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Sponsored by Book Ya Ya, Hendrick Hudson Free Library & The Field Library present: New York Times bestselling, award-winning writer, Judith Warner, with her new book And Then They Stopped Talking to Me in conversation with New York Times bestselling writer, Peggy Orenstein (Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity).

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Characterized by a perfect storm of developmental changes—physical, psychological, and social—the middle school years are a time of great distress for children and parents alike, marked by hurt, isolation, exclusion, competition, anxiety, and often outright cruelty. Some of this is inevitable, but these years are harder than they need to be, and Judith Warner believes that adults are complicit.
With deep insight and compassion, Warner walks us through a new understanding of the role that middle school plays in all our lives. She argues that today’s helicopter parents are overly concerned with status and achievement—in some ways a residual effect of their own middle school experiences—and that this worsens the self-consciousness, self-absorption, and social “sorting” so typical of early adolescence.
Tracing a century of research on middle childhood and bringing together the voices of social scientists, psychologists, educators, and parents, Warner’s book shows how adults can be moral role models for children, making them more empathetic, caring, and resilient.
Part cultural critique and part call to action, this essential book unpacks one of life’s most formative periods and shows how we can help our children not only survive it but thrive.

“As the parent of a middle schooler, I felt as if Judith Warner had peered into my life—and the lives of many of my patients. This is a gift to our kids and their future selves.”—Lori Gottlieb

“Fascinating . . . well researched . . . Judith Warner interviews scores of fellow middle school survivors in her accomplished and highly readable new book. . . . She also gets personal with her tales of middle school woe—both as a former student and as a parent.”—Shannon Hale, The New York Times Book Review

Peggy Orenstein’s Girls & Sex broke ground, shattered taboos, and launched conversations. But girls are only half the conversation. Boys are subject to the same cultural forces —steeped in distorted media images and binary stereotypes —which equally affect how they navigate sexual and emotional relationships. In Boys & Sex, Orenstein reveals how young men understand and negotiate the new rules of physical and emotional intimacy. Drawing on comprehensive interviews with young men, psychologists, academics, and experts in the field, Boys & Sex dissects so-called locker room talk; how the word “hilarious” robs boys of empathy; pornography as the new sex education; boys’ understanding of hookup culture and consent; and their experience as both victims and perpetrators of sexual violence. By surfacing young men’s experience in all its complexity, Orenstein unravels the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important realities of young male sexuality in today’s world. The result is a provocative and paradigm-shifting work that offers a much-needed vision of how boys can truly move forward as better men.

“As a psychotherapist who’s raising a boy, I can’t think of a more important book for our times. Eye-opening and nuanced, this compassionate exploration of boys’ sexual lives gives voice to their deepest struggles and should be mandatory reading for anyone who cares about the next generation–which is to say, all of us.” Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author

“Eye-opening…. Every few pages, the boy world cracks open a little bit…. Even in the most anxiety-provoking moments of Boys & Sex, it’s clear that Orenstein believes in the goodness of boys and the men they can become, and she believes in us, as parents, to raise them” New York Times Book Review

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