“In A Good Time to Be Born, [Klass] takes the most complex human patterns of all—history, medicine, politics, art—and knits them into something unique and beautiful.”

—The New York Times

A Good Time To Be Born

How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future


The fight against child mortality that transformed parenting, doctoring and the way we live.

Only one hundred years ago, even in the world’s wealthiest nations, children died in great numbers—of diarrhea, diphtheria and measles, of scarlet fever and meningitis. Culture was shaped by these deaths; diaries and letters recorded them, poets and writers wrote about and lamented them. Not even the high and mighty could escape: presidents and titans of industry lost their children, the poor and powerless lost theirs even more frequently.


The near-conquest of infant and child mortality is one of our greatest human achievements. Perri Klass pulls the story together for the first time, paying tribute to scientists, public health advocates, and groundbreaking women doctors who brought new scientific ideas about sanitation and vaccination to families. Thanks to their work, early death is now the exception, bringing about a massive transformation in society and freeing parents to worry a lot more about a lot less.


Book talk: Reach Out and Read

October 28, 2020

4:00 pm EDT

Join Reach Out and Read National Medical Director Dr. Perri Klass in a conversation about science, public health and the fight against child mortality that transformed parenting, doctoring and the way we live. Dr. Klass will be joined by Dr. Eileen Costello for a rich conversation on the findings in Klass's recently published book, A Good Time to Be Born. 

RSVP here; registration is limited.

Why Crafting Matters: Windsor, CT, Public Library

October 29, 2020

6:00 pm EDT

If you’re turning to crafting while at home this year, you’re not alone. We craft because it feels good. Listen to New York Times columnist and award-winning author Dr. Perri Klass talk via Zoom about the importance of crafting during emotionally intense times. You are welcome to craft along with us while at home.

A prolific knitter, Dr. Klass writes about her time training as a pediatrician: “I had a lot to say about the ways that knitting mattered to me during those emotionally intense years of taking care of very sick children, those sleep-deprived years of long nights in the hospital."

Register here.

Children's Mental Health During a Pandemic:
Windsor, CT, Public Library

November 2, 2020

6:00 pm EST

Perri Klass, Professor of Journalism and Pediatrics at New York University and Co-Director of NYU Florence, writes the weekly column, “The Checkup,” for the New York Times Science Section.

Recent topics have included Helping Children with Pandemic Grief,” “How Children’s Sleep Habits Have Changed in the Pandemic,” and “When Things Aren’t OK with a Child’s Mental Health” and she will be speaking with the Windsor Public Library audience via Zoom about your children’s mental health during the pandemic.

Register here.