How Seniors Are Saving the World: Retirement Activism to the Rescue! by Thelma Reese and BJ Kittredge is an interesting and rewarding reading experience. Reese is a blog creator active on her site www.ElderChicks.com and has two books to her credit already, The New Senior Man and The New Senior Woman, and a retired professor of Education and English. She is, likewise, active in national and local cultural and educational initiatives and a former spokesperson for Hooked on Phonics. The book begins with an extended dialogue between Kittredge and Reese about what they want to accomplish with this book and their earnestness is apparent, but their intelligence is on display as well. They have obviously given a great deal of thought to the book, the information they want to explore, the themes they want to present. The dialogue serves as an excellent springboard into the text.
Reese and Kittredge portray the ways seniors are saving the world through a series of personal portraits illustrating how seniors are affecting change in modern society. These changes are relevant to issues facing many of us today so they are grounding their look at the issue in reality rather than at a remove. They bring each of the individuals to life thanks to utilizing their own words and writing about the people with relaxed affinity. This is a book that acknowledges the limitations of age but never belabors them – Reese and Kittredge, instead, focus on the possibilities the advancing years open for people. It is a cliché that with age comes wisdom, but all clichés contain at least a kernel of truth or else they wouldn’t be part of our frame of reference.
The uniform high quality of the writing, likely attributable to Reese’s years as an English professor and innate talent, is key to the book’s success. She keeps the tone conversational throughout and there’s no wasted motion detectable through the entirety of the book. The co-authors craft prose that zeroes in on the subject at hand and eschews any sort of side trips. The lack of self-indulgence in the book is refreshing to me, but Reese succeeds in personalizing the book’s mood thanks to her obviously sympathetic point of view.
It is not a book that demands a linear approach to reading. I think one of the most appealing aspects of How Seniors Are Saving the World is how readers can begin anywhere in the text and dive in. It unfolds, however, in coherent fashion – the sure hand of both writers prevents the structure from ever seeming choppy and the profiles are long enough that you don’t experience any sort of whiplash transitioning from one portrait to another.
Thelma Reese and BJ Kittredge’s How Seniors Are Saving the World: Retirement Activism to the Rescue! touches on a subject few writers have yet touched and makes a convincing case for how seniors are still making important contributions to our world. It is a book you can read in a single sitting and likely holds up under repeated reading.