Seeing Past Z: Nurturing the Imagination in a Fast-Forward World (Hardcover)

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Impassioned and eloquent—reasons and inspirations for nurturing your child's creativity.

Kids today seem to be under more competitive pressure than ever, while studies show that reading, writing, and the arts in schools are suffering. Is there any place for imagination in kids' lives anymore? In a dog-eat-dog world, why dream things that aren't there?

In gorgeous prose and through personal stories, Beth Kephart resoundingly affirms the imagination as the heart of our ability to empathize with others, to appreciate the world, and to envision possibilities for the future. The star of her story is once again her son, Jeremy (as in her National Book Award-nominated A Slant of Sun), now fourteen years old—a child who at first resists storytelling, preferring more objective and orderly pursuits, but later leads a neighborhood book club/writing group and aspires to follow Steven Spielberg into moviemaking.

Embedded in the text and appendices are examples of how to inspire children to read, write, and dream.

About the Author

Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of a memoir trilogy. She has written about writing and the imagination for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and Parenting. She lives in Devon, Pennsylvania.

Praise For…

As good parents we tend to think exhaustively about our children, even when we know that thinking is not enough. Beth Kephart illuminates how the stories we tell one another enable us to feel with-and for-our kids. We've been entrusted with the bright fires of imagination; words are our fuel. Thanks to Beth and her son Jeremy for making the soul sparks fly in my household once again.
— Alyson Hagy, author of Keeneland and Graveyard of the Atlantic

Beth Kephart's approach to fostering a child's innate imagination is similar to the wisdom of a subsistence hunter: finding, with quiet gratitude and with respect for the rhythms and the unexpected in life, the sustenance in everything-flesh, bone, heart, memory, even magic. Seeing Past Z is a moving, beautifully evoked reminder of what it means to be truly present as a parent, so that our children can someday leave us, whole and wholly themselves.

— Kate Moses, author of Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath and co-editor of Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood

In our current culture of competitive parenting and hyper-competent superkids, Seeing Past Z is a subversive, brilliant, and deeply affecting account of one family's decision to step out of the mad race to achievement and onto a different path....Kephart offers her son the greatest gift a parent can bestow--her own abiding faith in him, just as he is. What a different world it would be if all parents read this bold, brave book and took its message to heart.

— Katrina Kenison, bestselling author of Mitten Strings for God

This is not just a how-to for parents who want to get their kids away from the TV and Game Boy. In her inimitable velvet prose, Beth Kephart reminds us how to nurture children's imaginations; in so doing, she nurtures the imagination of anyone who would pick up this book. If you love kids, or you love books, you will adore Seeing Past Z.

— Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393058826
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: June 17th, 2004
Pages: 256