The Stolen Year: How COVID Changed Children’s Lives, and Where We Go Now

PublicAffairs: Perseus. Aug. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781541700987. $29. ED
Kamenetz leaves no stone unturned in her extensive exploration of the vast problems children faced during the first year of the COVID pandemic. The book features interviews with parents and children dealing with being an afterthought in many policies created to counter the virus. Kamenetz takes historical deep dives and makes numerous data points, covering everything from the failing programs of school lunches and childcare to the poorly handled crisis in the U.S. related to mental health care and treatments for children of all ages. Although this focuses on her expertise in education, Kamenetz deftly navigates the cracks in many pre-pandemic systems, cracks that exploded at the onset in March 2020. Ultimately, she argues, these failures will leave millions of children with avoidable adverse effects for years to come. This is not an optimistic book but certainly a comprehensive one. Kamenetz’s feat will surely be followed up with additional studies for years to come. For now, it’s a great starting point for the discussion.
VERDICT Recommended for parenting and education-focused collections.
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