Dangerous Books for Boys

Timeworn yet durable, the cloth-bound editions of By Sheer Pluck and With Roberts in Pretoria in my university library carry strange hieroglyphics on their flyleaf: “Upper III III div B6 dormitory”, “Tunbridge Wells, dormitory, Upper III.” The inscriptions suggest shared use, probably in the boys-only sleeping area of a private school.  But neither of these … Read more…

‘Protecting Children and Young People from Harm and Abuse – Recognition and Response’ by Rita Hannah Langton and Siobhan Maclean

Protecting Children and Young People from Harm and Abuse: Recognition and Response is aimed at all professional students training to work with children and young people to enhance their skills in recognising and acting on suspicion or evidence of abuse or harm. As such it can be used as a training manual, covering the National … Read more…

‘Uprooted: The Shipment of Poor Children to Canada, 1867-1917’ by Roy Parker

Uprooted: The Shipment of Poor Children to Canada, 1867-1917 contains 354 pages of painstakingly researched material (including 60 pages of notes, references etc.), but if that description makes you think that this must be a dry and dusty academic tome, think again. The story it tells is harrowing, and it has a cast of 80,000, … Read more…

‘Challenges for Child and Youth Care: A German-Israeli Dialogue’ Edited by Emmanuel Grupper, Josef Koch and Friedhelm Peters

This collection of papers from a two year German-Israeli project offers an insight into the development of social pedagogy and a variety of ways of working with children and young people which will repay study by those seeking to take child care forward. Some of the papers were clearly written for the exchange and a … Read more…

‘Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids’ Letters to President Obama’ Edited by Jory John

This is an easy book to review without reading all of it. It consists of just over 120 pages of letters to President Obama by children of a wide range of ages, some short, some long, with a scattering of drawings. It is a book to dip into. And it’s well worth dipping. Jory John, … Read more…

“And this one’s just right”… Reflections on the Fairy Tale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Being tucked safely into bed and having mom read before sleeping was a treasured evening ritual which set a foundation for a love of books and storey telling.  Like most small children I was introduced to fairy tales, which were spell-binding and significant for both known and unknown reasons at many levels. A favorite was … Read more…