No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: CDN$ 3.23

Save CDN$ 16.72 (84%)

includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
Read this title for free. Learn more
Read for Free
with Kindle Unlimited
OR

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

The Meaning of Children by [Akerman, Beverly]
Kindle App Ad

The Meaning of Children Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
CDN$ 3.23

Length: 230 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

Kindle Featured Deals
Browse Kindle featured deals from our publishers. See more.

Product Description

Review

“Fluid and masterful [with] wonderful little insights throughout... a keen, incisive vision into the hidden world of children as well as intimate knowledge of the secret spaces that exist between the everyday events of life. There is knowledge here, knowledge of those important, life-defining moments. Overall, a work with a brilliant sense of story.” (JOANNE SOPER-COOK, judge, David Richards Adams Prize)

“Oh, it’s lovely. I like it when my body responds to writing; right now there’s an ache in my throat.” (EarLit Shorts)

Book Description

Emotional and tightly written, with a resistance to the happy ending, and the idea there is often something or someone waiting for the small mistake.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 424 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007H067R6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #409,866 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

click to open popover

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
3
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By Brenda TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 24 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
The Meaning of Children by Beverly Akerman is a beautiful arrangement. This collection is filled with mesmerizing pieces that left me wanting more. Very precise and well-written, each story was its own special jewels in a sea of treasures that captivated my interest, took me in and never let go.

So many relatable and realistic moments. I loved the ease in which the author writes. She shares from a place which seems personal/private.

There is a real life force in these stories and they didn't feel like fiction. The descriptions and clear language made me feel that this was as authentic as it gets.

 I was drawn in and read from front to back in one pleasurable sitting. My interest was sparked from the start. The Meaning of Children is a great escape into the unknown.
One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
At times chance enters our lives and we encounter moments created by a wordsmith that, like it or not, raise memories and experiences that we have either experienced, watched, heard about, or dreamed and the stories in Beverly Akerman's book of short stories THE MEANING OF CHILDREN do just that. They slowly creep into our psyches, clutch a holding place, and stay with us permanently. This collection of the whispers and screams, longings and needs of being a child and the responses of those closest to that child are the works of a magician, a writer of such substance that she is obviously headed to the top echelon of writers of our time.

Some critics are saying that this book is about the underappreciated world of women and perhaps that stance is valid: there certainly are enough tales of anorgasmia, to abortion, to preparing to say the final goodbye to a dying child to the vagaries of holding a household together despite the external (an internal) flaws that creep into crack marriages. But I don't see men being put into negative places just to serve the purpose of making a collection of stories hang together with a theme. No, these stories are all about the influence of bringing a child into the world and the benefits and consequences of the way life changes because of that. And overriding everything else is the panoply of forms of love that transcend all else.

I like the way the author (or agent or some caring one who seeks to gain our attention to this book) states it: `...
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed The Meaning of Children so much that I wished there were twice as many stories! If I had to pick one, Pour Un Instant was my favourite. I was sad to come to the end of the book.
One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. the stories are touching without being overly maudlin. It's a true literary feat while remaining a fairly light, pleasurable read.
One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa3a19ac8) out of 5 stars 25 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3a45528) out of 5 stars I can't stop thinking about this book May 2 2012
By Martin Crosbie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's been over a week since I read this collection of short stories and the characters are still with me.
These are stories about real people, real children, teenagers, adults, in real times. I went through a whole range of emotions when I read them, some good, some not so good. When the child was sitting on the stairs listening to her parents, I was right there with her. When the adult was sitting by the lake contemplating what happened years before and looking at her present day life, I was sitting across from her, doing the same thing. I can't remember a book, let alone a collection of short stories, where I could identify so heavily with the emotions and feelings of the characters.
As far as I'm concerned, this is what good writing, and a good book, should do for you. Yes, it entertained for sure, but it made me think and remember.

If you enjoy quality writing and a book that will make you think about where you've been and where you're going read The Meaning Of Children.
Highly recommended.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3a45774) out of 5 stars A life-altering read is so rare for a writer ... May 25 2012
By Michelle Greysen / Professional Freelance Writer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I reviewed this title on my Blog a while back and as you will read it has altered my own thoughts on childhood recollections. Thrilled to not only own a personally signed copy but to now have an iPad version to re-read these haunting stories. Not only for people with children, but for anyone who was ever a child.

Some excerpts from my blog review pasted here (to read more visit my web site and blog):

"... A life-altering read is so rare for me, and I imagine for many writers, with a critical eye often hard to keep closed while hoping to get caught up and swept away while reading fiction for pleasure ... This collection of short stories is her debut into the fiction book world after a solid career in molecular genetics research. Her stories are as diverse as her changing career path and yet string together a theme as connected as a genetic chain.

