Tuesday, June 16, 2020


--  'LET THEM BE KIDS'  --
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Excerpt, 
Author Bio & Unique Author Interview~
Let Them Be Kids Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Let Them Be Kids by Jessica Smartt, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Let Them Be Kids by Jessica Smart Title: Let Them Be Kids
Author: Jessica Smartt
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: June 9, 2020
Genre: Christian Living/Parenting

As every parent hopes to raise kids with good manners and values, Jessica Smartt’s practical guide fills the gaps of uncertainty and provides tips on how parents can equip their children in purity, faith, and creativity.
Former English teacher and homeschooling mother of three, Jessica Smartt felt the weight of helping prepare her kids for life, especially with all the outside pressures and influence of the world. She struggled with how she could raise her children with a sense of adventure, self-confidence, manners, faith, and the ability to utilize technology wisely.

Let Them Be Kids is Jessica’s offering of grace and confidence to moms, giving them practical ideas to meet these challenges. Her well-researched, tested methods, woven together with her personal stories and witty humor, deliver wisdom on the tough topics of life, such as
  • family time vs. outside activities,
  • being “cool” or not,
  • boredom,
  • technology usage
  • sexual purity, and
  • showing grace when kids disobey.
Part story and part guidebook, every chapter includes doable strategies and encouragement for the journey.

Let Them Be Kids helps moms feel confident and equipped with ways to provide a safe, healthy, Christ-centered childhood for their children. It leads them to conquer fear and find truth that transforms them and their families as it reminds them how to enjoy and cherish the special memory-making moments of building family values together.


One night my dad picked me up from my evening piano lessons.
His face was beaming as he said, “I’ve got something for you.”
My little brother John nearly exploded from the station wagon. “Dad has a surprise for you. You’re going to love it so much! It’s what you’ve always wanted.” There were plastic bags from the local grocery store two layers thick on the floor of the car.
John fished around at his feet and handed me the crowning glory: a box of Special K cereal. Not just your run- of- the- mill Special K cereal, oh no. This one had the face of my one and only lifelong hero, Kristi Yamaguchi, the Olympic ice- skating champion, on the front. I didn’t just love Kristi Yamaguchi, I wanted to be her.
As it turned out, this required quite a bit of imagination. I owned exactly zero pairs of ice skates and had never actually seen the inside of an ice-skating rink. But if I wanted to pretend I was Kristi Yamaguchi, then none of that mattered. I did, as it turns out, own a pair of 1980s Walmart-edition, pink-and-teal roller skates. With the neighborhood kids I discovered that if we scrunched all the brooms and old pairs of shoes to one side of the garage, then guess what? The smooth part in the middle was an ideal ice-skating rink! We dragged out the old CD/cassette player and put in the Whitney Houston Greatest Hits CD. I had an absolutely breathtaking routine to “I Will Always Love You.” I had also snuck into Mom’s closet and swiped a pair of nude pantyhose, which, paired with a one-piece bathing suit, made me look as darn near Kristi Yamaguchi as someone could in this life.
At first glance, this little scene of eleven-year-old Kristi Yamaguchi–wannabes seems like nothing. I am here to tell you it’s not nothing.
We were dreaming.
First, moments like that build creativity. I am not a corporate boss of anything, but if I was, I would want employees who could devise a creative ending to a problem. This isn’t an inborn trait like brown eyes. It can be honed, and that’s precisely what is being done in garages with wannabe figure skaters. They are expanding mental creative and imaginative muscles.
Second, moments like these help kids escape in a healthy way. Childhood is wonderful but fraught with real and imagined losses. Things like parental strife, classroom bullies, anxieties about the next stage, loneliness, and heartbreak over a friend who moved.
Using your imagination helps you escape the real life in front of you, carrying you to a different one, just for a bit. No, we can’t and shouldn’t live there, but just for a bit, our minds are transported to a different place, a safer one.
And finally, moments like these help kids dream. It is stretching the muscles to say, “You aren’t this yet, but you could be.” Isn’t this the best gift an imagination can give someone?

Taken from “Let Them Be Kids” by Jessica Smartt. Copyright 2020 by Jessica Smartt. Used with permission from www.thomasnelson.com

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | Christianbook  


Jessica Smartt

Jessica Smartt is a former English teacher turned homeschooling mama of three. A week after her first baby was born, she began her motherhood blog “Smartter” Each Day. Jessica and her husband live in beautiful North Carolina, where she loves hiking with kids (mostly), steaming coffee in the afternoon, family bike rides, and anything that’s ever been done to a potato.

Welcome to Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic, Jessica! Congratulations on your recent release from Harper Collins, 'Let Them Be Kids'.

JUNE:  What inspired you to write this book?

JESSICA:  In the midst of trying to decide what this book (my second in a contract) was going to be, I was listening to a podcast when I heard the statistic that the average age kids see pornography is 11. I immediately thought, we need to save childhood. That was the moment I knew I was writing this book.

JUNE:  How did your career as a teacher and your time in the classroom benefit you as you wrote this book?

JESSICA:  During my first week of teaching I was complaining about the kids and my principal said to be, “Repeat after me: ‘ I am the teacher.’” So many times I hear his voice in my own head and remind myself, I am the mother. I am the one in charge. I set the tone and I make the decisions. I hope I reminded parents that they actually have the power to change anything they want to in their homes.

JUNE:  Did you perform any research while writing this book? Is there anything new that you learned through your research that made you reconsider your vision and/or content for the book?

JESSICA:  I read about 25 books before writing this one . I learned a lot about the affects of technology on children. That was my biggest takeaway.

JUNE:  In this book you write about the ten 'very best gifts' that parents can give to their children. Discuss what you think are the very best gifts children can give to their parents.

JESSICA:  Great question. :) I would say laughter, exercise, hugs, curiosity, the ability to learn things you never actually learned the first time around, and grace when we make mistakes. (which is so often!)

JUNE:  What are your plans for your next writing project? Would you like to someday venture into writing fiction? If you decided to write fiction, in what age groups and genres would you write? What other non-fiction projects are you considering for the future?

 JESSICA:  I probably won’t ever write fiction because I have no imagination! I would love to write more books though. My first book was Memory-Making Mom… maybe there’s a Memory Making Marriage in the future?! Haha.

JUNE:  What adventures would you like to take in the future? Any dream vacations or new hobbies you would like to try?

JESSICA:  Our family wants to travel across the country in our RV!

JUNE:  Thank you for joining us for a chat today, Jessica. Wishing you much in your writing endeavors and great happiness in your family life.


CONNECT WITH JESSICA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram  

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