Ana Raquel, Melissa Fay Greene, and Dana Barrett

Melissa Fay Greene is a serious author.  She’s written important books like THERE IS NO ME WITHOUT YOU, PRAYING FOR SHEETROCK and THE TEMPLE BOMBING.  She’s won serious awards like the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, the Georgia Author Award, the Southern Book Critics Circle Award not to mention a couple of nominations for The National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award.  So how did she come to write a funny and heartfelt memoir?  Well, as she puts it, she found herself embedded in the best story of all – the one happening right in her house – where she and husband Donny raised 9 children.  That was 10 editors with veto power over her book NO BIKING IN THE HOUSE WITHOUT A HELMET, but Melissa was fine with that.

Last night at The Atlanta History Center, as part of the Isenberg Lecture Series, Melissa Fay Green kept the large audience laughing as she exuberantly acted out the silly but poignant moments in raising her kids.  While most of the stories revolved around the adopted kids and their adjustment to life in the US, her natural born kids were also a part of the picture she paints of a happy, busy family.

Melissa began her talk by sheepishly admitting to writing a memoir, a word she hates, and genre she has instructed journalism students to stay away from.  But she did it with a big smile on her face. A smile clearly put there by her kids, several of whom were in attendance last night (along with Midtown Review contributor Ana Raquel and myself).

If the talk last night was any indication (and I’m quite sure it was), NO BIKING IN THE HOUSE WITHOUT A HELMET promises to be a wonderful read, full of life and love and inspiration.

For more information on Melissa and her books (and some great pictures of the kids) – check out her website at

And for more information on the great programming at The Atlanta History Center, check out

— Dana Barrett, Managing Editor