Thinking Parents' Book Group

Thinking Parents' Book Group

The goal of the Thinking Parents' Book Group is to read and gather

To explore intellectually thoughtful books about parenting and advocating for children.

The Thinking Parents' Book Group meets online.

For more information email Francesca at:

Or call our Laurel Village store at (415) 221-3666.


Raising Kids Who Read: What Parents and Teachers Can Do Cover Image
ISBN: 9781118769720
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Jossey-Bass - March 9th, 2015

June 2015 Selection: How parents and educators can teach kids to love reading in the digital age.

Everyone agrees that reading is important, but kids today tend to lose interest in reading before adolescence. In "Raising Kids Who Read," bestselling author and psychology professor Daniel T. Willingham explains this phenomenon and provides practical solutions for engendering a love of reading that lasts into adulthood. Like Willingham's much-lauded previous work, "Why Don't Students Like School?," this new book combines evidence-based analysis with engaging, insightful recommendations for the future. Intellectually rich argumentation is woven seamlessly with entertaining current cultural references, examples, and steps for taking action to encourage reading.

The three key elements for reading enthusiasm--decoding, comprehension, and motivation--are explained in depth in "Raising Kids Who Read." Teachers and parents alike will appreciate the practical orientation toward supporting these three elements from birth through adolescence. Most books on the topic focus on early childhood, but Willingham understands that kids' needs change as they grow older, and the science-based approach in "Raising Kids Who Read" applies to kids of all ages. A practical perspective on teaching reading from bestselling author and K-12 education expert Daniel T. Willingham Research-based, concrete suggestions to aid teachers and parents in promoting reading as a hobby Age-specific tips for developing decoding ability, comprehension, and motivation in kids from birth through adolescence Information on helping kids with dyslexia and encouraging reading in the digital age

Debunking the myths about reading education, "Raising Kids Who Read" will empower you to share the joy of reading with kids from preschool through high school.

Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges Are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501101496
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - September 30th, 2014

January 2015 Selection: School discipline is broken. Too often, the kids who need our help the most are viewed as disrespectful, out of control, and beyond help, and are often the recipients of our most ineffective, most punitive interventions. These students--and their parents, teachers, and administrators--are frustrated and desperate for answers.
Dr. Ross W. Greene, author of the acclaimed book "The Explosive Child," offers educators and parents a different framework for understanding challenging behavior. Dr. Greene's Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach helps adults focus on the true factors contributing to challenging classroom behaviors, empowering educators to address these factors and create helping relationships with their most at-risk kids.
This revised and updated edition of "Lost at School "contains the latest refinements to Dr. Greene's CPS model, including enhanced methods for solving problems collaboratively, improving communication, and building relationships with kids.

All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062072221
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - January 28th, 2014

November 2014 Selection: Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. But almost none have thought to ask: What are the effects of children on their parents?

In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior tries to tackle this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear. Recruiting from a wide variety of sources--in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology--she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country. The result is an unforgettable series of family portraits, starting with parents of young children and progressing to parents of teens. Through lively and accessible storytelling, Senior follows these mothers and fathers as they wrestle with some of parenthood's deepest vexations--and luxuriate in some of its fi nest rewards.

Meticulously researched yet imbued with emotional intelligence, All Joy and No Fun makes us reconsider some of our culture's most basic beliefs about parenthood, all while illuminating the profound ways children deepen and add purpose to our lives. By focusing on parenthood, rather than parenting, the book is original and essential reading for mothers and fathers of today--and tomorrow.

The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446565462
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 3rd, 2010

October 2014 Selection: The producer of "An Inconvenient Truth," Laurie David's new mission is to help America's overwhelmed families sit down to a Family Dinner, and she provides all the reasons, recipes and fun tools to do so.
Laurie David speaks from her own experience confronting the challenges of raising two teenage girls. Today's parents have lots to deal with and technology is making their job harder than ever. Research has proven that everything we worry about as parents--from drugs to alcohol, promiscuity, to obesity, academic achievement and just good old nutrition--can all be improved by the simple act of eating and talking together around the table.
Laurie has written a practical, inspirational, fun (and, of course, green) guide to the most important hour in any parent's day. Chock-full chapters include: Over seventy-five kid approved fantastic recipes; tips on teaching green values; conversation starters; games to play to help even the shyest family member become engaged; ways to express gratitude; the family dinner after divorce (hint: keep eating together) and much more. Filled with moving memories and advice from the country's experts and teachers, this book will get everyone away from electronic screens and back to the dinner table.

