Moral Low Ground


Children’s Book Titled “Go the Fuck to Sleep” Reaches #1 on Amazon Bestseller List

A provocatively-titled “children’s book for adults” is number one on’s bestseller list, and it won’t even be published until this October.

“Go the Fuck to Sleep” is the creation of Bay Area author Adam Mansbach and illustrator Ricardo Cortés. Mansbach’s previous body of work includes other books with eyebrow-raising titles, like “Angry Black White Boy” and “The End of the Jews.”













Laughing Squid ran this description of the book:

Go the Fuck to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate, and radically honest, California Book Award-winning author Adam Mansbach’s verses perfectly capture the familiar–and unspoken–tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. In the process, they open up a conversation about parenting, granting us permission to admit our frustrations, and laugh at their absurdity.

According to the New York Times, “Go the Fuck to Sleep” began as a whim. Last June, Mansbach posted on his Facebook wall to “look out for my forthcoming children’s book, ‘Go the Fuck to Sleep.'” His two-year-old daughter Vivien was exasperating him with her refusals to go to sleep; the author says it sometimes took up to two hours to get her to go to bed. It was out of this frustration that the idea for a book was born.

So positive were his Facebook friends’ response to his wall post that Mansbach decided to make his idea a reality. Then something funny happened: months before the book is set to appear on bookshelves, it soared to the top of’s bestseller list on the strength of pre-sales and, in most likelihood, a bit of electronic bootlegging.

It turns out that a 32-page PDF copy of “Go the Fuck to Sleep” has been making the internet rounds. This is both a blessing and a curse. The viral nature of the piracy means that the book is generating massive buzz, which can only lead to more legit sales. Still, Ibrahim Ahmad, senior editor at Akashic Books (which is publishing Mansbach’s book), told the Bay Citizen that “with a PDF, you can make so many duplicates and people have just been forwarding it.” Every person who gets their hands on a PDF of the book is probably less likely to purchase a legal copy.

Still, on the whole, the controversy surrounding the book will probably end up benefiting its author. According to the Bay Citizen and Variety, Fox 2000 has even optioned film rights for the book.

We bet Mansbach is hoping all the buzz– and all the controversy–  won’t be going the fuck to sleep anytime soon.

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