“Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child” By Anthony Esolen

Up to this point I haven’t done any book reviews. Time and little children have dictated the books that I choose to read, and the books I do read are of two sort: the first are books that are well-vetted and reviewed so I’m not reading too much drivel (a little is okay), and the second is Dr. Seuss, Bernstein Bears, and the like. There are days that I prefer the later.

One of the books that I am currently reading is Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen. Written in the satirical style of C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, Esolen details 10 different ways that our modern culture is effectively destroying the imaginative minds of our children. The book has valuable gems for educators and parents alike, and presents both humorous anecdotes and painful realizations. To perk your interest, here are the ten ways (don’t worry, I didn’t spoil the mystery…the beauty of the book is in the explanation and the light satirical tone of Esolen):

1. Keep your children in doors as much as possible;
2. Never leave children to themselves;
3. Replace the fairy tale with political cliches and fads;
4. Keep children away from machines and machinists;
5. Cast aspersions upon the heroic and the patriotic;
6. Cut all heroes down to size;
7. Reduce all talk of love to narcissism and sex;
8. Level distinctions between men and women;
9. Distract the child with the shallow and the unreal;
10. Deny the transcendent.


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