My book is officially out in the world, friends!
If you haven’t ordered it yet, please do! Once you’ve read it, your reviews at Goodreads and/or Amazon can make a huge difference. The book is getting so much awesome love this week—a bestseller at Bookshop for the third week in a row, an Amazon Editor’s Pick for best books this year so far, part of Oprah Daily’s 20 books to read this August etc. etc. Other things to check out:
And this one with my mentor, Quaker author, Parker J. Palmer and a singer/songwriter I deeply admire, Carrie Newcomer. Parker’s book The Courage to Teach has been a profound influence on so many teachers all over the world, so it was a special pleasure to see how this book sat with him.
This webinar on integration with advocates, a School Board veteran, teachers, and me, a parent, in which we actually manage to acknowledge disagreement while keeping the nuance and laughs in the mix. Special shout out to Sydney Dexter, 3rd grade teacher at my kid’s school, who did a fantastic job. It reminded me all over again why I want teachers to be part of as many conversations as possible about my book (and, duh, education writ large).
Speaking of which, my heart particularly swelled when I got this text from my sister-in-law, a teacher in Milwaukee:
Teddy is her cute baby. She listened to half the audio book in just one day!
And I loved this post from writer and cook Samin Nosrat. It’s amazing when friends without kids are still pulled in by the narrative. Turns out, we ALL got feelings about education.
And these early reads on it have been edifying:
Martin brings to her perspective on her daughter's education a self-reflection that goes well beyond her one daughter and their one family, or even their one school, placing instead the story of her white family in the racial history of the U.S. and the gross disparities seen in the American public education system. This reflection, combined with Martin's willingness to admit her own mistakes and acknowledge where her actions may have harmed others (particularly Black people), is what allows Learning in Public to live up to its title.
It’s a book about White people in multiracial cities and the hundreds of ways we muck things up (and what it looks like to be thoughtful about mucking it up a little bit less). It is a book about White people in predominately Black and Brown schools, but it somehow isn’t about being anybody’s savior. It’s about parenting and gentrification and activism and hypocrisy and all the moments that we (you know the “we” I’m talking to here) think that we’re fooling anybody when we pontificate about theory and praxis and the Panthers 10 Point Program and how complicated it all is before going back to our lives, changing nothing. It’s a book about Courtney and her oldest daughter and their elementary school in Oakland while also being the best book I’ve read so far about what it means to be White in America in this moment.
Keeping our children from potentially harmful experiences, or ones that we have been told by other White parents on the playground will be harmful, is just one very narrow definition of being less vulnerable. But Courtney’s book shows us that reducing vulnerability may not be the goal of parenting. It is by leaning into the vulnerability, accepting that it will never go away, and knowing that if this is the case, we might as well show our children how much are making it up as we go along, we might as well tell them the truth, that life is about never being certain and in light of that, we have decided to move forward with love and humility and in community and we hope they will move forward with us, though we know how they turn out is mostly out of our control. Every child is an experiment. Every choice we make for our children is a political act. The best thing is the thing that makes us feel more human, and if our kids can pick up on that, well, bonus points.
Stay tuned for The New Yorker and Slate podcasts, a Washington Post review from someone I really respect, and a bunch of great conversations, including this one TONIGHT with the incredible Jamia Wilson.
Thank you thank you thank you. Keep the reactions coming in.