Raising Financially Fit Kids Cover Image
ISBN: 9781607744085
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ten Speed Press - June 4th, 2013

May / June 2014 Selection: This combination parenting and personal finance book helps parents teach their children key money skills--such as saving, spending, budgeting, investing, building credit, and donating--that they'll need to become financially secure adults.
Parents want their children to enjoy bright economic futures. But how do we equip the next generation with lifelong financial skills?
In this updated edition of "Raising Financially Fit Kids," Joline Godfrey shares knowledge gleaned from two decades of preparing children and families for financial independence and stewardship, philanthropic effectiveness, and meaningful economic lives. At the heart of the book are three big ideas:
- Financial education is not just about the money; it's
about building great families and raising self-confident kids who have the tools to realize their dreams.
- Financial sustainability means living within one's means and acquiring skills to create and manage human and financial capital.
- Giving wisely is a global citizen's responsibility.
Designed for parents, grandparents, mentors, advisors, and educators, "Raising Financially Fit Kids "uses ten core money skills applied across five developmental life stages: children, tweens, middle schoolers, high schoolers, and twenty-somethings. Each stage includes age-appropriate activities that make financial fitness fun, from mall scavenger hunts to financial film festivals.
In this global economic landscape, we all need financial fluency. Whether your child is five, fifteen, or twenty-five years old, it's never too late to teach financial literacy. "Raising Financially Fit Kids" prepares your children for the complexities of living in a global economy and helps your family up your game from good to great.

Make Your Worrier a Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Child's Fears Cover Image
ISBN: 9781935067238
Availability: Available - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Great Potential Press - November 30th, 2013

March / April 2014 Selection: With this book, parents can team up with their children or teens to help them do the most courageous thing they will ever have to do: conquer their Worry Monster. Make Your Worrier a Warrior provides useful and comforting methods that parents can use to help their children create an anxiety-reducing “toolbox” to carry with them wherever they go. In building this foundation for their children, parents might even find that these strategies will work just as effectively to manage their own anxieties.


Be sure to check out From Worrier to Warrior, which is the companion book for teens and tweens.

Meet the author, Dr. Dan Peters, Thursday, February 20th at Books Inc. Laurel Village, 7 PM.

Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World Cover Image
By Tony Wagner, Robert A. Compton (Contribution by)
ISBN: 9781451611496
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - April 17th, 2012

February 2014 Selection: IN THIS GROUNDBREAKING BOOK, education expert Tony Wagner provides a powerful rationale for developing an innovation-driven economy. He explores what parents, teachers, and employers must do to develop the capacities of young people to become innovators. In profiling compelling young American innovators such as Kirk Phelps, product manager for Apple's first iPhone, and Jodie Wu, who founded a company that builds bicycle-powered maize shellers in Tanzania, Wagner reveals how the adults in their lives nurtured their creativity and sparked their imaginations, while teaching them to learn from failures and persevere. Wagner identifies a pattern--a childhood of creative play leads to deep-seated interests, which in adolescence and adulthood blossom into a deeper purpose for career and life goals. Play, passion, and purpose: These are the forces that drive young innovators.
Wagner shows how we can apply this knowledge as educators and what parents can do to compensate for poor schooling. He takes readers into the most forward-thinking schools, colleges, and workplaces in the country, where teachers and employers are developing cultures of innovation based on collaboration, interdisciplinary problem-solving, and intrinsic motivation. The result is a timely, provocative, and inspiring manifesto that will change how we look at our schools and workplaces, and provide us with a road map for creating the change makers of tomorrow.
"Creating Innovators "will feature its own innovative elements: more than sixty original videos that expand on key ideas in the book through interviews with young innovators, teachers, writers, CEOs, and entrepreneurs, including Thomas Friedman, Dean Kamen, and Annmarie Neal. Produced by filmmaker Robert A. Compton, the videos are embedded into the ebook edition in video-enabled eReaders and accessible in this print edition via QR codes placed throughout the chapters or via

The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning on the Tuned-Out Child Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743289610
Availability: Available - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Touchstone Books - October 2008

September/October 2013 Selection: Motivation is the key to learning. But very few parents and teachers have an effective arsenal of techniques at their disposal. Enter educator and acclaimed author Rick Lavoie, who arms all those who deal with children with proven, effective tools and strategies they can use to encourage any child to learn and achieve success.

