ACHTUNG BABY opens with author Sara Zaske—having recently moved to Berlin with her husband and toddler—on a bus with her daughter Sophia who serenades all the passengers with an endless rendition of “Wheels on the Bus.” After delighting an elderly passenger, Sophia is offered a piece of candy. Much to Sara’s horror, Sophia takes it and eats it. Fortunately, she doesn’t die from a hidden razor blade. It’s a small, yet eye-opening moment that reveals to Sara—who until this point considered herself a relaxed parent—how much she’d absorbed a modern American parenting style.
After spending several years in Germany, Sara has learned to relax the reins with her two children, sharing her experiences in ACHTUNG BABY. Featuring personal stories, as well as interviews with fellow parents, teachers, and experts, ACHTUNG BABY reveals the benefits of raising children with “selbstandigkeit” (self-reliance). In Berlin, kids walk to school by themselves, ride the subway alone, cut food with sharp knives, and even play with fire. German parents do not share American fears and their children are thriving. In the spirit of Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing up Bébé and Julie Lythcott-Haims’s How to Raise an Adult, ACHTUNG BABY offers American parents global tools to raise happy, healthy, independent children.
SARA ZASKE is an American writer who lived in Berlin for six and half years. Her articles on her family's experiences in Germany have appeared on Time.com, The Times newspaper in the UK, and Germany's largest Sunday paper, Bild am Sontag. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children.
An Entertaining, Enlightening Look at the Art of Raising Self-Reliant, Independent Children Based on One American Mom’s Experiences in Germany
An NPR "Staff Pick" and One of the NPR Book Concierge's"Best Books of the Year"
Join us at the Napa Library for an evening with the author!