Announcing the Campaign to get Yankee Magazine to reprint "Private, Parents Keep Out!" by Austin Stevens

Austin Stevens’ book “Private, Parents Keep Out!” is awesome. Its partly an autobiographical tale about his childhood growing up in the farmlands of New Hampshire and partly an instruction manual on how to build treehouses, secret codes, and other great things for kids. If you didn’t read it when you were growing up you are out of luck. The book is out of print and copies are selling for almost $100 on Amazon. I’m starting a campaign to ask Yankee Magazine to reprint this wonderful children’s book. Below is my letter to the editor:

Dear Yankee Publishing,
I’m writing today to implore you to please please reprint Austin Stevens wonderful book “Private, Parents Keep Out!”.

As a child my brother and I would continually search for “Private, Parents Keep Out!” at my local library. And though the pages were torn and the binding was broken we would pour over the pages attempting to soak in all the instructions that Stevens so kindly wrote down for us. We re-read the adventures of Stevens and his friends to ourselves and shared the book with our childhood friends. We built tree houses, forts, and rope swings. We had crab-apple wars and secret clubs. Our boyhood was echoed in the beautiful illustrations and wonderful narrative.

I’m now married with a boy of my own. And so are my childhood friends. I would love to give “Private, Parents Keep Out!” to my child and friend’s children when they are old enough to read.

Now, during a time when “The Dangerous Book for Boys” and “The American Boy’s Handy book” are in their millionth printing, Steven Austins’ “Private, Parents Keep Out” has a built-in market ready to purchase this great book. Used copies of “Private, Parents Keep Out” are selling for almost $100 on Its obviously still very popular. Now is a perfect time to bring this modern classic back to market.

Please reprint Austin Stevens wonderful book “Private, Parents Keep Out!”! I’m good for at least four copies.

 UPDATE 9/27/2011:

I received a personal response from Yankee Publishing president Jamie Trowbridge!

He wrote that, though it was a personal favorite of his, the book was not very successful and they would not be reprinting the book for distribution. However, he did say that maybe technology such as print-on-demand would allow them to bring the book back in some format in the future.

I’d like to thank Mr. Trowbridge for his personal response to my email and I do hope that everyone will be able to purchase copies of this fine book in some format in the near future!

Obituary for Austin Stevens


2 thoughts on “Announcing the Campaign to get Yankee Magazine to reprint "Private, Parents Keep Out!" by Austin Stevens

  1. Ina Clausen

    I own an “original” from it’s first printing that was a delight for my kids (and me) growing up. Now with the next generation I would love to give this book to every parent I know. Sure think it’s not right to scan or photocopy it, and I won’t do that not only because it’s against the law. I sure would put my name on a list to buy several copies. Thank you for your consideration.

  2. Seth Pase

    This was the seminal book of my childhood, and I’ve purchased several used copies to give as gifts–and they are always received with the same enthusiasm I had for mine.

    If Yankee doesn’t want to reprint it and it wasn’t a big moneymaker for them, maybe they would want to sell the rights to a smaller boutique publisher.

    This book is brilliant, and I’m sure it could be a success if it was simply marketed correctly.

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