The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King

The Good Neighbor

Fred Rogers (1928–2003) was an enormously influential figure in the history of television and in the lives of tens of millions of children. As the creator and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he was a champion of compassion, equality, and kindness. Rogers was fiercely devoted to children and to taking their fears, concerns, and questions about the world seriously.The Good Neighbor, the first full-length biography of Fred Rogers, tells the...

Details The Good Neighbor

TitleThe Good Neighbor
Release DateSep 4th, 2018
PublisherHarry N. Abrams
GenreBiography, Nonfiction, Audiobook, Biography Memoir

Reviews The Good Neighbor

  • Brina
    I grew up watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood, and suffice it to say, most Americans who turned five by 2001 probably did as well. My husband watched the program to help him with his English when he first came to this country. Mister Rogers is by all accounts an American icon, so, when I saw on my goodreads feed a few months back that a new biography on Fred Rogers would be published this year, I knew that it was a book I just had to read. The Go...
  • Matt
    Hello Neighbour! Many of children and adults alike have come to know the wonders of Fred Rogers during a long career in children’s education television. Maxwell King seeks to revive an interest in Mr. Rogers and his extensive impact that touched the lives of thousands over a career that spanned six decades. The young Fred Rogers was quite introverted and bullied, choosing to hide away in his family’s third floor home, where he had his own pup...
  • Katie B
    I recently saw the documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? and absolutely loved it. Like weeping in the middle of a crowded theater type of love which kinda caught me off guard because although I watched Mister Rogers' Neighborhood growing up, it wasn't exactly must see tv for me. But learning more about this man and how much good he put into the world, just really brought up all these emotions in me. While the film focused primarily on the tv show...
  • Dorie - Traveling Sister :)
    I was anxious to read this biography as my older kids really grew up with Mr. Rodgers and I admire him as a person and role model. However the writing in this biography is so mediocre and repetitive that I just can't finish. It's a shame because this could have been so much better.So DNF for me at 60%
  • Rebecca McNutt
    I never watched a ton of Mister Roger's Neighborhood growing up (I was more of an Arthur and Goosebumps type of kid and I lost TV access when I was in the third grade, haven't had cable, satellite or streaming since), but it's impossible not to recognize this endearing guy. More than just a famous TV show host, Fred Rogers truly did care about his viewers by all accounts, and in an unfortunate age of the scandals of Bill Cosby and the illegal stu...
  • Jennifer
    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Rogers had told his young viewers, “my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” Yes, there are. Fred Rogers was proof of that. A man...
  • Hadrian
    I admit I was skeptical, but this was as substantive and wholesome a biography as I could have asked for. If there is one 'takeaway', if any, it is how much Fred Rogers cared about the work of educating children. He paid for his early programs himself, and he steadfastly refused to license any merchandise. He kept an extensive correspondence with the educational psychologists and teachers of his day, and the section which analyzes how he frames a...
  • Bkwmlee
    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor, won’t you be mine, won’t you be mine, won’t you be my neighbor?Just hearing this opening line brings back so many wonderful memories for me! Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was one of the shows I used to watch almost religiously back as a child growing up in the 1980s. Even though I moved on to other shows when I became an adult, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood had left...
  • Jen
    Ok, this book may only "speak" to those from the generations of children in America and Canada who watched Mr. Rogers on TV, but while it will tug on our nostalgia, it will also speak to those today who are tired of negativity everywhere we turn.Mr. Rogers was a breath of fresh air in the past and he is still that today. I am SO GLAD that this wasn't a salacious tell-all about Mr. Rogers. He really WAS the person who sang to his tv neighbors ever...
  • Felicia
    First things first, I listened to the audiobook- which is narrated by LaVar Burton (of Reading Rainbow fame) so that was immediately exciting.Second my biggest complaint has less to do with Roger’s story and more to do with the author of this story. The book is needlessly repetitive, almost as if the author wanted the book to be longer than it needed to be. Several times as the listener I am told the SAME THING. I found this disappointing becau...
  • Elizabeth A.G.
    An American icon in children's television programming, Fred Rogers is portrayed in Maxwell King's book The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers as the same genuine person in his "real life" as the public saw him on TV. We learn of the privileged background, the family ethic of hard work and generosity, the influence of his maternal grandparents, the childhood issues of loneliness as an only child (until his parents adopted his sister w...
  • Beth
    What a disappointment.5 stars for the subject, 1 star for the writing. I tried so hard, but did not finish at 40%.This was so repetitive it's not even funny. It was like a high school term paper that required 1000 words but the student only needed 500 words. So we get filler. Repeatedly. Sometimes the same statement is repeated 3 times in a single chapter with slightly different wording. Great, yeah we know Fred spent a summer in an air condition...
  • Stacie C
    What memories do I have of Fred Rogers? I remember his show and I remember puppets but I don’t remember much of the man. Regardless I was intrigued by this biography and the concept of learning more about this man, whose songs I remember but whose life I do not. I feel like everyone remembers the man in the cardigan but no one knew him. After reading this book I feel like I know him and more than that, I miss him. I wish that I had incorporated...
