Monday, January 5, 2015

Book Review: My Child on Drugs

Title: My Child on Drugs
       
Author: Art Linkletter and George Gallup
       
Date: 1981
       
Publisher: Standard Publishing
       
ISBN: 0-87239-456-5
       
Length: 126 pages
       
Quote: “The world hs changed a lot since the days when I enjoyed hosting the daily TV show that featured ‘kids saying the darndest things.’”
       
Coasting on the popularity of his talk show, Art Linkletter wrote a book on his experience as—he thought—the successful parent of his five wonderful “Little Links,” Jack, Dawn, Bob, Sharon,and Diane. It was a delightful book on parenting. It was conservative but not rigid, serious but full of jokes. Reading it was more like visiting with a chatty, witty uncle than like being lectured by a psychologist...so much so that my parents shared their copy with my brother and me; we enjoyed the jokes and stories, and Linkletter became our family mediator for a year or two.
       
Then his parenting book disappeared from circulation. Diane Linkletter had apparently experimented with LSD, the dangers of which were not yet fully understood, and jumped out of a window. The mere idea that Linkletter knew anything about parenting had become gall and vinegar to a father’s broken heart. Our paperback copies of Linkletter’s early books fell apart, never to be replaced.
       
“I just wanted to...kill the Timothy Learys,” Linkletter recalls in this next book, ten years later. (Timothy Leary was the poster idiot for legalizing LSD; he died old at an early age in the 1990s.) Eventually, under the influence of Norman Vincent Peale, he shifted his focus to leading drug education seminars in churches. He hadn’t lost his sense of humor, but after Diane died, her father never wrote or performed mere comedy again.
       
By now the statistics in this book are as “old” as the cover image of a youth injecting heroin, so My Child on Drugs is most likely to appeal to those who are old enough to remember Linkletter and want to read about his life after the tragedy.

       
If parents who read this book want to have The Drug Talk with their teenagers, the opening line might be, “Here’s a real piece of history! What’s changed in thirty years?” One thing that’s changed is that schools now take it upon themselves to teach kids about the dangers of street drugs. If you’re lucky your teenager’s reaction may be that “drug education” is so boring, and when is somebody going to teach her/him a little French, history, or trigonometry? However, as celebrity gossip the Linkletter family story may interest those who are into “vintage” movies and TV.


For those who've survived the loss of a friend's or relative's brain to drugs (legal or illegal), My Child on Drugs still contains a relevant, possibly helpful spiritual perspective.


To buy My Child on Drugs online from me will cost $5 for the book and $5 for shipping. Although the shipping charge will cover as many other items as will fit into one package, Art Linkletter no longer needs the $1 he'd get if his books still qualified as Fair Trade Books.