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The Story of Childhood Growing Up in Modern Britain by Libby Brooks

The Story of Childhood Growing Up in Modern Britain


The Story of Childhood Growing Up in Modern Britain by Libby Brooks

Children now make up forty per cent of the world's population. The bestseller charts would suggest that we savour stories of unhappy upbringings - are in fact greedy for them, the worse the better - but in today's ASBO-afflicted Britain, it is clear that there is much we don't understand about contemporary childhood. Children today are the focus of much of society's anxieties: about behaviour, nutrition, sexuality, consumerism, achievement, responsibility, about what exactly is the proper shape of a life. But, how does it really feel to be growing up today, from the inside? This extraordinary book tracks ten very different children between the ages of two and sixteen, each chosen for how they illuminate a particular archetype of childhood experience, or an especial locus of adult anxiety. Woven through each chapter are trips into more discursive territory, but essentially, this is childhood told from the inside: a travel book about a state of being, telling the story of contemporary childhood with the help of those who still reside there. Childhood is a truly remarkable piece of writing that unearths many unusual truths about adulthood too.


'This is one of the best pictures of childhood that I've read, and certainly it's an important account of the confused and anxiety-ridden state we're in today'
Phillip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy

'Read this book - Libby Brooks brings childhood's present alive in its historical context, and puts modern supernannies in their historical place'
Oliver James, author of They F

*** You Up 'A thoroughly enjoyable read
Claire Rayner

'This is a wonderful book. It is a remarkable and important polemic on the state of contemorary childhood ... This book tells us some very disturbing things about ourselves. I hope the policymakers read it'
Helena Kennedy QC

About the Author

Libby Brooks was born in Glasgow and studied law at Oxford University. She joined the Guardian newspaper in 1997, and worked as Women's Editor between 1999 and 2001. She won the Catherine Packenham Award for young women writers in 1996, and was named Young Journalist of the Year by the British Press Awards in 1998. She lives in East London and likes murder mysteries.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd July 2006


Libby Brooks

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


352 pages


Child care & upbringing



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