The Book

Get your copy of Biodesign Out For A Walk at:

  • Main Street Books – 1315 Main Street, St. Helena, CA.  Call (707) 963-1338 to request an autographed copy, or stop by and see Liza Russ (the owner) or Christie Young (the author’s wife).
  • Barnes & Noble

Read reviews published by the St. Helena Star, more on &

Listen to what this high school humanities teacher has to say after reading Biodesign Out For A Walk.

Here’s a review by former student & chaperon, Jeff Cook

Reviewed By Rich Follett for Readers’ Favorite:

“I read the entire book in one sitting – thoroughly enjoyed your journey. I am an unconventional nearly-retired educator myself!”

Biodesign Out for a Walk by Lowell Harrison Young is one passionate educator’s deeply revealing, honest, and inspirational reflection upon a 24-year-long, personally crafted ‘Biodesign’ high school program which employed unconventional instructional methods paired with annual wilderness classroom experiences at Mendocino, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon. The text is full of pleasant surprises from start to finish. Each of Biodesign’s 31 chapters begins with a philosophical quote from one of a cadre of exceptional writer/truth seekers – among them John Muir, Loren Eiseley, Annie Dillard, and Kahlil Gibran – followed by a student profile with a related anecdote corresponding to the lesson at hand. Like most dedicated teachers, Young has continued to teach in retirement, in this case, through the poignant and timely lessons in this book – lessons made dynamic and easy-to-digest by Young’s natural gift for storytelling and the episodic nature of the work, written in brief, concise vignettes that make Biodesign equally appealing to those who wish to peruse and those who like to read an entire book in a single sitting.

Young’s parables are delivered in a laid back, ‘pull-up-a-chair’ style perfectly suited to the campfire atmosphere flavoring the narrative, which is unexpectedly peppered with vivid imagery : “[a]nd so our little gimpy band headed east, which meant that the canyon loomed at our left. They walked alone or in small groups, like owls with left-turn-only heads.” Full measures of laughter, tears, magic, and mystery are woven into the mix; Biodesign is deeply human and charmingly existential without ever crossing the borders of maudlin or mundane. The sincerity of Young’s storytelling and his ever-active sense of wonder place the wisdom of his reflections beyond the reach of cynics. Every word of this extraordinary text has been crafted with love and a particularly unimpeachable brand of awe that reminds even the most jaded among us of the privilege inherent in being a human being connected to the natural world. This is a winning window into the world of a lifelong teacher’s mind and heart, guaranteed to encourage essential questions for those beginning, continuing, or trying to reconnect with their own spiritual journey.


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