This is an unusual Face Out, in that it comes from the blog of the author’s literary agent. Sure, she has a stake in celebrating the book’s release, but the story she tells has no bias. It is what it is—which just happens to be a ringing endorsement for the very existence of the book.
“A few months ago I was walking through Union Square Park, which is lined with benches and usually crowded with business lunchers, tourists, shoppers at the farmer’s market, and a fair amount of drug dealers, if we’re being totally honest. A young woman was sitting on a bench, totally engrossed with her phone.
So engrossed—motionless, mouth open, slumped—that a squirrel walked along the back of her bench and started pawing at her hair. I swear to God, little squirrel hands in her hair. And she didn’t notice. I had stopped to watch because I thought I was about to witness a squirrel climb onto someone’s head, and she didn’t notice me stopped to stare at her either.
The squirrel ran off, and I stood there laughing to myself, and then I became kind
of horrified that someone could be so checked out, so sucked into her device, that an animal could play with her hair and she wouldn’t notice.
Kids are growing up texting, emailing, and playing hundreds of hours of video games instead of splashing in puddles, climbing trees, or looking under rocks. They aren’t learning how to start campfires, summit a hill, or fish. Our culture is more immobile than they’ve ever been, with huge mental and physical effects, but (maybe even more importantly?) kids aren’t experiencing the joy of getting dirty outside.
We are so excited that Peter has had a chance to share this book with the world, as it’s a culmination of thousands of hours introducing and celebrating the outdoors with children of all ages and spreading his enthusiasm for getting kids outside, but it’s also an empowering, funny, engaging book that inspires its readers.
So take a moment sometime today to walk around the block, sit in a park, hike a trail, skip rocks on a pond, climb a tree, and bring your children.”
—Adriann Ranta, Wolf Literary Services
Feed your kids and yourself to the wild that’s all around. Buy Let Them Be Eaten by Bears: A Fearless Guide to Taking Our Kids Into the Great Outdoors from your local (or find a store on IndieBound).