The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman Book Review

The Kingdom Of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman is one of those books with a subject that makes your skin crawl, but is a train wrecking told so spellbindingly that it’s impossible to set down.

The Kingdom of Childhood, Book Cover, Rebecca Coleman, White House, red roof, tree trunks

The Kingdom of Childhood

Judy McFarland is a kindergarten teacher at Waldorf, a Steiner-philosophy based school, which centers on protecting innocence, no sharp corners, no consumerism, and no delicious food, instead they eat organic crap. Anyways Judy is having a midlife crisis. Her husband won’t sex her. She’s feeling old and ugly. Then a teenager, Zach Patterson, who is dealing with his own family problems, pays Judy a bit of attention, setting off a Mary Kay LeTourneau type relationship.

Guys, I was so disgusted but could not look away. Obviously, I talk to some of you about the generals of what I do. But it sickens me that anyone, even a fictional character, could find a teenager under the age of consent sexually attractive. And okay, obviously it’s different when you are a teenager and you find other teenagers attractive. But okay, as an adult I realize there is a huge fucking divide between me and a teenager. I also realize that I know a lot more about the way of the world than someone whose parents still pay their bills.

I found it so odd that Judy teaches at Waldorf, this school that specializes in protecting innocence, but has zero qualms about doing a teenage boy. I felt horrible for Zach is definitely not emotionally a man or even remotely ready for a sexual relationship with his teacher. And yet, he’s basically coereced into it, and Judy is such a manipulative witch. Oh man. I could type on and on about her. However, I just want to put it out there that statistically men are more frequently the perpetrator, women can be perpetrators too. I thought it was an interesting dynamic for Coleman to write about. I felt she was realistic and didn’t try to romanticize the relationship between teacher and student.

The Kingdom Of Childhood is layered and comprised of metaphors, deeper meaning, and symbolism wrapped up in an entertaining package. Coleman’s book definitely made me think deeper and on the setting context of the novel (during the Monica Lewinsky scandal of the Clinton Era). I think The Kingdom of Childhood is a very interesting read, if not for the icky relationship.

Disclosure: Received for review at BEA

Other Reviews of The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman:

Jenn’s Bookshelves
Write Meg!
Alive On The Shelves

Purchase The Kingdom of Childhood here.*Clicking link will take you to Amazon because even though they are evil corporate overlords, it’s really easy to be an affiliate there and I totally am, so if you click the link and buy random things, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.


About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Now I know what you mean by the subject matter making your skin crawl. *shudder* The whole idea of the school is intriguing, though.

  2. As someone who works in a school. I usually find that working with the students only furthers the divide between student and adult. I bet reading about the relationship was like watching a train wreck…eww…

  3. I didn’t want to read it mainly because it was being touted as ‘controversial’. The marketing really turned me off.

  4. This sounds like a similar premise to Notes on a Scandal, which I loved, so I am definitely interested in this one. Although I agree with you, I find it very hard to understand how it is possible for an adult to be sexually attracted to a teenager.


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