No Biking in the House Without a Helmet

ISBN-10: 0374533385
ISBN-13: 9780374533380
Edition: N/A
List price: $15.00 Buy it from $2.49
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Description: Dispatches from the new front lines of parenthood When the two-time National Book Award finalist Melissa Fay Greene confided to friends that she and her husband planned to adopt a four-year-old boy from Bulgaria to add to their four children at  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.00
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 4/24/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 5.60" wide x 8.60" long x 1.10" tall
Weight: 0.022
Language: English

Dispatches from the new front lines of parenthood When the two-time National Book Award finalist Melissa Fay Greene confided to friends that she and her husband planned to adopt a four-year-old boy from Bulgaria to add to their four children at home, the news threatened to place her, she writes, “among the greats: the Kennedys, the McCaughey septuplets, the von Trapp family singers, and perhaps even Mrs. Feodor Vassilyev, who, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, gave birth to sixty-nine children in eighteenth-century Russia.” Greene is best known for her books on the civil rights movement and the African HIV/AIDS pandemic. She’s been praised for her “historian’s urge for accuracy,” her “sociologist’s sense of social nuance,” and her “writerly passion for the beauty of language.”But Melissa and her husband have also pursued a more private vocation: parenthood. “We so loved raising our four children by birth, we didn’t want to stop. When the clock started to run down on the home team, we brought in ringers.”When the number of children hit nine, Greene took a break from reporting. She trained her journalist’s eye upon events at home. Fisseha was riding a bike down the basement stairs; out on the porch, a squirrel was sitting on Jesse’s head; vulgar posters had erupted on bedroom walls; the insult niftam (the Amharic word for “snot”) had led to fistfights; and four non-native-English-speaking teenage boys were researching, on Mom’s computer, the subject of “saxing.” “At first I thought one of our trombone players was considering a change of instrument,” writes Greene. “Then I remembered: they can’t spell.” Using the tools of her trade, she uncovered the true subject of the “saxing” investigation, inspiring the chapter “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, but Couldn’t Spell.” A celebration of parenthood; an ingathering of children, through birth and out of loss and bereavement; a relishing of moments hilarious and enlightening—No Biking in the House Without a Helmetis a loving portrait of a unique twenty first-century family as it wobbles between disaster and joy.

Melissa Fay Greene was a paralegal with Legal Services in McIntosh County, Georgia, when the events that make up her award-winning book Praying for Sheetrock (1991) took place. A recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and a National Book Award finalist, Praying for Sheetrock is set in the early 1970s, when the struggle for civil rights that had been going on for years in other parts of the U.S. finally came to McIntosh County. Greene's next book, The Temple Bombing (1996) was the winner of the 1996 Southern Book Critics Award, was named a New York Times Notable Book, and was also a National Book Award finalist. It concerns the 1958 bombing of the Temple, the oldest synagogue in Atlanta.

Introduction: Still Here, After All These Years
Room for One More?
Nine Hundred and Eighty Thousand Websites
Foreign Film Festival
Motherhood vs. the Career
Chrissy
First Trip to Bulgaria
Just a Weekend Getaway
The Decision
Return to Bulgaria
Post-Adoption Panic
Love at Second Sight
The Art of Playing
Crash and Burn
Monkey icka Lion
Sing, Goddess…
Enormous Families, Group Homes
Dogs We Have Loved
The ABCs of Preliteracy
A Continent of Orphans
First Trip to Ethiopia
Old Friends
Helen in America
Questions of Heaven
Why This Is Not a Cookbook
Married to the Defense
A Boy Moves Out, a New Boy Heads Our Way
Meeting Fisseha
Searching for Grandmother
Tsehai
The Labyrinth of Nightmare
The Professor Gives Birth
The Young Hunter-Gatherer
Identity
Sandlot Ball
Squirrels We Have Known, Also Insects
A Wonderful Number of Children
An Orphanage League
Room for Two More?
Their Histories
Homeland Tour
Class Differences
Swim Party
Reunion
A Family Feast
Daniel and Yosef in America
Strife
Fighting Words
A Haunted Night
The Silent Treatment
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, but Couldn't Spell
Songs of a Summer Night
Another Mother
The Jewish Guide to Raising Star Athletes
Gurage
Ten Things I Love About You
DNA
Acknowledgments

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