You Are Your Own Best Teacher! provides a remarkable variety of teachable antidotes to the punishing forces bearing down on youngsters from harmful marketing, the insidious grip of ‘virtual reality’ and the tyranny of peer groups. Apprehensive parents and burdened teachers will delight in the lessons of this book for Tweens (nine to twelve year olds). It will spark their innate curiosity, imagination and idealism. Tweens, who are whipsawed by relentless distractions, profit-driven manipulations and oncoming addictions, are guided toward elevating their own sense of significance, protection and realizable achievements. Through this process of discovery, they explore wider frames of reference with roles inside and outside the family environment. Many motivating stories from history to the present make Claire Nader’s gentle nudges toward self-educational experiences exciting. She takes children on a tour of the print dictionary, highlighting concepts such as justice, freedom, peace, wisdom and gratitude. She introduces the young to Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass and Helen Keller to illustrate their profound awareness and discipline. By addressing Tween self-consciousness, the book takes youngsters on new explorations about being “smart” to learn about their own bodies, pressing for physical activity, eating smartly, controlling their time and avoiding hours glued to hypnotic screens. By explaining the importance of learning to unlearn and ask questions such as “what if?” and “why?” she encourages Tweens to teach themselves to distinguish fact from fiction, thinking from believing, respect from disrespect, all of which will prepare them for the realities they will face as they grow older. This book doesn’t talk down to Tweens. The author shows they are capable of understanding the perils of “click on” contracts and their rights under tort law. Self- teaching to build their confidence is also heartening for parents who feel deeply the loss of parental upbringing.
Published by Essential Books, 2022. Paperback. 256 pages.