<b>Through the Children's Gate</b> Gopnik, author of the best-selling nonfiction book <i>Paris to the Moon</i> (2000), returns with a fresh collection of essays, all related to the experience of being a parent in New York, the city he has called home for the past five years. Taken together, the 20 essays in the book provide a charming overview of life in the Big Apple and serve as a testament to the way in which the city has changed for the better over the past few decades. In Gopnik's view, New York has shed its brutal, uninviting image to become surprisingly family-friendly. The pieces included here center on parenthood and cover topics like the loss of a family pet (a fish named Bluie), the pros and cons of private schools and his daughter's attachment to an imaginary friend (a character named Charlie Ravioli). While these essays are undoubtedly site-specific, they offer something for everyone not just New Yorkers. As a longtime reporter for <i>The New Yorker</i>, where most of these essays originally appeared, Gopnik has consistently delivered stylish nonfiction. Filled with wonderful anecdotes and unforgettable imagery, this valentine to the city that never sleeps is Gopnik at his best.
<i>A reading group guide is available online at www.readinggroupcenter.com.</i>