Lavoie's practical, innovative approach begins with a quiz that helps a parent or teacher identify -- using six different possible models -- a child's motivational style.

I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature Cover Image
By Jennifer Ward, Susie Ghahremani (Illustrator), Richard Louv (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781590305355
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Trumpeter - May 13th, 2008

July 2013 Selection: "I Love Dirt!" presents 52 open-ended activities to help you engage your child in the outdoors. No matter what your location--from a small patch of green in the city to the wide-open meadows of the country--each activity is meant to promote exploration, stimulate imagination, and heighten a child's sense of wonder.
To learn more about the author, Jennifer Ward, visit her website at and to learn more about the illustrator, Susie Ghahremani, visit her website at

Square Peg: My Story and What It Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries, and Out-Of-The-Box Thinkers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781401324278
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hyperion Books - March 5th, 2013

September/October 2013 Selection: In the seventh grade, Todd Rose was suspended--not for the first time--for throwing six stink bombs at the blackboard, where his art teacher stood with his back to the class. At eighteen, he was a high school dropout, stocking shelves at a department store for $4.25 an hour. Today, Rose is a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
"Square Peg" illuminates the struggles of millions of bright young children--and their frustrated parents and teachers--who are stuck in a one-size-fits-all school system that fails to approach the student as an individual. Rose shares his own incredible journey from troubled childhood to Harvard, seamlessly integrating cutting-edge research in neuroscience and psychology along with advances in the field of education, to ultimately provide a roadmap for parents and teachers of kids who are the casualties of America's antiquated school system.
With a distinguished blend of humor, humility, and practical advice for nurturing children who are a poor fit in conventional schools, "Square Peg" is a game-changing manifesto that provides groundbreaking insight into how we can get the most out of all the students in our classrooms, and why today's dropouts could be tomorrow's innovators.
Todd Rose is a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, international lecturer, and leading thinker in the field of educational neuroscience. Today, Todd works at the forefront of innovation in learning science and education, contributing new insights about learning variability and helping to design new educational technologies flexible enough to support all students in reaching their full potential.
Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has written three books on neuroscience and learning differences, most recently "Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention," as well as related articles for media including "The New York Times," "Washington Post," and "The Atlantic" magazine.

I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature Cover Image
By Jennifer Ward, Susie Ghahremani (Illustrator), Richard Louv (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781590305355
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Trumpeter - May 13th, 2008

July/August 2013 Selection: "I Love Dirt!" presents 52 open-ended activities to help you engage your child in the outdoors. No matter what your location--from a small patch of green in the city to the wide-open meadows of the country--each activity is meant to promote exploration, stimulate imagination, and heighten a child's sense of wonder.
To learn more about the author, Jennifer Ward, visit her website at and to learn more about the illustrator, Susie Ghahremani, visit her website at

What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-One Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most Cover Image
By Elizabeth Benedict (Editor)
ISBN: 9781616201357
Availability: Available - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - April 2nd, 2013

June 2013 Selection: In What My Mother Gave Me, women look at the relationships between mothers and daughters through a new lens: a daughter s story of a gift from her mother that has touched her to the bone and served as a model, a metaphor, or a touchstone in her own life. The contributors of these thirty-one original pieces include Pulitzer Prize winners, perennial bestselling novelists, and celebrated broadcast journalists.


Whether a gift was meant to keep a daughter warm, put a roof over her head, instruct her in the ways of womanhood, encourage her talents, or just remind her of a mother s love, each story gets to the heart of a relationship.

Rita Dove remembers the box of nail polish that inspired her to paint her nails in the wild stripes and polka dots she wears to this day. Lisa See writes about the gift of writing from her mother, Carolyn See. Cecilia Munoz remembers both the wok her mother gave her and a lifetime of home-cooked family meals. Judith Hillman Paterson revisits the year of sobriety her mother bequeathed to her when Paterson was nine, the year before her mother died of alcoholism. Abigail Pogrebin writes about her middle-aged bat mitzvah, for which her mother provided flowers after a lifetime of guilt for skipping her daughter s religious education. Margo Jefferson writes about her mother s gold dress from the posh department store where they could finally shop as black women.

Collectively, the pieces have a force that feels as elemental as the tides: outpourings of lightness and darkness; joy and grief; mother love and daughter love; mother love and daughter rage. In these stirring words we find that every gift, no matter how modest, tells the story of a powerful bond. As Elizabeth Benedict points out in her introduction, whether we are mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters, or cherished friends, we may not know for quite some time which presents will matter the most.

