Richard Louv

Recipient of the Audubon Medal

Author of the International Bestseller Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

© 2016 Richard Louv

Original website by Juxtaprose | Developed by Hop Studios | author photo by Eric B. Dynowski

Books by Richard Louv

Our Wild Calling by Richard Louv

Our Wild Calling

“Louv deftly brings together cutting-edge science, longstanding wisdom and recent discoveries, along with wonder and humor, while never losing sight of the magic that’s possible when humans and nonhumans connect. This is a book that offers hope.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“A manifesto for a new way of living in the world, the book reveals a natural tapestry too often ignored.”
—The Christian Science Monitor

“ ...fascinating ... In lyrical, sometimes mystical prose, [Louv] challenges our assumptions about how we relate to other species… The importance of time spent with other species and the mutual acknowledgement and curiosity found in a shared interspecies gaze ultimately leads to an affirming sense of recognition between two beings.”
—Booklist, starred review

“ impassioned and compelling case for establishing a sustainable bond with animals by proactively seeking to protect them ...Louv offers glimpses of how animals can effectively communicate with their own species and remarkable examples of cross-species interactions… A thoughtfully researched, poetically inspiring call to action that will resonate with a broad range of readers.”
—Kirkus, starred review

“Through fascinating stories of human-animal interaction, Richard Louv urges us to be open-minded about animals and reposition our species inside the natural world.”
—Frans de Waal, New York Times bestselling author of Mama’s Last Hug

Richard Louv’s landmark book, Last Child in the Woods, inspired an international movement to connect children and nature. Now Louv redefines the future of human-animal coexistence. Our Wild Calling explores these powerful and mysterious bonds and how they can transform our mental, physical, and spiritual lives, serve as an antidote to the growing epidemic of human loneliness, and help us tap into the empathy required to preserve life on Earth. Louv interviews researchers, theologians, wildlife experts, indigenous healers, psychologists, and others to show how people are communicating with animals in ancient and new ways; how dogs can teach children ethical behavior; how animal-assisted therapy may yet transform the mental health field; and what role the human-animal relationship plays in our spiritual health. He reports on wildlife relocation and on how the growing populations of wild species in urban areas are blurring the lines between domestic and wild animals.

Explore more: read an overview of the book, find out what others have said about the book, and purchase the book.

You can also see the covers and find links for international editions of the book.

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

“The simplest, most profound, and most helpful of any book I have read on the personal and historical situation of our children, and ourselves, as we move into the twenty-first century.”
—Thomas Berry, author of Dream of the Earth

“One of the most thought-provoking, well-written books I’ve read in recent memory. It rivals Silent Spring.” — The Cincinnati Enquirer

“This book is an absolute must read for parents.”
— The Boston Globe

“In my opinion, Last Child in the Woods is the most important book published since Silent Spring.— Robert Michael Pyle, author of Sky Time in Gray’s River

The new edition of Last Child in the Woods reflects the enormous changes that have taken place since the book was published. It includes: 100 actions you can take to create change in your community, school, and family; 35 discussion points to inspire people of all ages to talk about the importance of nature in their lives; a progress report by the author about the growing Leave No Child Inside movement; and new and updated research confirming that direct exposure to nature is essential for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. In 2008, Louv was awarded the prestigious Audubon Medal. Past recipients have included Rachel Carson, E.O. Wilson and President Jimmy Carter.

Explore more: read an overview of the book or an excerpt of the introduction, find out what others have said about the book, explore the supplementary resource guide, find out more about the Children and Nature Movement, watch a video of Richard Louv, and purchase the book.

You can also see the covers and find links for international editions of the book.

Vitamin N by Richard Louv

Vitamin N

“Louv proclaims the many advantages of reconnecting with nature, both for children and adults, in an insightful and practical guide chock full of inspirational advice. . . . Issuing an imperative that everyone should heed, this important new book provides the tools to reclaim the wonders and health benefits of nature.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Balancing the needs of time-stressed families with activities that appeal to different cultural backgrounds, and those that require organization as well as encourage independence, Louv strikes gold again.”

