In its 232 pages, this book contains a massive amount of material about children’s rights. It is aimed not only at children’s rights workers, but also anyone working directly with children and young people, as well as policy makers, managers, educationalists, academics and students.There are eleven chapters besides the Introduction and Conclusion, covering issues such as international perspectives, the impact of rights on parents and children, rights and responsibilities in relation to education, children away from home, respecting diversity, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, youth work, youth justice and mental health. I could not think of anything which had been omitted.
If you try to read through the book from the start, you will find that its inclusion of so much detail makes it seem rather bitty, but it was intended more as a work of reference for readers to dip into, depending on the topic of concern to them at the time, so smooth flow is not a matter of importance. There are quite a lot of examples and quotations of young people’s views; they break up the text and prevent it getting too stodgy. Some are apposite, but others seem less helpful.
Most of the text is factual in describing or quoting from law and other official documents; some of it is analysis; some of it is the author’s views on the subject. In consequence, the book is not exactly a reference text, though it could be used as such, but it contains ideas and opinions as well, reflecting Ann Wheal’s lengthy experience as a practitioner, lecturer and writer in this field.
Because of the amount of detailed information and analysis it contains, the book should be on their bookshelves of the target readership.
Wheal, Ann (2007) Children’s Rights: Respecting Children’s Rights and Understanding Responsibilities Brinton Cottage Publishing, Southampton