Liberation!

Jump by Elisa Carbone had me on page five.  It quoted the following from The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn:

Although compulsory schooling was begun in this country mainly in hopes of educating people worthy of democracy, other goals also embedded themselves in the educational system.  One was the goal of creating obedient factory workers who did not waste time by talking to each other or daydreaming.

This book changed my life.  The passage above wasn’t the sort of thing that spoke to me.  For me, it was the inspirational parts of the book that mattered.  Taking education into your own hands.  Seeing opportunities for learning everywhere.  I read it too late to change my high school experience, but I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that it changed the way I viewed my college experience and beyond.

My two versions of The Teenage Liberation Handbook

I still own the original version, published in the 90’s, that spoke to me so long ago.  It sits on my shelf next to the revised and updated version published in 2001.  To me, the newer version seems watered down, lacking the passion that the first edition had oozing from every word.  How could this slim volume change the lives of teens today like it did mine?

It was a lovely surprise to see it crop up in a new YA novel.  I’m glad it’s still inspiring people, even if they are fictional.

On a related note, I’m very interested in reading DIY U.