—Library Journal, starred review

Vitamin N is a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive, and practical guidebook for the whole family and the wider community, including tips and essays not only for parents eager to share nature with their kids, but also for adults without children of their own, for policy makers, religious leaders, teachers and pediatricians; and for those seeking nature-smart schools and even careers. It is a dose of pure inspiration, reminding us that looking up at the stars or taking a walk in the woods is as exhilarating as it is essential, at any age. Recommended by the National Science Teachers Association.


The Nature Principle

The Nature Principle

“Louv‘s vital, inclusive, and inspiring call to better our lives by celebrating and protecting the living world marks the way to profound personal and cultural transformation.”
Booklist, starred review

“Richard Louv coined the term nature-deficit disorder ... The Nature Principle [argues] that adults need nature as well - as a tonic, as a balancing force, as therapy. I’m convinced of that.” — Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

“A last call for sanity in a digitized world.”
— David Orr

The Nature Principle, by Richard Louv - now in paperback

Now in Paperback!
» see new Field Guide

In his bestselling book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv sparked a national debate that helped spawn an international movement to reconnect kids and nature. He coined the term nature-deficit disorder; influenced national policy; and helped inspire campaigns in over eighty cities, states, and provinces throughout North America. In The Nature Principle, Louv delivers another powerful call to action—this time for adults.

Explore more: read an overview of the book or an excerpt, find out what others have said about the book, watch the trailer, or purchase the book.

You can also see the covers and find links for international editions of the book.

The Web of Life

The Web of Life

Louv’s interests are diverse, ranging from death to county fairs, Native American witches, and a chili harvest. Simple but not mundane vignettes of an ordinary life with wife, children, dog, and van, enlarged by a sweetness of spirit that turns floating on an inner tube into the essence of fathering.”
Kirkus Reviews

The Web of Life (Conari Press, 1996) explores the connections of family and community, and was chosen by the American Booksellers Association as top choice for reading groups for 1997.The importance of connecting through memory and common humanity is the overriding theme that concerns Louv, a journalist and author (Childhood’s Future), in this collection of thoughtful, persuasive essays. Because the family is the first community a child knows, the author believes that family stories handed down from one generation to the next are a unique gift that helps people put their lives in context. Louv describes the power of oral history in Native American life and expresses concern that an overload of information and lack of leisure prevent many of us from preserving our family memories. Louv also describes his efforts to connect his own children to nature by teaching them to fish and to become aware of their relationship to wildlife. Although not traditionally religious, Louv advocates cultivating a spiritual awareness to stay in touch and connect with a world outside the individual or the family.


Fly-Fishing for Sharks

Fly-Fishing for Sharks

“I am blown away….The best book of armchair angling to hit the shelves in years.”
— Michael Levy, The Buffalo News

“Here’s a book about fishing for people who do not fish…That’s because its real subject is people.”
—Jim Lehrer, The News Hour, PBS

“An enlightening glimpse into the world of piscatorial pleasures and what evokes such passion in its enthusiasts."

— Grossman Chicago Tribune

“Through his travels, Louv becomes a kind of Studs Terkel of the fishing world….Makes me proud to be an American.” 

— Christopher Camuto Gray's Sporting Journal

For three years, Richard Louv listened to America by going fishing. To explore the cultures of angling, he traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific and to the Gulf Coast, too; from bass waters north and south to fly-fishing waters east and west. He joined a professional bass tournament on Lake Erie and got a casting lesson from fly-fishing legend Joan Wulff in Colorado. He angled with corporate executives in Montana and stoic steelheaders in the Northwest. He went ice fishing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and fly-fishing for sharks in California. In the Midwest, he fished with the host of the nation’s longest-running television fishing program. He spent time with the captains of Florida, the poachers of the West, and the regulars who fish the Harlem and Hudson Rivers in New York City.

