Quick Picks from CMCL

February 13, 2013

What I’m Reading Now: The State of our Youth

Filed under: What I'm Reading Now — Tags: , , , , , — ErinM @ 10:55 am

I missed the State of the Union address last night. It is something I normally watch. I like to know what’s going on,Jacket21 and to hear the President’s agenda for the coming year and term. Instead, I spent the evening reading. In recent months I’ve been trying to grapple with the all the violence coming at, and being created by the youth in this country. I am confused, saddened, scared and angered by it. I work with teenage boys, and I want to understand. So I’m doing some personal homework and reading what others have discovered about boys, school violence and related topics. I hope it brings me more  insight so I can do a better job caring for the youth in my life.

Maybe you are also trying to figure out what is going on and why? Maybe you want to know how to talk to your own children about this, or how to be a better teacher, mentor or guide for the youth in your life? Or maybe you don’t really come in contact with young people in your day-to-day life and want to know what their lives are like these days. No one book will have all the answers or solutions. I offer up this short list of titles as a jumping-off point for exploring a very complex and multi-faceted set of issues.

Bullying: an Action Plan for Teachers, Parents and Communities to Combat the Bullying Crisis, by Lee Hirsch

The Bully Society: School Shootings and the Crisis of Bullying in America’s Schools, by Jessie Klein

Please Stop Laughing at Me: One Woman’s Inspirational True Story, by Jodee Blanco

Ceremonial Violence: Understanding Columbine and Other School Rampage Shootings, by Jonathan Fast

Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters, by Peter Langman

Surviving a School Shooting: a Plan of Action for Parents, Teachers and Students, by Loren Christensen

How to Talk to Your Kids about School Violence, by Ken Druck

Staying Connected to Your Teenager : How to Keep Them Talking to You and How to Hear What They’re Really Saying, by Michael Riera

The Secret Lives of Boys: Inside the Raw Emotional World of Male Teens, by Malina Saval

Swagger: 10 Urgent Rules for Raising Boys in an Era of Failing Schools, Mass Joblessness, and Thug Culture, by Lisa Bloom

Why boys don’t talk–and why it matters : a parent’s survival guide to connecting with your teen, by Susan Morris Shaffer

Child Whisperer: the Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children, by Carol Tuttle


  1. Yeah, I wrote a little about this today. I didn’t focus on the violence aspect, but how the school system and college system seems so broken to me. I work with at-risk youth and many have been caught up in gang violence and other challenges, and sometimes I too feel like it’s all hopeless. I like this list of books, I’m going to add them to my list to check out!

    Comment by monk-monk — February 13, 2013 @ 11:13 am

    • Hi, thanks for your comment. Lisa Bloom talks about the glorification of “thug culture” in music, the media… I definitely see that as a major influence in the lives of youth I work with. It’s all about living the lifestyle. I think for alot of youth school has become irrelevant. Have you read Sal Kahn’s book The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined?? He created the Khan Academy (free online tutorials) GREAT book that redesigns the way we educate using technology and new understandings of how youth want to learn. Totally inspiring! Let me know what you think.

      Comment by Anonymous — February 14, 2013 @ 8:38 am

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