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  • The Stolen Year

  • How COVID Changed Children's Lives, and Where We Go Now
  • By: Anya Kamenetz
  • Narrated by: Anya Kamenetz
  • Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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The Stolen Year

By: Anya Kamenetz
Narrated by: Anya Kamenetz
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Summary

An NPR education reporter shows how the last true social safety net—the public school system—was decimated by the pandemic, and how years of short-sighted political decisions have failed to put our children first.

School has long meant much more than an education in America. 30 million children depend on free school meals. Schools are, statistically, the safest physical places for children to be. They are the best chance many children have at finding basics like eye exams, safe housing, mental health counseling, or simply a caring adult. Flawed, inequitable, underfunded, and segregated, they remain the most important engine of social mobility and the crucible of our democracy.

The cost of closing our schools for so long during COVID, made with good intentions, has not yet been fully reckoned with. 

In The Stolen Year, NPR education reporter Anya Kamenetz shows that the roots of our crisis run far deeper than COVID. She follows families across the country as they lived through the pandemic. But she also dives deep into the political history that brought us to this point: Why we have no childcare system to speak of, why subsidies for families were cut to the bone, how children became the group most likely to live in poverty, how we overpolice and separate families of color, and how we are content to let the unpaid and underpaid labor of women, especially women of color and immigrants, stand in for a void of public and collective concern for children.  

Kamenetz makes the case that 2020 wasn't a lost year—it was taken from our children, by years of neglect and bad faith. We have failed to put them first.

The American Rescue Plan offers new tax benefits for families and new funding for schools. But if progress stops there, and we revert to cutting funding and laying off school staff, another crisis will surely come. The Stolen Year is a passionately argued and emotional story, but also a demand for recompense.

©2022 Anya Kamenetz (P)2022 PublicAffairs

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  • CK
  • 15-12-22

Excellent review of the pandemic for all parts or the community

Well written and great audio as well. I learned a lot and highly recommend it!

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  • Bryan
  • 11-12-22

Excellent read

The author takes the read a linear path through the hedge maze that was the COVID years. I appreciate the focus on our children and the systems that should support but ultimately failed. I appreciate the call to do better and the highlighting of those who found a way to make it work. This is work is worth your time and has helped shape my mindset on how to do better for our children and communities.

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  • Chaiselongue8
  • 24-08-22

Deep, smart, bold, and compassionate

The Stolen Year is eye-opening, not just for parents. Anya is deep, smart, bold, and has a big heart - I’ve enjoyed all of it with this book.

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  • Ian C.
  • 23-08-22

Excellent — must listen!

A vivid and poignant retelling of how COVID impacted our children in big ways and small. Kamenetz reveals how school means so many different, deeply personal things to families across America by telling the simple but powerful story of how we all managed when it was suddenly taken away.