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Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens Hardcover – October 28, 2002
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The core of this teen book--a cheesy (literally) allegory about four characters navigating a maze in pursuit of happiness (cheese) with varying success--is identical to the cheese-quest story told in Johnson's grownup book. The only difference is that the opening and closing backstory that pads out Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens involves a group of teenagers kibbutzing in the cafeteria, not a group of adults attending their high school reunion.
Of course, it's hard to argue with the essence of Johnson's commonsense message: one of the few constants in life is change, and the sooner we learn to anticipate and adjust to change, the happier we'll be. But most criticisms of the book (and there have been many) boil down to the fact that Cheese is just too reductive and simplistic, and sometimes change in our lives can and should be resisted. (It hasn't helped that the book's popularity among corporate managers has come to be associated with layoffs... er, cheese removals.) But whatever your take on Johnson's philosophy, you'd do well to keep it to yourself. Otherwise, you can count on your teenager to form the exact opposite opinion. (Ages 12 and older) --Paul Hughes
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Furthermore, the book's core analogy makes the insulting assumption that employees shouldn't bother with reason or analysis: pure survival instinct is all the CEO wants to see. Real humans in a maze, confronted with vanishing or moving cheese, wouldn't just whine; they'd analyze their situation and find a creative solution, instead of just going back to foraging. Maybe the cheese-deposit mechanism is stuck; maybe the cheese is shifting in a pattern that can be understood; maybe there's a way out of the freakin' maze! "Just accept it and keep moving" is not only a simpleminded philosophy, it's often dead wrong.
Change is not always bad, but it should always be questioned, and opposed if it's harmful. Be a man, not a mouse.
The central theme of the book is that you are a rat in a maze. While that is quite an insight into how companies that give out this book see their employees, it is not wholly accurate. Throughout the course of this "book," it becomes clear that the theme is that you are more stupid than a rat in a maze.
What the book supports is that workers run around like good little mice and find whatever cheese the company sees fit to give them. The company has no responsibility at all to their employees to provide any kind of security, and if the cheese that they deign to give their employees moves, it is their worker's responsibility to keep up or literally perish. The unthinking constant activity of the mice is heralded as the ideal of behavior. In other words, shut up, do what we tell you as fast as you can, and adapt to our changes, or perish.
Change is obviously inevitable, but this book completely ignores your ability to affect change yourself. It is always the "other" moving the cheese instead of moving the cheese yourself. Self-will and determination are completely thrown out the window. It also completely discounts the capability of thinking about the situation to effect positive results; only unthinking reaction is held up for praise.
Anyone who holds this book up as a laudible reflection on change is completely ill-adjusted for the real thing.
About 13 years later this reviewer saw an employee with this book (at another firm). He thought to himself, was this book really as bad as he remembered it? After all, he remembered it as one of the most insulting books he had ever read. Perhaps it was just a poor memory (and the years) playing a cruel joke. Hence he decided to re-read it again. Unfortunately, after reading it again, the memories were only found to be correct. This was truly one of the most insulting books this reviewer had to read, never mind having been given as a "gift". This was the case on so many levels.
First of all this "book" is written for 10 year olds, in terms of both style and content.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book was for my class and it came right on time. Finished the book in 20-30 minutes. Would recommend others to read it.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Easy and fast read. Highly recommended for those feeling stuck or down about change in their lives.Published 4 days ago by Jimmy James
Love this book. I have shared it with many others who in turn liked it to. Easy and thought provokingPublished 15 days ago by barbara vitetta