Book Review—At Our Best: Building Youth–Adult Partnerships in Out-of-School Time Settings


  • Laurie Ross Clark University



youth–adult partnerships, social justice


Gretchen Brion-Meilsels, Jessica Tseming Fei, and Deepa Sriya Vasduevan’s At Our Best: Building Youth–Adult Partnerships in Out-of-School Time Settings brings together the work of over 50 youth and adults to build a youth–adult partnership praxis centered around ideas of trust, problem-solving methodologies, democratic participation, and collective action. The book, focusing on youth–adult partnerships for the purpose of social change, explores a set of field-expanding questions such as, “What do youth–adult partnerships look like in practice?” and “What are the relational and organizational practices that enable youth–adult partnerships to exist?” In addition to youth workers and youth development organizations, other groups of adults would benefit from reading the chapters’ rich exploration of dilemmas and strategies, such as funders, K-12 educators, and evaluators. Ultimately, this book honors young people and youth workers as important actors in social change and elevates the importance of their joint efforts. The deep relationship between youth work and a strong democracy clearly emerges, challenging us all to be “at our best.”


Brion-Meisels, G., Tseming Fei, J., & Vasudevan, D. S. (Eds.). (2020). At our best: Building youth—adult partnerships in out-of-school time settings. Information Age Publishing.

Hart, R. (1992). Children’s participation: From tokenism to citizenship. UNICEF International Child Development Center.

Leeb, R. T., Bitsko, R. H., Radhakrishnan, L., Martinez, P., Njai, R., & Holland, K. M. (2020). Mental health-related emergency department visits among children aged <18 years during the COVID-19 pandemic - United States, January 1-October 17, 2020. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69(45), 1675–1680.

Singh, S., Roy, D., Sinha, K., Parveen, S., Sharma, G., & Joshi, G. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on mental health of children and adolescents: A narrative review with recommendations. Psychiatry Research, 293, 113429.

Zeldin, S., Christens, B. D., & Powers, J. L. (2013). The psychology and practice of youth‐adult partnership: Bridging generations for youth development and community change. American Journal of Community Psychology, 51(3-4), 385-397.






Resource Reviews