Book review

From time to time, the Library acquires special books which are of great value to parents and teachers alike. I am different from you is one of those books. Donated by the Ashby family, it is reviewed here by Wendy Hyland, Class Two teacher.

Selg, Peter :I am different from you : How children experience themselves and the world in the middle of childhood (Steiner Books, 2011)

After a conversation at a Class Two parent information evening, this book came to me. Although only 77 pages of straight-forward reading, the book contains many insights and descriptions of how the nine year old crisis manifests in the growing child.

Unlike the crises of adolescence which occur a few years later, the nine-year threshold takes the form of a mostly internal and subtle relationship change with the self and the world. Even if symptoms of distress are not obvious, parents and teachers who are aware of this shift in consciousness can respond appropriately and provide the support needed just when the child feels that he or she must ultimately stand alone in this world.

This book requires no pre-knowledge of principles underlying Steiner education. It is relevant to anyone working with children in the second, seven-year phase of development and I highly recommend it to all.

Wendy Hyland