Fly-Fishing for Sharks is the delightful result of Richard Louv’s journey, a portrait of America on the water, fishing rod in hand. From Whitefish Willy to Bass’n Gal’s Sugar Ferris, the people Louv writes about are simply unforgettable.


Other Books by Richard Louv

America II

Louv may well have defined the America of the 1990s and beyond.”
— The New York Times

“It’s a far, far better — and much more sobering survey than the offerings of Toffler or Naisbitt.”
— Kirkpatrick Sale, The Nation

“Sparkles with irony and insight…Louv deserves acclaim and attention for this brilliant essay.”
— Baltimore Sun

America II (Tarcher/Houghton Mifflin 1983, Penguin, 1985), is about the rise of the new urban form, an unprecedented arrival in private government, “walled cities” and the roots of massive change that moved the nation from the north to the sunbelt, from central cities to anti-cities, labor unions to companies-as-cults, from making things to writing code.

The Nation named America II as one of the ten best books of 1983. Three decades after its publication, America II seen as a warning for what would come in 2016.

“Overall, it’s startling how many trends Louv was able to see percolating in the American landscape of living and working in 1983; so many of his observations are essentially issues of inequality, corporate control, and substandard living environments that we can see have reached critical mass more than three decades later.”
Refusa, 2015


Childhood’s Future

“A passionate call for rebuilding community and family life.”
— The New York Times

“A wise and tender look at the new landscape of childhood…What makes Louv’s book such a rich contribution to the literature on family life is that he brings the eye of an anthropologist and the soul of an optimist.”
— The Washington Post

Childhood’s Future (Anchor Books, 1993) was the result of three years of travel and interviews with 3,000 parents, children, teachers and others who were creating a new rule book for family life, at a time when the old rule book had been discarded.

The book was the subject of a Bill Moyers PBS program on the state of the American family, was excerpted as a cover story in The New York Times Magazine, and helped changed national policies, including building support for the adoption of the family leave law under President Bill Clinton.


101 Things You Can Do for Our Children’s Future

“This is a great book — a great format and piled high with new ideas.”
— T. Berry Brazelton, M.D.

“I can think of 101 reasons why Americans should buy this book. Richard Louv offers a bllueprint for effective child advocacy, beginning with what we owe our own children and continuing through to what we want for all children”
— Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo), national spokesperson, Coalition for for America’ Children

A companion handbook to Childhood’s Future, 101 Things You Can Do for Our Children’s Future (Anchor, 1994), is a call to action to parents — as well as seniors, nonparents, employers, teachers, and all Americans. With strategies ranging from the traditional to the revolutionary — from simple techniques to create more family time to ways to weave a “super-extended family,” from how to create family-friendly workplaces to making libraries and parks safe places for children.



“I cannot think of another book that has so passionately defined the role fathers must play in their children’s lives. Men and women will be deeply moved by Louv’s inspiring new vision of American fatherhood.”
— Ann Pleshette Murphy, Editor-in-chief, Parents Magazine

“A powerfully emotional book that goes beyond changing diapers to tending a soul.”
— The Oregonian

Based on extensive interviews with fathers, mothers, and children across America, FatherLove expanded our understanding of fathers’ roles beyond bread-winning, even beyond nurturing, to men’s role in their communities, and to levels of experience that gave new, vital meaning to fatherhood and manhood.

The book became a keystone in the debate about the role of fathers in the 1990s. Richard Louv was asked to speak before the White House Domestic Policy Council and to the administrators of every federal agency, including all branches of the armed services. As part of a broader movement, FatherLove helped bring new attention to men as parents, led to reforms in how future government studies were conducted, the inclusion of fathers in parent leave policies, and how nonprofit and government programs incorporated men into their efforts to assist families. The author was asked to serve on the advisory board of Father-to-Father, a nonprofit established by Vice President Al Gore.