Shouting at the Sky: Troubled Teens and the Promise of the Wild

Overview

Nature as few have imagined it: Utah, a windswept desert thick with spring, the flash of primrose, treeless hills, canyons shining in the sun. And in the distance, all but lost in these great sweeps of rock and sky, a group of teenagers, fresh out of suburban America, are struggling desperately to build new lives-beyond crack and crystal mete, beyond sadness, beyond a pain that has brought many to the brink of self-destruction.

In Shouting at the Sky, award-winning writer Gary ...

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New York, NY 1999 Hard cover New in fine dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 249 p. Audience: General/trade. Signed by author.

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Overview

Nature as few have imagined it: Utah, a windswept desert thick with spring, the flash of primrose, treeless hills, canyons shining in the sun. And in the distance, all but lost in these great sweeps of rock and sky, a group of teenagers, fresh out of suburban America, are struggling desperately to build new lives-beyond crack and crystal mete, beyond sadness, beyond a pain that has brought many to the brink of self-destruction.

In Shouting at the Sky, award-winning writer Gary Ferguson is once again bound for the back-country, this time to spend a season in one of the country's most remarkable programs for troubled teens. Here you'll share in the daily triumphs and heartaches of an unforgettable group of kids. Witness their shock at the wilderness, outrageous with its bluster and open spaces, its lack of bathrooms and cooked meals, its absence of television, malls and old friends. Huddle with them on moonlit nights around a juniper fire. Sit for an afternoon on a canyon rim in the middle of nowhere and listen to their stories and poems: tales of anorexia and amphetamines, of depression and workaholic parents, of the grating fear that will not let them be.

Shouting at the Sky is a story resplendent with glimpses into power of the human spirit and the healing that is possible when the beauty and challenges of the wild are linked to it. But along these trails can also be found issues of striking gravity: insights into how young lives can go terribly wrong and, in the end, how many of our fondest hopes for tomorrow and teetering on the brink, waiting for us to find the will, the courage to build more genuine connections to our children.

"I can't imagine being broken down without a wild place to fall apart in," Ferguson writes. So this is also a very personal account of his participation as an observer, leader, and storyteller in the rites of passage these teenagers undergo in the Utah desert. It is a story of individuals, counselors and participants alike, grown-ups and youths, sharing the struggle to find themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
This tale of teenagers struggling to remake their lives in the wilds of southern Utah manages to be both deeply lyrical and seriously sappy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312200084
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/1999
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.71 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Ferguson has written more than a dozen books on nature and science. His 1997 book, The Sylvan Path: A Journey Through America's Forests (released in trade paperback as Through the Woods), was a winner of the prestigious Lowell Thomas Awards, Spirits of the Wild: The World's Great Nature Myths was selected by the New York City Public Library as one of the best books of 1996. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer on a variety of social conservation issues, and his nature-oriented essays can be heard on National Public Radio affiliates throughout the country. He and his wife, Jane, live in Red Lodge, Montana. For more information, visit Gary at his web site: www.wildwords.net.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2003

    Great Book!!!

    Great book for someone who is thinking about going into Wilderness Therapy. The story not only talks about the boys and girls that are going through the program but it also talks about the staff and the hiring process. It is very real and the program that he talks about is one of the best outdoor therapy programs around! I think that anyone who is at all thinking about working in the field should read this book!

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