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Last Child in the Woods

Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

By Richard Louv

 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

Richard Louv's new book, Our Wild Calling, is available now.
 

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Richard Louv

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Review quotes
“[The] national movement to ‘leave no child inside’ . . . has been the focus of Capitol Hill hearings, state legislative action, grass-roots projects, a U.S. Forest Service initiative to get more children into the woods and a national effort to promote a ‘green hour’ in each day. . . . The increased activism has been partly inspired by a best-selling book, Last Child in the Woods, and its author, Richard Louv.” —The Washington Post

Last Child in the Woods, which describes a generation so plugged into electronic diversions that it has lost its connection to the natural world, is helping drive a movement quickly flourishing across the nation.” —The Nation’s Health

“This book is an absolute must-read for parents.” —The Boston Globe

“An honest, well-researched and well-written book, . . . the first to give name to an undeniable problem.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“One of the most thought-provoking, well-written books I’ve read in recent memory. It rivals Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.” —The Cincinnati Enquirer

“Important and original. . . . As Louv so eloquently and urgently shows, our mothers were right when they told us, day after day, ‘Go out and play.’” —The Christian Science Monitor

Last Child in the Woods is the direct descendant and rightful legatee of Rachel Carson’s The Sense of Wonder. But this is not the only thing Richard Louv has in common with Rachel Carson. There is also this: in my opinion, Last Child in the Woods is the most important book published since Silent Spring.” —Robert Michael Pyle, author of Sky Time in Gray’s River

“A single sentence explains why Louv’s book is so important: ‘Our children,’ he writes, ‘are the first generation to be raised without meaningful contact with the natural world.’ This matters, and Last Child in the Woods makes it patently clear why and lays out a path back.” —The Ecologist

“With this scholarly yet practical book, Louv offers solutions today for a healthier, greener tomorrow.” —Washington Post Book World

“The simplest, most profound, and most helpful of any book I have read on the personal and historical situation of our children, and ourselves, as we move into the twenty-first century.” —Thomas Berry, author of The Dream of the Earth
Product Details
Categories
Number of pages
416
Publication date
April 22, 2008
ISBN
9781565126053