Small Animals

By Kim Brooks,

Book cover of Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear

Book description

One cool spring 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 ultimately motivated her to begin writing about the broader subject of parenthood and fear.…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Small Animals as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

If you are a Gen Xer like me and you wax nostalgia about the freedom of the mothers of your childhood vs. the shackles of parenting in the early twenty-first century as I have, Kim Brooks’ book is for you. Kim made the most grievous error a parent can make today: she left her four-year-old in her minivan in the parking lot of a rural Target so she could quickly grab an item. Though her child was fine, someone called the police. This event sent Kim down a rabbit hole to find out: is the American childhood as dangerous as…

On the opposite end of the crime continuum from A Mother’s Reckoning, this deeply researched personal narrative explores how the smallest missteps – leaving a child briefly alone in a vehicle in a public parking lot – can lead to a domino effect of potentially catastrophic outcomes for a mother figure, in this case, saved only by her white middle-class status. I’ve witnessed first-hand through personal experience and my husband’s work in the criminal justice system how communities rush to judge and persecute mothers for the smallest infractions.

From Laura's list on the dark complexities of motherhood.

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