15 Minutes Outside: 365 ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids, by Rebecca P. Cohen
So this book is a little outside of our usual kids/YA fare, but it is a book that could potentially alter kids' lives (dude, heavy, I know) if their parents were to read and adopt its practices. The back of the book asks, "What could happen if you and your kids went outside, every day, for just fifteen minutes?"
This book was sent to me by its publisher to read and review, and as I've read it, a little at a time over the past month or so, it has proven itself a fabulous motivator. There have been a number of those pulling-my-motherly-hair-out moments when I've suddenly remembered this book and have cried, "Boys, we're going outside! Get your shoes on!" And every time I've done it, it has changed our cabin fever into happy outdoor family time.
My main question when I began reading was how the author was going to manage the fact that some of her readers will reside in Phoenix, AZ, while others will live in frozen winter tundras like Illinois. She does a good job of giving a variety of outdoor-activity ideas that can be adapted to different climates at different times of the year. And since she gives a different idea for every day of the year, I'm sure kids wouldn't notice if the warm-climate-resident parents skipped ahead to the summer chapters in January. Many fun ideas here, and while I haven't gotten my kids outside every day, I am definitely a believer in the value of the great outdoors. I'd especially recommend this book to parents of kids in the 5-12-year-old range.