  • Scott S.
    Another outstanding biography (the short list also includes Matthew Polly's Bruce Lee: A Life and Jonathan Eig's Ali: A Life, in my opinion) published since last autumn, King's The Good Neighbor is a double-barreled salvo in presenting the detailed life story of TV host Fred Rogers AND a certain nostalgia factor for a large but relevant audience from North America. A nice, heartwarming refrain throughout the book was that Rogers was a 'what you s...
  • jeremy
    "i'm very much interested in choices, and what it is that enable us human beings to make the choices we make all through our lives. what choices lead to ethnic cleansing? what choices lead to healing? what choices lead to the destruction of the environment, the erosion of the sabbath, suicide bombings or teenagers shooting teenagers? what choices encourage heroism in the midst of chaos?" the good neighbor: the life and work of fred rogers is a co...
  • Paul
    At the heart of this work lies the questions: How did Fred Rogers do it? How did he create hundreds and hundreds of shows over the course of three decades? Part of it was his family’s wealth, that allowed him to adopt great patience and perfectionism. But it was also a lineage of renowned child psychologists, from Doctor Spock to Margaret McFarland, who gave input into many of the challenging subjects that Rogers tackled over the years. The mos...
  • Abby Johnson
    What a great book and a terrific audio recording. Pair LeVar Burton with Mr. Rogers and it's nostalgiafest 2018 (in a good way!). If you grew up watching Mr. Rogers, this is a must read.
  • Monnie
    Our two children, born nearly five years apart in the 1960s, were dedicated "Sesame Street" and "Electric Company" kids. But that was long enough ago that every once in a while they'd catch an episode or two of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" as well. And while I, too, tended to prefer the blinkin' lights, in-your-face constant action of those first two, I admit that the calmness and serenity that Fred Rogers brought to his show was very welcome. W...
  • Jen
    Subject: 5 starsWriting: 3 starsWhen I saw the ARC of this title pop up in Edelweiss, I almost broke my finger hitting the download button, since I had just been talking to my husband about how there weren't any really great biographies of Mister Rogers out there. Unfortunately . . . that might still be true. I feel like the book accomplished what a biography should, in that I now know much more than I did about how Mister Rogers came to be Miste...
  • Hannah
    I have a hard time calling Fred Rogers anything but Mister Rogers, and that speaks to how much of a cultural symbol he has become for anyone who grew up watching his show--it’s difficult to believe that beyond the Neighborhood, there was a real man who had worries and troubles of his own. King’s loving portrait shines a light on the complexity of Rogers’s life while also revealing that off-camera there was a man just as kind and tender as h...
  • Books on Stereo
    The Good Neighbor is a tenderly, written homage to a well-know, yet obscure figure, but subsequently, is far to long and overly repetitive.
  • Amy
    I always wondered why there was never a full biography done on Fred Rogers, a man who was very influential in my childhood, and I finally have an answer. He always thought that the focus should be on the children; he never wanted "it" to be about him. However, it has now been over 15 years since the passing of Mr. Rogers and in order to keep his legacy going, his family and close friends realized that a biography needed to be published. Hence, th...
  • Patty Smith
    Thanks to Netgalley, Abrams Press, and Maxwell King for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advanced copy.Fred Rogers is beloved by millions of people - children, now adults, who remember Mr. Rogers with fondness. His program was the most successful children’s program on public television due to his vision, commitment and singular ability to talk to children on their lev...
  • Passenger B.
    Testament of an extraordinary man who was a leading example of kindness and on how to be a more compassionate, helpful and overall better human being. The writing leaves a little something to desire (for me) here and there which is why I gave it 4.5 stars instead of 5. But overall this is definitely one of the better biographies I've read, especially of the ones I read that were published this year. An absolute keeper!
  • Karen
    This is the wonderful story of a wonderful man. Loved this audiobook and its narration by Levar Burton.
  • debbicat ☮~Traveling Sister
    5 stars! I love it! I requested this title from NetGalley just a few days before it was published, after seeing it on my home feed a few times on GoodReads. I instantly knew I would love it after only reading a few pages. I did not get to complete it before the publish date, but I got a notification from Hoopla, the library app, that it was available in ebook and audio. I thought I'd check the audio out as I am in the car a lot for my commute. So...
  • Vicki
    An enjoyable listen with Levar Burton narrating. While the author sometimes repeats the same story or quote in more than one chapter, overall this is an informative and entertaining biography of a man who's influence is still felt 15 years after his death.
  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    Fred Rogers is my hero. He’s kind and gentle and clever and, best of all, he listens. I read this book with trepidation. Would my hero be dethroned? Would this be the story of a person wildly different from the Mister Rogers I adore?I can tell you, happily, that it is not. Every person, without exception, who met Rogers found him to be exactly as he presented himself on television. He wasn’t a saint—-sometimes he lost his temper and he had ...
  • lit.erary.britt
    This meticulously written biography chronicles Mr. Rogers’s life and career as a pioneering children’s entertainer and educator. He was honest with children in a way they could understand without making them feel small. I sincerely wish I had watched him more as a child. LeVar Burton was the perfect narrator choice, however, due to the book’s pacing, I had to speed up the audio to 1.75x.