When I hear parents say 'I want my children to enjoy their childhood; there'll be time when they're older to learn about those things', I hear the voices of those who are scared of the vastness of the universe. These adults have a view of childhood as some kind of discrete interval, rather than just a few years from the continuum of life. How fortunate that the spirit, courage and curiosity of many young people remain largely undefeated by such adults.John Marsden has spent his adult life engaging with young minds - through both his award-winning, internationally bestselling young adult fiction and his work as one of Australia's most esteemed and experienced educators. As the founder and principal of two schools, John is at the coalface of education and daily witness to the inevitable and yet still mysterious process of growing up. Now, in this astonishing, insightful and hugely ambitious manifesto, John pulls together all he has learned from over thirty years' experience working with and writing for young people. He shares his insights into everything - from the role of schools and the importance of education, to problem parents and problem children, and the conundrum of what it means to grow up and be 'happy' in the 21st century.