Family Survival for Middle Schoolers?

Survival Guide Family of Nine coverA Survival Guide from a Family of Nine: Raising a G-Rated Family in an X-Rated World

Submitter: This is a parenting book, so why it’s in a middle school library is beyond me. It might be a great book for parents, but there’s nothing in here that would benefit a 12-year old, and some things, like the “I didn’t let my kid sleep over at a friend’s house and then that friend was murdered” story is just creepy.

Holly: This is a fine book for a public library, but definitely an awful library book for a middle school library. It is completely out of place there. Its audience is not middle schoolers, but their parents. And yes, that story is creepy.


Survival Guide Family of Nine back cover

About the Authors

Considering Sleepovers

Heading Off Homework Hassles

Family Night


    1. I know! I was hanging on every word. I wasn’t able to find anything online about a U.S. murder victim named Leslie Berry.

      1. Yeah, I couldn’t find anything on the murder and very little on Brent or Phelicia, which is a bit odd, given their career choices (author, motivational speaker, etc) and lengthy list of interviews/appearances. You’d think you’d at least be able to find old interviews.

      2. Google Books has a snippet. The apartment manager (who was also molesting Leslie) did it.

  1. The author’s suggestion of family night sounded better before I read what was visible after his family’s schedule. Seems like “do something fun, as a family” is not going to come up as a suggestion.

  2. If you raise G-rated children they will not be able to cope in the R rated world (I don’t think the world is X rated!) when they become teens or adults. I particularly dislike the use of the word “control,” as in “If you want to take control of your home…”

    Of course, it’s common sense to deny permission to a 12 year old to go swimming where the other parents are at work. Whether the manager is a pervert/murderer or whatever. At 12 swimming needs more supervision, as a manager may be called away.

    What is California’s Parents of the Year? I lived in CA for over 50 years and never heard of that particular award. If these tips work for their family, great. They may work for other families, but they would definitely NOT have worked in mine! My kids are now adults, and make choices rated G-R depending on the circumstances. X? Not that they let me know!

    1. That was my exact thought. You can’t go into adulthood without a few clues about the world, or you won’t be able to cope.

  3. I think if you have 7 kids then just basic “everyone’s still alive at the end of the day” survival counts as a win.

  4. Sounds like a kind of creepy book- 9 kids? I wonder how many of them hit rebellion sooner than later with daddy’s idea of a family fun night…

  5. South Pasadena is not exactly X rated. Maybe that’s the solution. All you need to do to have a tame, safe family is move to a community with a median home price over $750,000.

    1. Yah, really. What is wrong with spelling it the way it’s, well, spelled: Felicia? Perhaps they were unaware of the name’s meaning, which is from the Latin word for “happy” — the male version being perhaps less euphonious, Felix. Although I do see that it has or had a dismissive slang meaning/usage, described in the Urban Dictionary. Still, it would be pronounced the same.

    2. Except they didn’t choose the name. Phelecia is the name of one of the authors, so it’s her parents that decided on that name.

      1. You’re right! I missed that. I thought Phelecia was the daughter in that scenario. Okay, well, now we at least know the root of Phel’s weirdness.

      2. Somebody chose it for someone else to carry, and whoever did, it was a bad selection. Impossible to spell, and completely missing the source and meaning of the original. Not changing it shows bad judgment on the part of the bearer, IMO — I can’t imagine not wanting to remove the burden it must have been for a child.

  6. I’m betting it was the cover. It looks like the typical middle school book cover. I’ve seen too many books in my own library mislabeled as a kid’s book simply because the cover look childish. Obviously whomever was in charge of adding it didn’t pay attention to the actual content.

    1. A school library might have a parenting section, similar to a teachers’ professional collection. There may be parent discussion groups, outreach services, etc., and the school library program supports those efforts. This is a pretty new book–if there is no parent shelf, donate to guidance dept.

      1. No school library I ever was in had that. And the submitter is shocked it was in there. So I say the answer is they saw the illustration and ignored the title.

  7. FWIW, the “Dove Foundation” on the back cover is worth looking up to get an idea of the target audience of this book. And if your children listen to easy listening muzak you need this book (back cover).

  8. Presumably G-Rated = Goody-Goody Rated?

    I agree with Elle that the name Phelicia sealed that particular Gashleycrumb Tiny’s fate.

  9. Ugh, Family Night sounds like a must-miss event. I’m dying to know what they roleplay, and what “spotlight” is. I’d rather play games, talk, go for a walk, or watch a good DVD with my family, thanks.

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