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The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers
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The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  663 Ratings  ·  207 Reviews
New York Times bestseller

Fred Rogers (1928–2003) was an enormously influential figure in the history of television and in the lives of tens of millions of children. As the creator and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he was a champion of compassion, equality, and kindness. Rogers was fiercely devoted to children and to taking their fears, concerns, and questions about
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Harry N. Abrams
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Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, celebrity
I grew up watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood, and suffice it to say, most Americans who turned five by 2001 probably did as well. My husband watched the program to help him with his English when he first came to this country. Mister Rogers is by all accounts an American icon, so, when I saw on my goodreads feed a few months back that a new biography on Fred Rogers would be published this year, I knew that it was a book I just had to read. The Good Neighbor, written by a longtime Rogers acquaint ...more
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
I was anxious to read this biography as my older kids really grew up with Mr. Rodgers and I admire him as a person and role model. However the writing in this biography is so mediocre and repetitive that I just can't finish. It's a shame because this could have been so much better.

So DNF for me at 60%
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Rogers had told his young viewers, “my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
Yes, there are. Fred Rogers was proof of that. A man born with privileged demographics along with considerable
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Ok, this book may only "speak" to those from the generations of children in America and Canada who watched Mr. Rogers on TV, but while it will tug on our nostalgia, it will also speak to those today who are tired of negativity everywhere we turn.

Mr. Rogers was a breath of fresh air in the past and he is still that today. I am SO GLAD that this wasn't a salacious tell-all about Mr. Rogers. He really WAS the person who sang to his tv neighbors every episode. He really WAS that loving and giving an
Scott S.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another outstanding biography (the short list also includes Matthew Polly's Bruce Lee: A Life and Jonathan Eig's Ali: A Life, in my opinion) published since last autumn, King's The Good Neighbor is a double-barreled salvo in presenting the detailed life story of TV host Fred Rogers AND a certain nostalgia factor for a large but relevant audience from North America. A nice, heartwarming refrain throughout the book was that Rogers was a 'what you see is what you get'-type of man -- devout, well-me ...more
Jun 21, 2018 marked it as abandoned
Shelves: 2018
I really want to like this but IT NEEDS AN EDITOR SO BAD. I do not need to hear six times, in six different contexts, about how Fred stayed in an air conditioned room all summer one summer because his asthma was so bad.

I'm still reading it, because I want to know more. But I really hope there's a little more editing prior to the actual publication date....OR IS THIS JUST HOW AVERAGE ADULT NONFICTION READS? I have been spoiled by the likes of the 57 Bus and Vincent and Theo.
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-bio
"i'm very much interested in choices, and what it is that enable us human beings to make the choices we make all through our lives. what choices lead to ethnic cleansing? what choices lead to healing? what choices lead to the destruction of the environment, the erosion of the sabbath, suicide bombings or teenagers shooting teenagers? what choices encourage heroism in the midst of chaos?"
the good neighbor: the life and work of fred rogers is a comprehensive biography of mister rogers, one of th
Stacie C
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, e-book-arcs
What memories do I have of Fred Rogers? I remember his show and I remember puppets but I don’t remember much of the man. Regardless I was intrigued by this biography and the concept of learning more about this man, whose songs I remember but whose life I do not. I feel like everyone remembers the man in the cardigan but no one knew him. After reading this book I feel like I know him and more than that, I miss him. I wish that I had incorporated him into my child’s life at a young age. I wish I c ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
At the heart of this work lies the questions: How did Fred Rogers do it? How did he create hundreds and hundreds of shows over the course of three decades? Part of it was his family’s wealth, that allowed him to adopt great patience and perfectionism. But it was also a lineage of renowned child psychologists, from Doctor Spock to Margaret McFarland, who gave input into many of the challenging subjects that Rogers tackled over the years. The most fascinating part of the book is the description of ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, adult, biography
I have a hard time calling Fred Rogers anything but Mister Rogers, and that speaks to how much of a cultural symbol he has become for anyone who grew up watching his show--it’s difficult to believe that beyond the Neighborhood, there was a real man who had worries and troubles of his own. King’s loving portrait shines a light on the complexity of Rogers’s life while also revealing that off-camera there was a man just as kind and tender as he appeared on screen. THE GOOD NEIGHBOR is a biography ...more
Abby Johnson
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great book and a terrific audio recording. Pair LeVar Burton with Mr. Rogers and it's nostalgiafest 2018 (in a good way!). If you grew up watching Mr. Rogers, this is a must read.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
First things first, I listened to the audiobook- which is narrated by LaVar Burton (of Reading Rainbow fame) so that was immediately exciting.

Second my biggest complaint has less to do with Roger’s story and more to do with the author of this story. The book is needlessly repetitive, almost as if the author wanted the book to be longer than it needed to be. Several times as the listener I am told the SAME THING. I found this disappointing because it took away from the narrative of Fred Rogers li
Patty Smith
Thanks to Netgalley, Abrams Press, and Maxwell King for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advanced copy.

Fred Rogers is beloved by millions of people - children, now adults, who remember Mr. Rogers with fondness. His program was the most successful children’s program on public television due to his vision, commitment and singular ability to talk to children on their level. His message of loving you “just the way you are”
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is the wonderful story of a wonderful man. Loved this audiobook and its narration by Levar Burton.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Subject: 5 stars
Writing: 3 stars

When I saw the ARC of this title pop up in Edelweiss, I almost broke my finger hitting the download button, since I had just been talking to my husband about how there weren't any really great biographies of Mister Rogers out there. Unfortunately . . . that might still be true.

