The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Abrams Press; 1st Edition edition (September 4, 2018)
The first episode of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” aired in 1968. If you were a child, or had children any time between then and its final episode in 2001, chances are you knew Fred Rogers and his neighbors. His philosophy of love and kindness was easily accepted by children who watched his television program after school or on weekends, but his message was much more radical than many people realize.
In his book The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers author Maxwell King tells the story of Rogers’ life through his work over several decades. King highlights Rogers’ collaboration with experts in child development in order to shed light on tough subjects like anger, divorce, mistakes, and discipline. Rogers was one of the first entertainers for children to really tackle these tough issues, as well as to bring together people from different races and backgrounds into his Neighborhood.
This comprehensive biography is thoroughly entertaining, and helps the reader see its beloved subject in a different light, and appreciate his work even more.
“In King’s [The Good Neighbor] … the inimitable Mister Rogers becomes somehow even more enchanting. In addition to elegantly narrating the facts of Rogers’ life… King’s book brims with anecdotes of intimate exchanges that highlight Rogers’ kindness and grace.”
“As the extreme importance of our most gifted teachers, and the credit they are due, become ever more evident, Maxwell King has provided a superb, thoughtful biography of the brilliant Fred Rogers, who with his long-running television show, reached more children than any teacher ever. The enormous amount of thought, creative talent, and hard work that Rogers put into every aspect of the show becomes abundantly clear in this book, as do the lessons in empathy and kindness that he took so to heart. Much there is for all of us to learn in Maxwell King’s The Good Neighbor.”
“Fred launched the ship that carried us all.”
“Mere pages into this beautiful account, tears began to roll down my cheeks as my heart remembered the kind and gentle manner of Mr. Rogers. Deeply researched, Maxwell King’s biography brings Rogers to life in small moments recalled by those who knew him best. Through a meticulous unspooling of his childhood, we learn why Fred Rogers—a child born into extreme wealth who could have done anything or nothing with his life—wound up of all things a child whisperer, a seer of the human heart, a builder of bridges constructed of unconditional love and acceptance. Reading King’s narrative, one cannot help but long for a time when children spent their afternoons watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; one cannot help but sense that what we all need right now is an infusion of Fred Rogers’ enduring teachings back onto our airwaves and into our America.”
(Julie Lythcott-Haims author of How to Raise an Adult)