In this eighth and final volume in his Pulitzer Prizewinning Children of Crisis series, Coles examines the religious and spiritual lives of children. By using children's own words and pictures, Coles presents their deepest feelings.
With his Children of Crisis series, begun nearly 30 years ago, and later studies about children's moral and political lives, Coles, child psychiatrist, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and Harvard professor, has taught a generation of adults how to listen to--and learn from--children. In this final volume of his work with children, Coles again relies on psychoanalytic observation, unintrusive questioning and meetings stretching over months and years, as he interviews, among others, Hopi children in the Southwest, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish children in the Boston area, Pakistani children in London and Christian children in Tennessee about what God means to them and how God fits in their lives. Often adding to their words with drawings (16 are reproduced here), the children, most around the age of 10, respond with fervency and depth that confirm Coles's close, respectful attention. There are no answers on these pages; only the children, vividly, eloquently present; Coles himself, who, declaring his own secular inclinations, fills out their responses, along with his to them; and the conclusion that intense considerations about the purpose of life and the nature of God occupy all of us, at every age--perhaps never so directly than as children. Author tour. (Dec.)