I feel like the book accomplished what a biography should, in that I now know much more than I did about how Mister Rogers came to be Mister Rogers -- his life and family and the developmen
An enjoyable listen with Levar Burton narrating. While the author sometimes repeats the same story or quote in more than one chapter, overall this is an informative and entertaining biography of a man who's influence is still felt 15 years after his death.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fred Rogers is my hero. He’s kind and gentle and clever and, best of all, he listens.

I read this book with trepidation. Would my hero be dethroned? Would this be the story of a person wildly different from the Mister Rogers I adore?

I can tell you, happily, that it is not. Every person, without exception, who met Rogers found him to be exactly as he presented himself on television. He wasn’t a saint—-sometimes he lost his temper and he had troubles with his sons when they were teens—-but he was
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Revisiting the life of one of my childhood heroes, read by one of my other childhood heroes. So comforting.
This book was not probably the smoothest written biography in the world, but Fred Rogers' life was so fascinating, and deliciously boring, and cheerful, and good. Such a good man. I can only hope, and try, and learn to be more like him. And at the end of the day, I know he would think I was enough. Just the way I am.

Someone TELL ME when the next episode marathon is! I NEED in on this!
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
What a disappointment.
5 stars for the subject, 1 star for the writing. I tried so hard, but did not finish at 40%.

This was so repetitive it's not even funny. It was like a high school term paper that required 1000 words but the student only needed 500 words. So we get filler. Repeatedly. Sometimes the same statement is repeated 3 times in a single chapter with slightly different wording. Great, yeah we know Fred spend a summer in an air conditioned room because of his asthma. I don't need to hea
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit to being a little afraid to listen to this. What if Fred Rogers turned out to be a horrible person when he wasn't in the Neighborhood?!?!

Thankfully, that was not the case.

(This is not a coherent 'review' by any means. It's hard to type when you're crying lol.)

This was meticulously researched and at times feels like a big hug. It's trippy to hear about Mr Rogers before he was Mr Rogers, especially his college days (when he once dated more than one woman!). The chapters covering his tim
Enchantress  debbicat ☮~Traveling Sister
5 stars! I love it! I requested this title from NetGalley just a few days before it was published, after seeing it on my home feed a few times on GoodReads. I instantly knew I would love it after only reading a few pages. I did not get to complete it before the publish date, but I got a notification from Hoopla, the library app, that it was available in ebook and audio. I thought I'd check the audio out as I am in the car a lot for my commute. So excited to find Lavar Burton of Reading Rainbow n ...more
Todd Stockslager
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Review title: Making good on television

If you haven't seen the recent documentary about Fred "Mister" Rogers, you need to buy it on disc or stream it; warning, you will laugh and cry. In the meantime, read Maxwell King's biography, which might serve as a working scrip of the documentary. And I think both will make a great foundation for understanding and enjoying the forthcoming Hollywood biopic (based on Esquire magazine writer Tom Junod's account of his coverage of Fred Rogers) with Tom Hanks
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I read long biographies and say 'more than I want to know' .. but this book makes you appreciate even more his philosophy of early childhood education.. even after seeing the movie/documentary I still wanted to read this.. he had such strong convictions about the way he led his life and the ways that young children should be nurtured .. I don't want to call it a 'feel good' book but it did give one a good feeling to read about such a strong advocate for children..
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was going to give this book four stars but I can’t stop thinking about it so five stars it is. It made me want to re-watch all the Mr Rogers Neighborhood episodes, watch him change his shoes and slip on a sweater, feed the fish, visit the land of make believe, and tell me that I am special just the way I am.
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very well written and researched. I learned a lot that I didn't know about Mr. Rogers before. Things have been very tense in the country lately and this book has been a comfort to me. Just reading about Mr. Rogers is calming. If you miss your television neighbor, this is the book for you.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fascinating. Loved learning more about this kind, kind man I already had a lot of love for. Very worth the time!
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mr. Rogers was a key figure for me as a kid. I loved the documentary that was released this year, and I figured a book wouldn’t reveal much more. I was wrong. As someone with a degree in educational psychology, I was fascinated to learn about how much research Fred Rogers did in crafting his shows.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This book is so much more than just a biography of Fred Rogers. It’s also the story of children’s television & PBS. It’s the story of being mindful of words, speech, talk & subject matter. The life of Fred Rogers continues to influence people kind, be inclusive, be just who you are. @abramsbooks #arc
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that I’ve wanted to read for years. It is a thorough and insightful account of a man I respect. I’m not one to have have personal hero’s, except for Fred Rogers.

I grew up watching Mister Rogers’s Neighbored, a show that will always hold a special place in my memory. It was only until recently however, during this age where vitriol and “winning” are worshiped above all else, that I’ve come to appreciate just how unique and powerful Fred Rogers was.
Alyse Stolz
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Love Fred Rogers, but wow was this book dry and in need of serious editing.
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Oakville Reads: The Good Neighbor 1 2 Oct 17, 2018 08:19AM  
“Mister Rogers speaks directly into the camera to the little children who are quietly, intently watching: “It helps to say that you’re sad. Often it even helps to cry . . . let people know how you feel.” This is Rogers’s signature message: feelings are all right, whatever is mentionable is manageable, however confusing and scary life may become. Even with death and loss and pain, it’s okay to feel all of it, and then go on.” 2 likes
“You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.” 2 likes
More quotes…