Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyWith information gathered from groups of children, parents, teachers and others across the country, Louv ( America II ) offers a compassionate, comprehensive view of modern American family life. His portrait of childhood today is dominated by two findings. First is the meager time families spend together--time stolen by economic constraints that separate generations and send mothers to work. Second is a pervasive fear--called ``stranger danger'' and exemplified in nationwide anxiety over missing children, in which the perceived sense of danger is greater than reality warrants--that isolates families rather than encouraging connections to others. Louv, in proposing the way to ``family liberation,'' examines the workplace, citing such companies as AT&T and Merck that offer flexible approaches to interweaving family and work lives. He suggests that schools expand their roles in their neighborhoods, e.g., to day care; that cities become ``family-friendly''; that families, reaching beyond the nucleus to include grandparents and neighbors, allow children a longer period of dependence with plenty of ``free time, dream time.'' Louv's massive documentation is made immediate by his vivid presentation of the people he met--lonely schoolkids and worried parents, all urging us to pay attention to, and meet, the needs of our children. First serial to the New York Times. (Jan.)
Library JournalJournalist Louv spent three years interviewing children, parents, and educators about the problems afflicting childhood today and the ways in which the new ``family liberation movement'' can bring about positive changes. He offers myriad ideas, including an increase in family time, parent networks, family-oriented workplaces, and stronger ties between schools and the community. The interviews form the core of the book, but they are sometimes contradictory and lacking real cohesion. Rita Kramer's In Defense of the Family ( LJ 2/15/83) and Marie Winn's Children Without Childhood ( LJ 5/15/83) provide more thoughtful and well-written treatments of the subject. Expect some demand, however, since The New York Times Magazine and Sierra magazine plan to publish excerpts.--Ilse Heidmann Ali, Motlow State Community Coll., Tullahoma, Tenn.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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