Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

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Algonquin Books, Apr 22, 2008 - Family & Relationships - 416 pages
 The Book That Launched an International Movement
 
“An absolute must-read for parents.” —The Boston Globe
 
“It rivals Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.” —The Cincinnati Enquirer
 
“I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are,” reports a fourth grader. But it’s not only computers, television, and video games that are keeping kids inside. It’s also their parents’ fears of traffic, strangers, Lyme disease, and West Nile virus; their schools’ emphasis on more and more homework; their structured schedules; and their lack of access to natural areas. Local governments, neighborhood associations, and even organizations devoted to the outdoors are placing legal and regulatory constraints on many wild spaces, sometimes making natural play a crime.

As children’s connections to nature diminish and the social, psychological, and spiritual implications become apparent, new research shows that nature can offer powerful therapy for such maladies as depression, obesity, and attention deficit disorder. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade-point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that childhood experiences in nature stimulate creativity.

In Last Child in the Woods, Louv talks with parents, children, teachers, scientists, religious leaders, child-development researchers, and environmentalists who recognize the threat and offer solutions. Louv shows us an alternative future, one in which parents help their kids experience the natural world more deeply—and find the joy of family connectedness in the process.
 Now includes
A Field Guide with 100 Practical Actions We Can Take 
Discussion Points for Book Groups, Classrooms, and Communities 
Additional Notes by the Author 
New and Updated Research from the U.S. and Abroad

  
 

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User Review  - RR Houise - Christianbook.com

I first read this book as part of a local bookclub. I was skeptical at first as I assumed this would be a tree-hugging directive on how to introduce children to "mother earth." On the contrary, this ... Read full review

Last Child In The Woods

User Review  - crystallite - Overstock.com

What a wonderful frightnigeyeopening book. My fourteen year old granddaughter was shocked to find out how many kids do not know anything nor care to know about nature and the outdoors. It breaks my ... Read full review

Contents

WHY THE YOUNG AND THE REST OF US NEED NATURE
37
THE BEST OF INTENTIONS WHY JOHNNIE AND JEANNIE DONT PLAY OUTSIDE ANYMORE
113
THE NATURECHILD REUNION
161
THE JUNGLE BLACKBOARD
201
WONDER LAND OPENING THE FOURTH FRONTIER
235
TO BE AMAZED
289
NOTES
317
SUGGESTED READING
329
INDEX
333
A FIELD GUIDE TO LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS
345
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About the author (2008)

Richard Louv is a journalist and the author of ten books, including Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, The Nature Principle, and Vitamin N. Translated into twenty languages, his books have helped launch an international movement to connect children, families, and communities to nature. He is cofounder and chair emeritus of the nonprofit Children & Nature Network, which supports a new nature movement. Louv has written for the New York Times, Outside magazine, Orion Magazine, Parents, and many other publications. He appears regularly on national radio and TV, and lectures throughout the world. In 2008, he was awarded the Audubon Medal. Prior recipients have included Rachel Carson, E. O. Wilson, President Jimmy Carter, and Sir David Attenborough.

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