This may well be the most important and significant book that young people and those involved in educating them will read. It could be quite literally life changing and indeed life saving.
The introduction grabs us with the potent image of a doomed Bambi, the metaphor for today’s adolescents who are caught transfixed in the glare of a civilisation hurtling towards disaster. The inability to act or think constructively, creatively and indeed intelligently is a consequence of an education system which values compliance, passive imitation and the stifling of imagination. Most tellingly however, as John Abbott explains it does not ‘go with the grain’ of the adolescent brain which learns experientially and necessarily rejects the patterns of behaviour of parents and those others who have guided them in childhood. To tinker with our education systems is not an option: they need root and branch reform. Otherwise the next generation will be unable to sort out the mess that we have bequeathed them.
There is a deceptive simplicity in the telling of this narrative: a complex and urgent message is told in elegant, lucid and engaging prose. It should be required reading in schools, at the very least to stimulate debate amongst young people so that they can become responsible subversives before it is too late.