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Last Child in the Woods : Saving Our…
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Last Child in the Woods : Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Richard Louv

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1,307315,970 (4.03)20
Member:bren
Title:Last Child in the Woods : Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
Authors:Richard Louv
Info:Algonquin Books (2005), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:nature, children, philosophy

Work details

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv (2005)

  1. 10
    Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) by Lenore Skenazy (sylvatica)
  2. 00
    Zero Decibels: The Quest for Absolute Silence by George M Foy (Musecologist)
    Musecologist: Part of the issue with encountering the self in nature - and silence - is that there are fewer and fewer places for the ordinary person to do so.
  3. 00
    Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education (Nature Literacy Series, Vol. 1) (Nature Literacy) by David Sobel (sylvatica)
    sylvatica: Louv references Sobel a couple of times. Read the original!
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» See also 20 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Okay, actually I read most of this book last year, but then it disappeared mysteriously -- until I finally discovered it behind the couch! It took a while to get back into the train of thought I'd left weeks (months?) ago, but I was very glad to finally finish it.

This was a life-changing book in many ways. It was one of those perfect books just two steps ahead of the reader's brain -- I was more than ready to agree with nearly everything contained within. And that covers a lot of ground! From research suggesting that exposure to nature is essential to a child's development to how sprawl and lawsuit-paranoid land-use policies have restricted this access to groups working to bring exposure to nature into the schools and into neighborhoods to play quality in "traditional" playgrounds vs natural areas to the effect of teaching environmentalism with an exclusively global focus while neglecting local flora & fauna and a sense of connection to place... It's exhaustive! But never exhausting. Each chapter spawned new ideas and grew new connections in my brain. The author made a deliberate effort to focus on causes for hope and suggestions for action, which I well appreciated.

I would recommend this book to anyone. Anyone with kids or who knows kids. Anyone interested in nature or the environment. Anyone interested in education. Anyone interested in changing the world and who dares to hope. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
An interesting discussion flogged to to death. A book half as long would have been twice as persuasive. However, worth reading if you have an interest in biophilia (whether or not you've ever heard of the word...). ( )
  nandadevi | May 3, 2014 |
Although this book has been around for years, I recently had the opportunity to listen to an audio version. It is a convincing and powerful book with a very focused message about children and the environment. What I found most interesting was the way Louv describes the positive consequences of outdoor play, nature education and creativity on both an individual and global scale (and the horror of the flip side). This continues to be an auspicious and pertinent message; a must-read for parents and educators. ( )
  St.CroixSue | Apr 4, 2014 |
Although this book has been around for years, I recently had the opportunity to listen to an audio version. It is a convincing and powerful book with a very focused message about children and the environment. What I found most interesting was the way Louv describes the positive consequences of outdoor play, nature education and creativity on both an individual and global scale (and the horror of the flip side). This continues to be an auspicious and pertinent message; a must-read for parents and educators. ( )
  StaffReads | Apr 4, 2014 |
A powerful bit of pleading for letting the kids outside. ( )
  Turrean | Feb 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
There was a child who went forth every day, And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became, And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day, Or for many years or stretching cycles of years. The early lilacs became part of this child, And grass and red and white morning glories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird, And the Third-month lambs and the sow's pink-faint litter, and the mare's foal, and the cow's calf,....
--Walt Whitman
I like to play indoors better 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are. --A fourth-grader in San Diego
Dedication
For Jason and Matthew
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One evening, when my boys were younger, Matthew, then ten, looked at me from across a restaurant table and said quite seriously, Dad, how come it was more fun when you were a kid?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 156512605X, Paperback)

"I like to play indoors better 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are," reports a fourth-grader. Never before in history have children been so plugged in—and so out of touch with the natural world. In this groundbreaking new work, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation—he calls it nature deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as rises in obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and depression.

Some startling facts: By the 1990s the radius around the home where children were allowed to roam on their own had shrunk to a ninth of what it had been in 1970. Today, average eight-year-olds are better able to identify cartoon characters than native species, such as beetles and oak trees, in their own community. The rate at which doctors prescribe antidepressants to children has doubled in the last five years, and recent studies show that too much computer use spells trouble for the developing mind.

Nature-deficit disorder is not a medical condition; it is a description of the human costs of alienation from nature. This alienation damages children and shapes adults, families, and communities. There are solutions, though, and they're right in our own backyards. Last child in the Woods is the first book to bring together cutting-edge research showing that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development—physical, emotional, and spiritual. What's more, nature is a potent therapy for depression, obesity, and ADD. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Even creativity is stimulated by childhood experiences in nature.

Yet sending kids outside to play is increasingly difficult. Computers, television, and video games compete for their time, of course, but it's also our fears of traffic, strangers, even virus-carrying mosquitoes—fears the media exploit—that keep children indoors. Meanwhile, schools assign more and more homework, and there is less and less access to natural areas.

Parents have the power to ensure that their daughter or son will not be the "last child in the woods," and this book is the first step toward that nature-child reunion.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Louv talks with parents, children, teachers, scientists, religious leaders, child-development researchers, and environmentalists to find ways for children to experience the natural world more deeply.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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