The Sandbox Revolution edited by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Edited by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, sandbox revolution coverThe Sandbox Revolution: Raising Kids for a Just World is a collection of essays about parenting with social justice at the forefront of our lives.

I need to state upfront that trans readers will want a content warning for two of the essays:

  1. Jennifer Castro’s essay included gender essentialist phrases like “the power of the feminine body and the sacredness of feminine knowing” when speaking out biological functions such as pregnancy. The essay attempts to be inclusive, but using more personal phrases (like “my feminine body”) could have warded off the bio-essentialist feel.
  2. Michelle Martinez’s essay refers to gendered bodies and uses the term womyn.

I want to be clear that, reading these essays in full, I did not get the sense that the authors are TERFs. They had a lot of beautiful points and seemed to be trying to be inclusive. But their essays could have used non-cis sensitivity readers. (And I would have liked more representation from trans/nonbinary parents throughout the collection.)

But overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wished it was longer! Jennifer Harvey’s “Raising Antiracist White Kids” was my favorite. She writes about the shallowness of a lot of well-intentioned approaches, and how they undermine our efforts to raise kids with antiracist values. She uses three common teachings as examples and explaining how and why they fall short, and how to tweak them to make them work in a meaningful way.

That practical application is key! We can wax poetic all day about our ideals, but every single one of these writers offered not only their own unique perspectives, their own life experiences, but how they put their beliefs into action. I finished the book feeling inspired and full of my own ideas, big and small.

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