Overview

It ain't easy being a kid these days. For the first time in generations, today's teens have worse prospects ahead of them than their parents did, and the pressure to toe the line and be a success is heavier than ever . . . and so is the temptation to just give up. But there are things in the world worth fighting for!

This scrapbook-style collection of essays, excerpts, explanations, and images pushes back against a culture that relentlessly demands that kids give up their best ...

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Stay Solid!: A Radical Handbook for Youth

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Overview

It ain't easy being a kid these days. For the first time in generations, today's teens have worse prospects ahead of them than their parents did, and the pressure to toe the line and be a success is heavier than ever . . . and so is the temptation to just give up. But there are things in the world worth fighting for!

This scrapbook-style collection of essays, excerpts, explanations, and images pushes back against a culture that relentlessly demands that kids give up their best ideals, abandon their hopes, forget their ethical objections to dominant life, soothe their rage, and accept their fates. From dealing with the cops to dealing with your peers, from school and community to drugs and sex, from race and class to money and mental health, Stay Solid! provides essential support for radically inclined teens who believe that it's possible for all of us to hang on to our values and build a life we believe in.

Compiled and edited by radical urbanist and educator Matt Hern, with the assistance of the youth community at Vancouver's Purple Thistle Center, Stay Solid! is for kids everywhere, and for anyone who considers themselves an ally—parents, teachers, neighbors, friends, relatives, and beyond.

Contributors include Noam Chomsky, Patricia Hill Collins, The Guerilla Girls, Derrick Jensen, Grace Llewellyn, Margaret Killjoy, Dan Savage, Astra Taylor, and more.


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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
11/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—Stay Solid misses the mark due to its tone and organization. Each chapter consists of a collection of essays, pictures, poems, memoirs, etc., about a given topic, including family, media, drugs, and sex. The authors range in age from high school senior to mid-adulthood. Throughout the text, the language comes across as disingenuous. "But we're not talking at you. We want it to be very clear—super clear-totally clear-right off the hop that we're not perfect people looking down on ignorant kids and showing them how to lead a good life" and "We want you (and us!) to stay radical" are examples of writing that is trying too hard to appeal to a teen audience. In addition, the scrapbook format is confusing and disorganized. While the text discusses having an open mind and tries to appeal to those youths with nontraditional values, it is extremist, especially when discussing traditional values. ("Over the past couple of decades the idea of the 'family' as a unit of strength and support has been co-opted by right-wing reactionary forces: think of the term 'family values' for example, or extremist Christian groups like 'Focus on the Family' that are deeply homophobic, racist, anti-feminist, anti-sex-and pretty much horrible on everything.") In that regard, the book narrows its readership as not all youth are nontraditional and some will find the narrators to be unreliable due to this tone. On the upside, it does present the topics from multiple viewpoints, and if readers can wade through some of the language and the formatting, they may find a few excerpts that speak to them. It is unfortunate that a book that could have such impact for today's youth fails in its delivery.—Tammy Turner, Centennial High School, Frisco, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781849351003
  • Publisher: AK Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 350
  • File size: 13 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Matt Hern lives and works in East Vancouver with his partner and daughters. He founded, and for nine years has directed the Purple Thistle Centre, an all-ages youth-run community center for arts and activism. Among his other projects is a youth exchange program with an isolated town in northern Canada designed to bring native and non-native kids together to live, work, and travel.

His books and writing have been published on all six continents and translated into ten languages. He writes features and articles for a wide variety of publications, and continues to lecture globally.

He is the author of Field Day (New Star, 2003), Watch Yourself: Why Safer Isn’t Always Better (New Star, 2007), and Common Ground in a Liquid City: Essays in Defense of an Urban Future, and is the editor of Deschooling Our Lives (New Society, 1996), and Everywhere, All the Time (AK Press, 2008).

Matt holds a PhD in Urban Studies and lectures at SFU and UBC in Urban Studies and Education departments and is on faculty at the Institute for Social Ecology and Prescott College in Arizona. He remains active in a number of movements in Vancouver, is a food security activist, avid gardener and unrepentant sports fan. For more info, be sure to visit his website: www.mightymatthern.com.
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