Very few times in my life resonate so strongly to a past and a childhood that has me always facing forward and rarely wanting to look back. As I read Akerman's book instantly I am that child on the first page, in the first sentence, whose parents "When the arguing started would get louder and louder, till they broke into my dreams." As the stories moved along I, like her character, realized how much I learned from eavesdropping during the arguments, and sadly like the child I too knew "... where the patched holes were in the walls" and that "... it would be smarter to keep my opinions to myself." In the next few tales the loneliness hit home of a child walking along to school wishing for her own puppy and that she could write a book and feeling very misunderstood by grown-ups. The stories continued to remind me of the confusion of growing up and not knowing, as the author puts it, how to ask the questions that needed answers.
The middle year stories remind the reader of the challenges and fears of raising our children, the uncertainty of it all, the fragility of life, and the strength or disappointment in our partnership deals we make and break which we had hoped would have carried us up through it all. Heartache over loss, the loss of youth, loss of freedom, the loss of some piece of our very being and mostly the vulnerability of childhood and how it plagues on the greater vulnerability of a marriage.
As the book makes it to the end years we are taken into that empty space children leave behind as the writer reminds us about "... those reasonable accommodations that permitted long-term marriages to endure." There is a questioning of failures that comes with age and sometimes a loneliness stashed deep below the lies people told themselves necessary as if "... sleep-walking through life, anesthetized."
Children weave their way through every tale, conceived in honor or shame, lost and found and lost again, passed on, passed over, and always sparking the reader to question where in all these stories sits their own story. I found a small part of my own child- like self in every tale but mostly I felt compelled to alter the stark realities of Akerman's haunting characters, too late to alter my own."

Thanks Beverly for a great read!

Michelle Greysen
Professional Freelance Writer
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3a45738) out of 5 stars Akerman takes you back April 18 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Akerman takes you back to the time you were a child. No matter you did not grow up in Montreal or Jewish, the situations, conflicts, joys and fears are universal. Akerman grounds emotions with rich descriptions and a strong sense of place.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3a45a2c) out of 5 stars The Meaning of Children Jan. 16 2013
By Flowergirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Meaning of Children
By Beverly Akerman

My first impression of the book was, "Wow, this woman can write." The author's descriptions of settings are so vivid that I felt as if I was standing in the scenes of her stories.

In The Meaning of Children Ms. Akerman uses a series of short vignettes to explore innocence, violence and the human condition. For most of us certain scenes from childhood stand out as vivid memories. This book is a series of such memories--each of pivotal points in the life of a child.

This is not light reading as the stories deal with issues of self-image and sexuality by dramatizing how one seemingly small incident can shape a woman's image of herself and her interpretation of reality. However, I recommend The Meaning of Children to anyone who is a student of human nature.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3a45a8c) out of 5 stars Profound Vignettes of, about, or because of Children July 29 2012
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
At times chance enters our lives and we encounter moments created by a wordsmith that, like it or not, raise memories and experiences that we have either experienced, watched, heard about, or dreamed and the stories in Beverly Akerman's book of short stories THE MEANING OF CHILDREN do just that. They slowly creep into our psyches, clutch a holding place, and stay with us permanently. This collection of the whispers and screams, longings and needs of being a child and the responses of those closest to that child are the works of a magician, a writer of such substance that she is obviously headed to the top echelon of writers of our time.

Some critics are saying that this book is about the underappreciated world of women and perhaps that stance is valid: there certainly are enough tales of anorgasmia, to abortion, to preparing to say the final goodbye to a dying child to the vagaries of holding a household together despite the external (an internal) flaws that creep into crack marriages. But I don't see men being put into negative places just to serve the purpose of making a collection of stories hang together with a theme. No, these stories are all about the influence of bringing a child into the world and the benefits and consequences of the way life changes because of that. And overriding everything else is the panoply of forms of love that transcend all else.

I like the way the author (or agent or some caring one who seeks to gain our attention to this book) states it: `...a girl discovers a fear of heights as her parents' marriage unravels; a thirty-something venture fund manager frets over his daughter's paternity; an orphan whose hands kill whatever they touch is accused of homophobia; a mother of two can only bear to consider abortion in the second person; the wife of a retirement-aged professor finds him unconscious near his computer...The Meaning Of Children speaks to all who--though aware the world can be a very dark place--can't help but long for redemption.' I like this because in the end words fail in attempting to share the variety of emotions this book induces. Beverly Akerman simply knows how to write. She understands contemporary vernacular and uses it to embroider her stories, not to be `with it' like so many authors who seem to need to fill the quota of expletives. She also knows when to leave a story alone, to just let it lift itself and slip out the window, carrying the impact of our emotional changes with it.

Enough said. This is a book of rare sensitivity and masterful creative writing and must surely be shared with as many friends and fellow readers as possible. Grady Harp, July 12