A passionate essay by a maverick educator on the need to protect the unique spark—the "inner wildness"—that animates every child
The pressures of modern life are increasingly squeezing the adventure, the wonder, the physicality-the juice -out of children's lives. Virtually every arena of kids' experience is now subject to some form of outside control, and this is a serious threat to the unique spark that animates every child. Lamenting risk-averse parents, overstructured school days, and a lack of playtime and solitude, this book is a clear and compelling plea to save childhood.
"Mercogliano is, in effect, a cultural therapist. . . offering fresh new ideas and creative solutions. Ultimately, he is what all good therapists are: a purveyor of hope."
—Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia
"With deep insight, Mercogliano shows how our society is suppressing children's creative energies. But he also brings a positive message, showing how we can help young people break through conventional restraints and pursue their passions. This is a beautiful, searching, and inspiring book."
—William Crain, author of Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children Be Children in Our Achievement-Oriented Society
"A very strong and attractive book."
—John Taylor Gatto, author of Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
“Mercogliano's book, full of insight, enthusiasm and hope, is as readable and practical as it is illuminating.”
“Recommended for academic libraries and large child development collections in public libraries.”