Since I actually referenced a hip TV show in my last post (and admitted I loved the thing) and then proudly strutted our classical music sensitivities by describing two lovely new lute recordings that we stock at the shop, I thought I’d segue into a promo of something I’m very happy to announce—a new, inexpensive and astute little book about media and pop culture by our old friend Dr. Walt Mueller.
You may recall a half a year ago I gushed over the serious and important Walt Mueller book, Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture (IVP; $17.) The great subtitle speaks volumes: “Bridging Teen Worldivews and Christian Truth.” We stock oodles of youth group curriculum pieces, youth ministry guides, books about fun and games for teens, ‘tweener Bible studies, and all the many (quite good) new books about kids and spiritual formation. We don’t really view ourselves as the deep end of the youth ministry gene pool, but we are geeky enough to get excited about stuff like Chris Smith’s Soul Searching and what’s not to love about a semi-scholarly, secular book with a title like Murray Milner’s Freaks, Geeks and Cool Kids: American Teenagers, Schools, and the Culture of Consumption. I wish we had more time and space to tell you about these kinds of books—for instance, our latest find, newly published by Pilgrim Press, is Branded: Adolescents Converting From Consumer Faith by Katherine Turpin ($24) and it deserves serious attention.
But Walt’s IVP book, based on his extraordinary work at the Center for Parent & Youth Understanding (known as CPYU) stands out. It has solid theological meat, it takes God’s call to steward culture seriously, and it is as up-to-date and current as anything on the market. Walt has earned a reputation for bringing together some of the best scholarship on youth culture and bringing it to us in entertaining, useful and faithful ways. Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture is a must-read!
Now, he has out his mini-mini-version. Standard Publishers approached him to do a lean version as part of a new pocket guide series, a batch of brief books with full-color photos and graphics and sidebars on every page. Walt’s is called I Want to Talk With My Teen About Movies, Music & More. It sells for just $8.99 and it fits the nice pattern of the other quick-guides in this series. Dr. M here helps us recognze the importance of media, explores the power of music and movies to shape opinions and values, and offers his “assesment tool” to discover and discern what is going on in artifacts of popular culture.
I Want to Talk to My Teen About Movies, Music & More Dr. Walt Mueller (Standard Publishing) $8.99