"Remarkable. What sets Lost Boys apart from the ordinary lament is the author's palpable sense of care and compassion."The Washington Post Book World
In the past few years our national consciousness has been altered by haunting images of mass slaughters in American high schools, carried out by troubled young boys with guns. It's now clear that no matter where we live or how hard we try as parents, our children are likely to be going to school with boys who are capable of getting guns and pulling triggers. What has caused teen violence to spread from the urban war-zones of large cities right into the country's heartland? And what can we do to stop this terrifying trend?
James Garbarino, Ph.D., Cornell University professor and nationally noted psychologist, insists that there are things that we, both as individuals and as a society, can do. In a richly anecdotal style he outlines warning signs that parents and teachers can recognize, and suggests steps that can be taken to turn angry and unhappy boys away from violent action. Full of insight, vivid individual portraits, practical advice and considered hope, this is one of the most important and original books ever written about boys.
Striking a sober but ultimately hopeful note, psychologist and Cornell University professor Garbarino (Raising Children in a Socially Toxic Environment) lends his voice to the growing chorus of concern about the difficulties boys face in their journey to manhood. We live in dangerous times, he asserts, citing the ready availability of guns (nearly half of all American households contain one) and the escalating rate of youth homicide (which increased 168% in the past decade alone). Noting that the highly publicized killings by children of the 19971998 school year have served as a kind of wake-up call, Garbarino devotes the first part of his book to examining the roots of violence among boys. He traces it to class and race issues, as well as risk factors such as child neglect, parental abandonment, physical and emotional abuse, spiritual emptiness and a culture that legitimizes violence in movies, television and video games. In the second half, he outlines how involved adults might prevent the downward spiral by identifying and treating patterns of aggression early in a boys life, and how providing the proper spiritual, psychological and social anchors can keep a troubled boy from drifting into violence. Garbarino effectively illustrates his points with stories of his own work with violent boys. Solidly researched and written, this book is of equal value to parents, educators, family therapists and other professionals. It could easily serve as a blueprint for preventing more tragedies like the ones in Jonesboro, Ark., and Springfield, Ore. 20-city TV and radio satellite tour. (May)