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Education Reporter

Book Review
30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family, Rebecca Hagelin, Regnery 2009, 256 pp., $24.95

The 30 chapters of this book overflow not only with sobering statistics and information for parents, but also with encouragement, inspiration, and practical advice to equip parents to rescue their children from the rising tide of corruption in American culture. Rebecca Hagelin has two sons in college and a daughter in high school. She is a fellow of the Heritage Foundation, a Townhall.com columnist and the author of Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture That's Gone Stark Raving Mad.

Hagelin brings to this book her wisdom as a seasoned parent, her wide and deep reading on culture and parenting, and a refreshingly positive attitude. Without ever minimizing the seriousness of modern threats to parental authority and beliefs, Hagelin expresses unfailing confidence in the power families have to love their children, strengthen them, and build their characters.

Every chapter presents readers with a tangible, practical step they can take that very day to build up and protect their children. "Committing to the daily battle isn't about being confrontational all the time," Hagelin writes. "It's about upholding standards and morality in such a way that all of the children who come into your home feel as if they are truly loved — as if they are part of a family that cares about them enough to challenge the status quo." Each chapter also contains a wonderful list of resources that readers can turn to for further help.

Hagelin has filled the book with inspiring stories from parents who have improved their relationships with their teenagers and stood firm against the cultural forces endeavoring to pit parents and teens against each other. She also frequently quotes young people who relate how much similar efforts by their parents have meant to them.

One of the best such passages is the alternate introduction to the book, written by Hagelin's own 16-year-old daughter, Kristin. Kristin Hagelin writes movingly of her parents' character, faith, and dedication to their family: "The most important thing my parents gave us is their example. They showed us how to live, how to love, and what it means to have faith." While Kristin's mother freely admits her imperfections and her regrets over mistakes she has made while raising her children, it is obvious that she lives the principles she writes about in this book.

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