The experience launched her on a journey to find out why fear often dictates the choices American parents make for their children. Now, Brooks weaves together her own story with first-hand observations, historical research, and investigative reporting to reveal the plight of the modern parent in her new book. As Brooks told her own story, she quickly found that she’s not alone. She connected with mothers whose experiences echo her own and uncovered a whole body of research that reveals how our expectations of parents have changed in the course of a single generation, and how these expectations are fueled by fear rather than reality. Brooks argues that giving in to our worst fears about what might happen to our kids has dangerous consequences, for both children and their parents. Parents are expected to constantly monitor their kids, leaving working mothers and low income families with few options, and pressuring mothers to report on one another. Children are left with little opportunity to learn about the world on their own, to develop their self-efficacy and control, or to connect with their communities. In her funny, penetrating, and always illuminating style—which captivated millions when she published her viral Salon article “The Day I Left My Son in the Car”—Brooks offers a provocative portrait of parenthood in America. Small Animals calls us all to examine what we most value in our relationships with our children, and with each other. Kim Brooks is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. Her fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, One Story, The Missouri Review, and other journals, and her essays have appeared in Salon, Buzzfeed, New York magazine, LennyLetter, and on WNYC’s Note to Self. Her novel The Houseguest was published in 2016. Kim Brooks lives in Chicago with her husband and their two children.