Donna Bryant Goertz’ Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful is more than a book about children. It is more than a book about those who teach children. Rather, it is a book that seeks to address the “unpeacefulness” that is within our children (as well as in all of us), to enable us to comprehend its meaning, and to guide us in harnessing its power and pain for the betterment of our children and of others.

There are many messages to be found within this book: work on the environment and not on the child; avoid labeling, tutoring and medicating; give the child the gift of time so he can learn when he is ready to do so; help the child help himself. In the end, however, it may be that the book’s most important message is that we perform best when we work together. Goertz emphasizes the necessity of creating an environment in which one’s success is not dependent upon another’s failure, where collaboration is the norm, and where differences are not viewed as abnormalities. Through her stories, she demonstrates methods for enabling children to include others and to allow themselves to be included so that the common good may be a reality and not just an ideal.

Lynda L. Cole