|0807031283 From Booklist Katch, a teacher, relates her day-to-day observations of five- and six-year-old children, increasingly enamored and engaged in violent play-acting. Over the course of a year, Katch watched children reenacting violence from television and movies and even creating a game called Suicide. She engages parents, older children, and other teachers in her efforts to record how students are acting out violence and how to reduce violent influences on children. Katch struggles with the need to allow children to creatively vent their feelings but to curb a growing fascination with violence among some children. She examines changes in children's behavior from the index-finger guns and "bang-bang" of earlier generations to graphic and gory violence acted out on playgrounds today. Katch intersperses her classroom accounts with remembrances of sessions with the late Bruno Bettelheim, famed for teaching emotionally disturbed children at the University of Chicago. Vanessa Bush Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved Book Description "The five-and six-year-olds in my class have invented a new game they call suicide. I have never seen a game I hate so much in which all the children involved are so happy. " So begins Under Deadman's Skin, a deceptively simple-and compellingly readable-teachers' tale. Jane Katch, in the tradition of Vivian Paley and Jonathan Kozol, uses her student's own vocabulary and storytelling to set the scene: a class of five-and six-year-olds obsessed with what is to their teacher hatefully violent fantasy play. Katch asks, "Can I make a place in school for understanding these fantasies, instead of shutting them out?" Over the course of the year she holds group discussions to determine what kind of play creates or calms turmoil; she illustrates (or rather the children illustrate) the phenomenon of very young children needing to make sense of exceptionally violent imagery; and she consults with older grade-school boys who remember what it was like to be obsessed by violence and tell Katch what she can do to help. Katch's classroom journey-one that leads her to rules and limits that keep children secure-is an enabling blueprint for any teacher or parent disturbed by violent children's play.