’s identity, which is obviously unethical). Probably much of the decline is because trusted adults now realize they’re not as likely to get away with it as in the past.

    In any event, today’s youth are much safer than they were in the past. They’re even less likely to be shot at in school than they were 20 years ago! (multiple-victim school shootings get a lot of publicity but they’re not, contrary to popular belief, “commonplace”; something that happens on the average once every one or two years in a country of 300 million people is a very rare event. On the other hand, the much-more-common single-victim school shootings are way, way down). We often forget that we took many dangers for granted in the past; the number of American kids who died of measles in the first year of my life (1959-1960) exceeds the number of kids who have died of multi-victim school shootings or pedophile abductions in my entire lifetime. Even in most of the world today, the death of a young child is a sad but predictable event like the death of an elderly parent, not the heart-wrenching tragedy we in the developed West experience. We don’t know how good we’ve got it.

  36. I’m only 19 (I’ll be 20 in May!), and I’m not even sure if I want to have kids or not, but I just wanted to tell you that I really like reading your blog. (I’ve sort of made a hobby out of reading blogs, because they give me insight on many many topics)…I think you make a lot of valid points, and I guess I’m just stopping by to say keep up the good work? So yeah…

  37. I love the cover! Reminds me of my childhood in Finland. If there was a wall to walk on, you bet I’d be there with my brothers. The narrower the better; bigger challenge.. My parents took us to school on the very first day and after that we were on our own going back and forth; 3,5 km to each direction walking, biking or skiing… And if we didn’t get to school on time, the teachers didn’t blame our parents but us kids for being late. They (teachers and parents) expected us to be responsible from day one.
    When my daughter started pre-K school in New York City, her teacher beckoned me over on one of the first days of school to ask me how it is possible that she can/is allowed to use scissors at the age of 3..(she told them). I just told the teacher that I taught her how.. as a responsible mother should.. eh-no?
    Love the book. Great reading. Such a breeze of fresh air and funny but informative about an important topic.

  38. I just always originally planned to most definitely post through my web site something much like yours almost magic like you brought in several quality details there. I decides to browse at in the article but also seen the majority of people most certainly agree on your blog.Awesome post!

  39. The issue of is it safe to let my children play outside is one of perception. We perceive it to be more dangerous not because its more prevalent but because we see it in the media every day.

    I took the view with our daughter that it was better to have a well adjusted and confident child rather than one who was introverted and didn’t mix with others very well. I believe the risk is acceptable. You’ll never make the world a totally safe place so risk assessment is the key.


  40. Good post. I certainly appreciate this site. Continue the good work!

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