Linda McGurk’s first book, There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge) was published by Touchstone, a Simon & Schuster imprint, on October 3, 2017. To request a review copy, please contact Megan Rudloff at megan.rudloff.@simonandschuster.com.
Bringing Up Bébé meets Last Child in the Woods in this lively, insightful memoir about a mother who sets out to discover if the nature-centric parenting philosophy of her native Scandinavia holds the key to healthier, happier lives for her American children.
Praise for There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather
“Linda McGurk offers a perfect antidote to the hyper-vigilant, extra-electrified, standardized-tested, house-arrested, 21st-century childhood and the experts who push it. Practical and wise, There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather proves just that, and much more.”
—Richard Louv, bestselling author of LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS and VITAMIN N
“There’s nothing I love more than an author who gives parents a reason to feel optimistic, instead of telling us how we’re ruining our kids forever by (fill in the blank with something you used to do without thinking twice). Linda Akeson McGurk is that optimism-granter. Plus, she’s funny. What a great package!”
—Lenore Skenazy, author of FREE RANGE KIDS
“Smart, friendly and Swedish. Packed with sane ideas that will get your children outside, independent, and filled with the joy of living. This book will open your eyes—or maybe tempt you to move to Sweden. Now: Go outside and play!”
—Heather Shumaker, author of IT’S OK NOT TO SHARE and IT’S OK TO GO UP THE SLIDE
“I could not put this book down! Linda McGurk not only offers a fresh perspective about parenting and outdoor play from a Scandinavian viewpoint, but she is a fabulous storyteller and will hook you on the first page.”
—Angela Hanscom, author of BALANCED AND BAREFOOT
“What an enjoyable romp through all the pleasures, benefits and joy that free play and nature offer! Swedish-born McGurk guides the reader through all the delights that a varied outdoor life can afford. The book is packed with personal anecdotes and scientific studies, which provide the reader with nuanced insights into the potentials of open-air life in the most beautiful way. Everyone all over the world can gain something from the valuable wisdom found in this book. As a strong supporter of free play and its importance for children’s well-being, I highly recommend this book.”
—Iben Sandahl, author of THE DANISH WAY
“Children need fresh air, ample time to play, and freedom to take risks – something other cultures sometimes seem to understand far better than we do. In THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER, Linda Akeson McGurk takes us inside the fascinating world of Scandinavian parenting, with its refreshing and essential perspective on childhood. This is a heartfelt manifesto on the importance of the sort of unhurried, nature-rich childhood that every American child deserves.”
—Christine Gross-Loh, author of THE PATH: WHAT CHINESE PHILOSOPHERS CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE GOOD LIFE
“If There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather doesn’t make you want to move to Scandinavia, it will at least make you pledge to bring more Scandinavian habits into your life. With abundant warmth and humor, and important research, Linda Akeson McGurk makes the case for getting your family out into nature, no matter the season, and shares invaluable tips for enjoying the benefits of outdoor play, even in the land of mall-walking, videogames and relentless academic pressure.”
—Susan Sachs Lipman, author of FED UP WITH FRENZY: SLOW PARENTING IN A FAST-MOVING WORLD
“Linda McGurk’s compelling book There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather compares the Swedish and U.S. historical and current cultural differences in beliefs and practices regarding young children’s exposure to nature. Linda’s upbringing in Sweden meant that she had an enormous amount of outdoor time as a child, much like those of us who grew up in the United States prior to 1980. Unfortunately, within the last 30-40 years, childhood in the U.S. no longer automatically includes extended outdoor free play. Like Linda, many in the early childhood education field are worried about the well-documented negative consequences from this lack of outdoor time. Besides the obvious physical benefits of spending time in nature, there are proven mental health benefits as well. Additionally, when children bond with nature at an early age, they develop empathetic stewardship qualities which compel them to seek to protect the environment. It is heartening to know that there are still countries like Sweden which actively advocate and culturally support children’s right to extended outdoor time. Hopefully we can begin to incorporate some of Sweden’s friluftsliv – a love of open air life – into our cultural identity here in the U.S.”
—Erin Kenny, Director, Cedarsong Nature School
On the back cover of There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather:
When Swedish-born Linda McGurk moved to small-town Indiana with her American husband to start a family, she quickly realized that her outdoorsy ways were not the norm. In Sweden children play outside all year round, regardless of the weather, and letting young babies nap outside in freezing temperatures is not only common—it is a practice recommended by physicians. In the US, on the other hand, she found that the playgrounds, which she had expected to find teeming with children, were mostly deserted. In preschool, children were getting drilled to learn academic skills, while their Scandinavian counterparts were climbing trees, catching frogs, and learning how to compost. Worse, she realized that giving her daughters the same freedom to play outside that she had enjoyed as a child in Sweden could quickly lead to a visit by Child Protective Services. The rules and parenting philosophies of her native country and her adopted homeland were worlds apart.
Struggling to fit in and to decide what was best for her children, McGurk turned to her own childhood for answers. Could the Scandinavian philosophy of “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” be the key to better lives for her American children? And how would her children’s relationships with nature change by introducing them to Scandinavian concepts like friluftsliv (“open-air living”) and hygge (the coziness and the simple pleasures of home)? McGurk embarked on a six-month-long journey to Sweden to find out. There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather is a fascinating personal narrative that highlights the importance of spending time outdoors, and illustrates how the Scandinavian culture could hold the key to raising healthier, resilient, and confident children in America.
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