Growing up, I was a tomboy. I spent a lot of time outdoors. Turns out, I wasn’t alone. That’s what my generation did.
My backyard was rare in Detroit. Just beyond my back fence lay the woods where we played until we dropped. We went indoors only when we got hungry or heard our mother’s voice calling us home.
It was not a lifestyle my children adopted, no matter how much I urged them and forbade TV.
Last Child in the Woods is a book about that “last generation of Americans to share an intimate, familial attachment to the land and water.” Louv does a remarkable job of exploring the generational change between Americans inclined to play freely outdoors and the indoor generation that followed. Louv explains why the shift is radical and foretells its consequences.
If you are curious, as I am, about the behaviors and yearnings of young people, this book points out rarely discussed cultural issues about American childhood based on an alienation from the natural world.