Monday, June 20, 2016

Geek Parenting: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us About Raising a Family - Stephen H. Segal & Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Summary: It takes a starship to raise a child. Or a time machine. Or a tribe of elves. Fortunately, Geek Parenting offers all that and more, with thoughtful mini-essays that reveal profound child-rearing advice (and mistakes) from the most beloved tales of geek culture. Nerds and norms alike can take counsel from some of the most iconic parent–child pairings found in pop culture: Aunt May and Peter Parker, Benjamin and Jake Sisko, Elrond and Arwen, even Cersei and Joffrey. Whether you’re raising an Amazon princess, a Jedi Padawan, a brooding vampire, or a standard-issue human child, Geek Parenting helps you navigate the ion storms, alternate realities, and endless fetch quests that come with being a parent.

Includes parenting experts from across time and space, such as:

Luke and Vader
Korra and Tenzin
Wednesday and Morticia Addams
Frodo and Bilbo
Rose and Jackie Tyler
Carl and Michonne
Thor, Loki, and Odin
Starbuck, Apollo and Adama
Stewie and Lois
Sarah Manning and Mrs. S.
T'Challa and T'Chaka
Spock, Sarek, and Amanda
Claudia and Lestat
San and Moro
Perseus and Zeus
Dorothy and Auntie Em
Bruce Wayne and Alfred
Buffy and Giles
Meg Murry and Aunt Beast
Orpheus and Morpheus
Paul Atreides and Lady Jessica
Kal-El and Jor-El
Chakotay and Kolopak
Scott and Dr. Evil
Diana and Hippolyta
Alexander and Worf

(Summary and image from I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.)

Review: Ever wanted a parenting manual?  Preferably one offered by a wise old man with a pixelated beard who hands it to you and says “It’s dangerous to go alone.  Take this.” and then gives you all the wisdom you need? Parenting is hard, and it’s doubly difficult when it’s important to you and your spouse to not only raise well-adjusted, independent, intelligent, kind individuals, but also ones who are firmly rooted in the Ways of the Geek.

I, ladies and gentlemen, am a Geek. Or a Nerd. I’m proud of my love of Star Trek (all series).  My phone ringtone is the TARDIS. We celebrate Star Wars Day. It’s vitally important to me that my children appreciate and embrace this lifestyle. 

When I received this book, I think I was thinking it would be a tongue in cheek response to Parenting for Dummies.  I was pleasantly surprised and mistaken.  Inside I found numerous essays about parenting lessons from my favorite fandoms, from fandoms I don’t subscribe to, and from some I’d never heard of.  Some were reaching a little - searching for profound, meaningful metaphors where there were little to be found - but some were truly amazing, offering insight and analysis I’d never even considered. It made me want to look at my favorite fandoms again in a new light, not solely for the entertainment value, but for the deeper lessons that I could glean from them.

I quite enjoyed this book for what it is, but were I to revisit it, I wouldn’t read it in one sitting like I did.  As a collection of essays, this book is best nibbled upon, sampling those essays that best apply to your mood at the time.  That doesn’t mean, however, it’s worth passing up. 

Rating: Four and a half stars

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