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Seeing Past Z: Nurturing the Imagination in a Fast-Forward World

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  41 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Kids today seem to be under more competitive pressure than ever, while studies show that reading, writing, and the arts in schools are suffering. Is there any place for imagination in kids' lives anymore? In a dog-eat-dog world, why dream things that aren't there?

In gorgeous prose and through personal stories, Beth Kephart resoundingly affirms the imagination as the heart
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 17th 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published June 2004)
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Jul 15, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it
A memoir written in Beth Kephart's trademark poetic prose.

I thought this book was inspiring. I loved reading about Jeremy and his "projects", the way he was learning to cope with the world. I could see elements of myself in Jeremy, parts that I hid from the world because I wasn't sure whether they would accept me or not. This book gave me freedom to dream and to wonder if maybe what the world has always accepted as standard and normal isn't always to be desired.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
Victoria Lees
May 26, 2016 Victoria Lees rated it really liked it
Seeing Past Z: Nurturing the Imagination in a Fast-Forward World by Beth Kephart could be considered a case study for the power of imagination. The imagination is an important part of brain function, for creativity lives inside. Creativity adds to culture and is vital to society. In a global world filled with competition, exercising the imagination can be forgotten. Yet it is a necessary part of life—especially for children.

Kephart builds a case, example by example throughout the book, for the
Jul 09, 2009 Carmyn rated it really liked it
I started reading this book ages ago but had to return it to the library or risk having my card revoked. In order to finish it I had to borrow it again a few weeks later when I got a chance and so I feel as though I've lost some of my reviewing power in the process. What I know is that I liked it.

This is a book by a writer and a mother, rather than a teacher with a classroom. It's about the desire to preserve the natural imagination her son has even in the face of 6th grade adversity, during a
Rose Anderson
Jan 20, 2016 Rose Anderson rated it really liked it
My favorite memoirist continues her story of mothering her unique son, this time in "seeing past z," helping him to develop his imagination. Includes lesson plans that she used with him & his friends for four different levels.
Andy Tischaefer
Jul 10, 2011 Andy Tischaefer rated it liked it
Not what I expected, but still worthwhile. I had expected a more practical book with examples and advice on fostering strong imagination in children. What I got instead was more of a memoir of the author's time with her son, teaching him how to appreciate the written word in all its forms. There are good ideas in here, and the appendix gives some practical ideas on how to encourage critical reading and writing in middle-schoolers through high-schoolers.

Anyway, a good read.
Elinor Ball
Sep 21, 2008 Elinor Ball rated it really liked it
I am only about 20 pages in and am remembering now why I love Beth Kephart's writing so much. I loved A Slant of Sun and Into the Tangle of Friendship (ask me about that one). Beth is a neighbor and the daughter of a member of our church. I am relishing the messages in this book already! The closing sentence of each of the first few chapters carry great weight. More later as I continue reading.
Bookmarks Magazine

Kephart, author of an award-winning memoir trilogy and the National Book Award nominee, A Slant of Sun (also starring Jeremy), is no typical mother. And Seeing Past Z is no routine child-rearing book. What distinguishes it from all the other "how to" books on the shelf is its gorgeous depiction of the relationship between a mother and child

Robin Stevenson
Mar 27, 2012 Robin Stevenson rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Kephart writes beautifully, and it was lovely to read about Jeremy again-- so much older and more grown up in these stories, and just as delightful as he was as a young child in Kephart's earlier memoir, A Slant of Sun.
Mar 22, 2007 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! Worth the read for parents and literature buffs. It is the incredible tale of one woman's fight to raise her son with imagination and a love of reading rather than cave into our competitive-crazed, consumer driven society.
Aug 08, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it
Excellent premise but a bit of a disappointing execution. Nonetheless, an important read for parents and teachers interested in cultivating curious readers.
Missy K
Oct 25, 2007 Missy K rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents and teachers
Makes a case fro free time and space for children to use their imaginations and storytelling abilities, outside of the realm of competition.
Jan 29, 2013 Briellen rated it really liked it
I must read more from Beth Kephart!
Oct 24, 2009 Amiee added it
So wonderful. Is it possible to raise your kid like this?? Also wonderful writing; easy to lose yourself in it for a while...
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Though I've been writing since I was nine years old, I didn't publish beyond my high school literary journal until I was a new mother. My first published essay was in Iowa Woman; subsequently, I published short stories in dozens of literary magazines—learning, always, what worked or what didn't by reading far more than I wrote.

My first book, A SLANT OF SUN, a memoir, was a National Book Award fin
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