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BOOK REVIEW: LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS:
SAVING OUR CHILDREN FROM
NATURE-DEFICIT DISORDER
BY RICHARD LOUV

We hope you enjoy this book review by Caryn St. Clair.

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Author Louv's book, Last Child in the Woods Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, is a nostalgic look back at a simpler childhood, a wake up call for parents and a guide for both teachers and parents alike all rolled into one thorough yet very readable book. In the introduction, Louv quotes one of his sons asking, “Dad, why was it more fun when you were a kid?” That question triggered a lengthy discussion which led Louv to examine what society has done to essentially cut today's children off from nature.

Although the book is divided into seven chapters, the topics covered basically fall into five categories: Why children need to play outdoors and be exposed to nature, Why children are not exposed to nature anymore and how we got to this point, How parents, teachers and anyone else in contact with children can change this situation, The spiritual side of communing with nature and finally, How to enlist the government in bringing about change.

The book is a chatty discussion of each topic with personal examples from the author's own experiences, as well as a sort of “how to” manual. First published in 2005, this new edition has been updated with the latest research and now contains three wonderful appendix. The first is titled Notes from the Field, which covers the movement to get kids and nature reacquainted. The second is 100 Actions We Can Take, a list of literally 100 ideas that individuals can take to become more nature oriented. It is divided into sections for families (with a book list included), communities, and educators. The third section is Discussion Points for people wishing to join together to work for change in communities or schools.

This is an extremely well thought out and user friendly book. It's one that anyone, whether you have a child living with you or not, would benefit from reading and keeping handy as a reference book.

REVIEWED BY CARYN ST. CLAIR

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, CARYN ST. CLAIR


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