Bebe Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594205538
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - February 12th, 2013

April /  May 2013 Selection: A la carte wisdom from the international bestseller Bringing up Bebe
In BRINGING UP BEBE, journalist and mother Pamela Druckerman investigated a society of good sleepers, gourmet eaters, and mostly calm parents. She set out to learn how the French achieve all this, while telling the story of her own young family in Paris.
BEBE DAY BY DAY distills the lessons of BRINGING UP BEBE into an easy-to-read guide for parents and caregivers. How do you teach your child patience? How do you get him to like broccoli? How do you encourage your baby to sleep through the night? How can you have a child and still have a life?
Alongside these time-tested lessons of French parenting are favorite recipes straight from the menus of the Parisian creche and winsome drawings by acclaimed French illustrator Margaux Motin.
Witty, pithy and brimming with common sense, BEBE DAY BY DAY offers a mix of practical tips and guiding principles, to help parents find their own way.

All Together Singing in the Kitchen: Creative Ways to Make and Listen to Music as a Family [With CD (Audio)] Cover Image
ISBN: 9781590308981
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Roost Books - September 13th, 2011

July 2012 Pick: Music is not only fun, but it's also the foolproof way to family harmony and connection--it can soothe a crying baby, engage an active toddler, entertain during long car rides, and help everyone get through daily chores.
In "All Together ""Singing "" in the Kitchen" you'll find all the tools you need for family music making--you don't need to know a thing about music to get started. With over thirty songs (with lyrics, chords, and audio recordings) to get you singing, musical games to get you dancing, and tips on playing instruments to get you grooving, this book will help you make music a larger part of your family's life, from playtime to bedtime.

Making music with any group of people is one of the best and surest ways to forge deep emotional connections. Making music with the members of your family practically guarantees a lifetime of distinct, memorable, warm moments of togetherness.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345507983
Availability: Available - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Ballantine Books - August 31st, 2010

March 2012 Pick: Internationally renowned family consultant Kim John Payne helps parents reclaim for their children the space and freedom that all kids need, allowing their children's attention to focus and their individuality to flourish.

Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood Cover Image
ISBN: 9781603810975
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Coffeetown Press - April 2011

February 2012 Pick: "Torn" is an anthology of essays that captures the voices of a generation of women caught in the crossfire of kids, career, and family life. In a series of 46 heartfelt and often laugh-out-loud essays, the book exposes the dirty truths of motherhood and the inevitable crises that life brings: battles with cancer, lost jobs, broken marriages, unplanned pregnancies, the heartbreak of infertility, and lots of "bad mommy" moments. As these stories illustrate, there is no perfect mother, nor is there a perfect balance when it comes to kids and successful career.

NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children Cover Image
ISBN: 9780446504133
Availability: Available - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Twelve - January 5th, 2011

November 2011 Selection: In this groundbreaking collaboration, award-winning science journalists Bronson and Merryman argue that when it comes to children, good intentions have been mistaken for good ideas. They demonstrate that many of modern society's strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture Cover Image
This Book Is Not Sold Online - In Store Special Order Only
ISBN: 9780061711527
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harper - February 1st, 2011

September 2011 Selection: The acclaimed author of the groundbreaking bestseller "Schoolgirls" reveals the dark side of pink and pretty: the rise of the girlie-girl, she warns, is not that innocent. Pink and pretty or predatory and hardened, sexualized girlhood influences our daughters from infancy onward, telling them that how a girl looks matters more than who she is. Somewhere between the exhilarating rise of Girl Power in the 1990s and today, the pursuit of physical perfection has been recast as a source--"the" source--of female empowerment. And commercialization has spread the message faster and farther, reaching girls at ever-younger ages. But, realistically, how many times can you say no when your daughter begs for a pint-size wedding gown or the latest Hannah Montana CD? And how dangerous is pink and pretty anyway--especially given girls' successes in the classroom and on the playing field? Being a princess is just make-believe, after all; eventually they grow out of it. Or do they? Does playing Cinderella shield girls from early sexualization--or prime them for it? Could today's little princess become tomorrow's sexting teen? And what if she does? Would that make her in charge of her sexuality--or an unwitting captive to it?

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder Cover Image
ISBN: 9781565126053
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - April 22nd, 2008

May 2011 Selection: Louv talks with parents, children, teachers, scientists, religious leaders, child-development researchers, and environmentalists to find ways for children to experience the natural world more deeply.