Welcome to the spiritual neighborhood of Fred Rogers
“I like you as you are
Exactly and precisely
I think you turned out nicely
And I like you as you are.”
Fred Rogers fiercely believed that all people deserve love. This conviction wasn’t simply sentimental: it came directly from his Christian faith. God, he insisted, loves us just the way we are.
In Exactly as You Are, Shea Tuttle looks at Fred Rogers’s life, the people and places that made him who he was, and his work through Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. She pays particular attention to his faith—because Fred Rogers was a deeply spiritual person, ordained by his church with a one-of-a-kind charge: to minister to children and families through television.
Tuttle explores this kind, influential, sometimes surprising man: the neighborhood he came from, the neighborhood he built, and the kind of neighbor he, by his example, calls all of us to be. Throughout, Tuttle shows how he was guided by his core belief: that God loves children, and everyone else, exactly as they are.
— Booklist Review
“Fred Rogers was everybody’s favorite neighbor, but he was also, as he once said of himself, ‘a composer, piano player, writer, television producer, performer, husband, and father.’ He was an ordained Presbyterian minister, too, and, Tuttle adds in this affectionate biography, ‘a man of complexity.’. . . To his often-asked question, ‘Won’t you be my neighbor?’ readers will doubtless offer a resounding ‘yes’ to both the question and this charming biography.”
“Exactly as You Are: The Life and Faith of Mister Rogers will prove of interest to theologians and Gen-Xers alike (and perhaps even to other generations).”
“Tuttle’s satisfying biography provides a keen sense of the deeply religious forces behind a classic TV show and its widely lauded creator.”
Library Journal (starred review)
“An enjoyable biography of a man many people believed they knew from his daily show. This warmly written volume will surely delight his many fans.”
Shea Tuttle is co-editor of Can I Get a Witness: Thirteen Peacemakers, Community Builders, and Agitators for Faith and Justice (Eerdmans, 2019). She holds an M.Div. from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Shea lives in Virginia with her family.