No Biking in the House Without a Helmet
Publication Date: April 2011
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Greene is best known for her books on the civil rights movement and the African HIV/AIDS pandemic. But Melissa and her husband have also pursued a more private vocation: parenthood. When the number of children hit nine, Greene took a break from reporting. She trained her journalist's eye upon events at home. Fisseha was riding a bike down the basement stairs; out on the porch, a squirrel was sitting on Jesse's head; vulgar posters had erupted on bedroom walls; the insult "niftam" (the Amharic word for "snot") had led to fistfights; and four non-native-English-speaking teenage boys were researching, on Mom's computer, the subject of "saxing."
"At first I thought one of our trombone players was considering a change of instrument," writes Greene. "Then I remembered: they can't spell."
Using the tools of her trade, she uncovered the true subject of the "saxing" investigation, inspiring the chapter "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, but Couldn't Spell."
A celebration of parenthood; an ingathering of children, through birth and out of loss and bereavement; a relishing of moments hilarious and enlightening "No Biking in the House Without a Helmet" is a loving portrait of a unique twenty first-century family as it wobbles between disaster and joy.
"An upbeat chronicle of a life that has been lived on the bright side of the road, its ruts beveled by naked love." ---Kirkus