The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

400p. index. notes. Abrams. Sept. 2018. Tr $28. ISBN 9781419727726.
RedReviewStarFormer Philadelphia Inquirer editor King reveals Fred Rogers (1928–2003), creator of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, whose guiding principles of his Christian faith—kindness, acceptance, and unconditional love—underpinned every aspect of his professional and personal life. Arranged more or less chronologically, this title traces Rogers's development from an often sickly and overweight child, subjected to childhood bullying and an overprotective mother. His upbringing, while often socially isolating, provided a rich environment for the development of his creativity; he went on to study musical composition and become ordained as a Presbyterian minister. Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 to 2001, was radical for its time, covering war, death, divorce, and other controversial topics honestly and respectfully for children's understanding. Myths about Rogers—that his sweaters covered up tattoos or that he was a Vietnam sniper—are debunked, revealing instead that he was exactly as he appeared.
VERDICT Grown-up fans, pop culture enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the history of educational television and child development will be inspired. An excellent and timely addition to most collections.–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

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