Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot

Growing Each Other Up

When Our Children Become Our Teachers

University of Chicago Press 2016

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Children's LiteratureNew Books in EducationNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network January 25, 2017 Susan Raab

With Growing Each Other Up: When Our Children Become Our Teachers (University of Chicago Press, 2016), Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot offers an intimately detailed, emotionally powerful...

With Growing Each Other Up: When Our Children Become Our Teachers (University of Chicago Press, 2016), Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot offers an intimately detailed, emotionally powerful and different perspective of the parenting experience than we are used to, showing that parents grow themselves, learning the lessons their children teach. While countless books have been written about the challenges of parenting, nearly all of them position the parent as instructor and support-giver, the child as learner and in need of direction. But the parent-child relationship is more complicated and reciprocal; over time it transforms in remarkable, surprising ways. As our children grow up, we begin to learn from them. The lessons parents learn from their offspring–voluntarily and involuntarily, with intention and serendipity, often through resistance and struggle– are embedded in their evolving relationships and shaped by the rapidly transforming world around them. Growing Each Other Up is rich in the voices of actual parents telling their own stories of raising children and their children raising them; watching that fundamental connection shift over time.

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot is a MacArthur prize-winning sociologist whose work examines the culture of schools, the broad ecology of education, and the relationship between human development and social change. She has written 10 books, including Worlds Apart: Relationships Between Families and Schools (1978), Beyond Bias: Perspectives on Classrooms (1979), and The Good High School: Portraits of Character and Culture (1983), which received the 1984 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association, and Balm In Gilead: Journey of A Healer (1988), which won the 1988 Christopher Award, given for “literary merit and humanitarian achievement.” Dr. Lightfoot is the Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education at Harvard University.


Susan Raab is president of Raab Associates, an internationally recognized agency that specializes in marketing literature, products and initiatives that help improve the lives of young people. Clients have included National Geographic, Scholastic, the International Board on Books for Young People, and bestselling authors and illustrators. Susan is marketing advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She’s also a journalist reporting on publishing, education and human rights. Her work as a broadcast correspondent has been hosted by the University of Connecticut, and by the University of Florida’s Recess Radio, a program syndicated to 500 public radio stations. Her many interviews, including with Art Spiegelman, Jon Scieszka, Norton Juster, Laurie Halse Anderson and many others talking about art and literature can be heard here. Follow Susan at: https://twitter.com/sraab18

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