Who’s Raising The Kids?

Big Tech, Big Business and the Lives of Children           


A guide on changing course both individually and as a society, by an experienced
activist; a must-read.

—Starred Review, Library Journal

An eye-opening and disturbing exploration of how marketing tech to children is
creating a passive, dysfunctional generation…. A must-read for any parent.
—Starred Review, Kirkus

A stunning examination of how marketing, technology, and consumer capitalism
impact the well-being of children…This is a must-read for parents and educators.
—Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

In Who’s Raising the Kids? Linn—one of the world’s leading experts on the impact of Big Tech and big business on children—explores the roots and consequences of this monumental shift toward a digitized, commercialized childhood, focusing on kids’ values, relationships, and learning. From birth, kids have become lucrative fodder for a range of tech, media, and toy companies, from producers of exploitative games and social media platforms to “educational” technology and branded school curricula of dubious efficacy.

Written with humor and compassion, Who’s Raising the Kids? is unique—a highly readable social critique and guide to protecting kids from exploitation by the tech, toy, and entertainment industries. Linn provides a deep and eye-opening dive into exactly how new technologies enable huge conglomerates to transform young children into lifelong consumers by infiltrating their lives and influencing their values, relationships and learning. She persuasively argues that our digitized-commercialized culture is damaging for kids and families as well as society at large, and maps out what we must do to change course.

Buy the Book



09/13/2022 New York Times

10/22/2002  New York Post

11/20/2022  Fair Observer

02/24/2023  Early Learning Nation

03/03/2023  AI and Faith


09/22/2022 1000 Hours Outside

10/03/2022 Book Lust with Nancy Pearl (My sister!)

10/03 2O22 Old Fashioned on Purpose

10/09/2022 The Ralph Nader Radio Hour

11/15/2022 Janet Lansbury's Unruffled





The Case for Make Believe

Saving Play in a Commercialized World


The Case for Make Believe" is a wonderful look at how playing can heal children, how in "pretend-worlds" they can find their truest selves. As for Linn, she's an inspiringly playful woman whose compassion and fierce advocacy for kids is on every page of this terrific book.
- The Boston Globe

In The Case for Make Believe, Linn argues that while play is crucial to human development and children are born with an innate capacity for make believe, the convergence of ubiquitous technology and unfettered commercialism actually prevents them from playing. In modern-day America, nurturing creative play is not only counter-cultural - it threatens corporate profits.

Both timely and important, The Case for Make Believe helps readers understand how crucial child's play is - and what parents and educators can do to protect it. At the heart of the book are stories of children at home, in school, and at a therapist's office playing about real-life issues from entering kindergarten to a sibling's death, revealing feelings they can't express directly, and making meaning of an often confusing world.

Even as the best selling toys are tools for advertising films, apps, video games and TV programs, and screens are marketing as brain-builders for babies Linn lays out the inextricable links between play, creativity, and health, showing us how and why to preserve the space for make believe that children need to be happy and to become productive adults.

Buy the Book


Consuming Kids

A cri de coeur on behalf of people too young to suspect how their ‘share of mind’ is being jealously divided . . . Linn does a fine job of exposing the wickedness of preying commercially on the young.
– The Wall Street Journal

A measured, but ultimately devastating, critique of consumerism and American childhood.
– Mother Jones

In Consuming Kids, psychologist Susan Linn takes a comprehensive and unsparing look at the demographic advertisers call "the kid market," taking readers on a compelling and disconcerting journey through modern childhood as envisioned by commercial interests. Children are now the focus of a marketing maelstrom, targets for everything from minivans to M&M counting books. All aspects of children's lives—their health, education, creativity, and values—are at risk of being compromised by their status in the marketplace.

Interweaving real-life stories of marketing to children, child development theory, the latest research, and what marketing experts themselves say about their work, Consuming Kids reveals the magnitude of this problem and shows what can be done about it.

Buy the Book

Dr. Susan Linn

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   @drsusanlinn