*By Sabrina James
Some of our favorite children's books show fiercely independent kids getting into shenanigans and making it home safe, but their antics would not fly in real life. In case you needed proof that times have changed, here are some true parenting mishaps that didn't have such happy endings.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, 1964In the book: Charlie visits a newspaper shop alone after finding money on his walk home from school. There, he buys the "golden ticket."Today: A Long Island, New York, mom is arrested for allegedly letting her 7-year-old son play in the Lego store alone while she shops in the mall.
Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary, 1955In the book: Four-year-old Ramona wanders away from home alone, seeking the end of a rainbow. Police bring her back to her parents.Today: An 8-year-old boy walks a half mile by himself to a Family Dollar store in Ohio instead of getting into his church van. Police arrest his dad for child endangerment.
The Berenstain Bears and The Truth by Stan & Jan Berenstain, 1983In the book: While Papa Bear is at work and Mama Bear is out shopping, Brother Bear and Sister Bear are left at home. They accidentally break a lamp and lie about it.Today: A mother in Louisville, Kentucky, leaves her children, ages 5 and 7, home alone while she works. She's arrested when a maintenance worker alerts police.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, 1972In the book: Peter, a 9-year-old boy living in New York City, is allowed to walk to Central Park without an adult, as long as he's with another kid.Today: Child Protective Services investigates a Maryland couple for child neglect when they let their children, ages 10 and 6, walk a mile home from a local park.
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