“The Story of Childhood – Growing Up in Modern Britain” by Libby Brooks

The book of Libby Brooks “The Story of Childhood – Growing Up in Modern Britain” relates to the children that represent the majority of today’s children in Great Britain. All the stories are real as well characters performed are real too. The book refers to the problem of modern attitudes to children and considers stereotypes related to this problem. Accordingly to the author, the stereotypes about childhood in Modern Britain relate to the whole course of human history. However, Libby Brooks attempted to provide a real image of childhood. She describes children that are vital, active, and highly motivated in all spheres of modern life (Brooks, 2006). Children are often accused of various faults by the grown-ups but it could be stated that children themselves are not quite guilty and that fact corresponds to the gap between grown-ups and children. Another reason is that adults usually do not realize the meaning of childhood. Libby Brooks claims that the main goal of the book lies in representing the real world of children (Brooks, 2006). As it was mentioned earlier she attempted to show the inner world of childhood. The book consists of several parts each of them showing a certain period of life of a separate child. These periods observe the real world of a child with all the problems, beliefs, worries, and attitudes. The participants of the stories highlight the stereotypes and concerns of the adult world concerning children. It should be stated again that childhood was described and discussed from the inside.

The author claims that while writing the book she was trying to cover two ideas related to childhood (Brooks, 2006).

The first idea refers to the author’s statement that she believes in the approach that it is difficult to be a child in the present time. The adult world became so distant from childhood that this results in adult attitudes to children and childhood (Deacon, 1997).

The second idea corresponds to the statement that the reality of modern childhood shows the ideological struggle.

The book put efforts into discovering the question of ideology and stereotyping. The author tries to show the problem of why adults and children despite the same clothes, food, books, and mass media opportunities do not share the same opinion about the same problems (Brooks, 2006). Also, she tries to argue the points adults should pay attention to and share with children. This type of ideological battle is continued due to the difference between the traditions and the reality of diversity.

The Review of the Chapter about Majid

Majid is a typical child of thirteen years old; his parents and he lives in the multicultural suburbs in the outskirts of the city (Brooks, 2006). Majid is not a native British, his family emigrated from Iraq during the war with Kuwait. Despite the age, Majid attempts to learn about his native country of Iraq and the Middle East in general. He even attended a number of lectures about the war in Iraq together with his father (Brooks, 2006). Majid shows concern about Iraq as it is his native country and he is deeply interested in all the facts about his native country. The age of the boy appears not to be an influential part of his considerations. He argues about the war in Iraq, the past of this country, and the present situation (Brooks, 2006). Different scientists claim that the children in modern Britain are socially constructed and tend to have their own opinion on the global questions that relate to the war and their social well-being. The question of social care attracts the attention of Majid as his family and he himself is really dependant on this type of activity. The boy is even interested in politics and discusses the issues not only about Saddam but also about Britain. He says that if he had a right to vote, he would have voted for the Labour party as he considers this party to represent his own views and the views of his family (Brooks, 2006). According to Majid other parties provide the statements in favor of the war in Iraq and will provide more rights for rich people, especially relating to the conservatives (Brooks, 2006). As well as his parent Majid is a Muslim, he prays regularly but it does not influence his going to school with the majority represented by Christians (Brooks, 2006). Majid adopts the fact that there are many religions in the world and anybody has a right to choose his own religion. Majid’s religion does not contradict his social behavior and of course, he is not an extremist.


Based on the book it could be stated that the anxiety of adults about children’s behavior and well-being is due to the approach which could be interpreted as child-panic. This concern nowadays became a certain kind of an adult complex. This complex or deep concern refers to every adult and relates to all fields of modern life: affairs, drugs, security, the attitude of other people, success, technology, and the appropriate way of life (Kuznesof, 2005). Grounding on the claims of the author these problems do really exist and the concern about a child is a principle aspect of human nature (Kuznesof, 2005). However, such a concern in modern times means only belonging to the adult community (Deacon, 1997). It could be stated that the process which children undergo when entering the adult world is both the cause and the main symptom, and that process itself is changing constantly. In the modern world, children are considered either corruptible or corrupted leaving little space for a normal child (Kuznesof, 2005). Brook’s claims that the decision of this problem does not corresponds exactly to the absolute freedom of children in society (Brooks, 2006). Children by their nature require certain limitations in order to gain knowledge about the modern world (Stormont, Espinosa, Knipping, and Mccathren, 2003). However, it could not be stated that these limitations should correspond to the age of a child. Also, the control of the adults should be confused and should not provide the limitations of children’s rights (Stormont, Espinosa, Knipping, and Mccathren, 2003). It is the duty of an adult to teach a child how to manage his freedom and opportunities. Libby Brooks states that she attempted to introduce the concept of a different approach to childhood and how that concept may influence an adult (Brooks, 2006). Anyhow the problem-solving leaves much space to put effort.

Works Cited

Brooks, L. 2006. The Story of Childhood: Growing up in Modern Britain. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Deacon, Desley. 1997. Elsie Clews Parsons: Inventing Modern Life. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Kuznesof, Elizabeth A. 2005. The House, the Street, Global Society: Latin American Families and Childhood in the Twenty-First Century. Journal of Social History 38, no. 4: 859+.

Stormont, Melissa, Linda Espinosa, Nancy Knipping, and Rebecca Mccathren. 2003. Supporting Vulnerable Learners in the Primary Grades: Strategies to Prevent Early School Failure. Early Childhood Research & Practice.