26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
An Understudied Group: An Interesting Approach,
This review is from: Not Much Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers (Hardcover)
Middle school kids often receive far too little attention by way of study and research. Perhaps some believe that middle school kids are not worth studying separately from adolescence since it is such a brief period of time. Yet, at the same time, there is probably no age group that goes through such a significant and dramatic set of developmental changes in a few short years than middle schoolers.
I applaud Linda Perlstein's efforts to capture the essence of middle school kids and to represent the trials and tribulations of this age. In her study, Perlstein spent a year's time becoming a part of a real middle school. Rather than study these kids from an academic perspective, Perlstein took a much more holistic and anthropological approach. She talked to the kids, she watched the kids, she spoke to their parents, and she observed their relational interactions and their highs and lows and she spent a lot of time with their teachers.
The result of Linda Perlstein's efforts is a significant book for educators, parents and kids on the struggles of middle school years. While some might attack this as a study less scientific or quantitative than rigorous academics might prefer, I believe that she is right on the mark in reporting on these kids through her experience of them. This is a tough age and my belief is that it grows even more stressful on kids as our society continues to change and as kids mature faster on a physical level.
I believe this is a book that should be read by a number of different groups and that it could be a foundation for some wonderful discussions among teachers and between teachers and parents.
An understudied subject most interestingly presented. Highly Recommended.
Daniel J. Maloney
Saint Paul, Minnesota USA