Mark’s Books

Waltzing with Wolverines: Finding Connection and Cooperation with Troubled Teens

Waltzing-with-Wolverines-At-Risk_Troubled_Youth_Leadership_book_By_Mark_Andreas_2.14In these pages you’ll find riveting stories illustrating clear principles for achieving success with even the most trying of teenagers. In a job where average length of employment is measured in months, and many last only weeks, Mark Andreas not only survived, but thrived while working round-the-clock with troubled teens. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, a youth leader, or anyone wanting to connect and support the teens in your life, this book is for you.


“In Waltzing with Wolverines, Andreas redefines how to build relationship and trust with so-called “troubled” youth. In these pages, you’ll find a treasure trove of teaching and leadership stories, tools, and techniques. But this book is about much more than a list of behavior management strategies– it’s a clarion call to re-envision our relationship with our young people by creating relationships that are simultaneously more empowering and more effective for instructors and students alike. This is a must read for anyone working in the fields of wilderness therapy and outdoor education.”
—Jay Roberts, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, Earlham College.

“This book is a wonderful guide, not only for parents of “troubled” or “resistant” kids, but for every parent. If Mark had given only bullet points, like so many other books do, I’d have read and forgotten them by now. Instead, through the memorable stories Mark tells, the lessons are still clear in my mind. I wish I could have read this wise book when our children were younger, but I’ll buy it for them now before they make the same mistakes with our precious grandchildren.”
—Ben Leichtling, Ph.D. Author of How to stop bullies in their tracks and Bullies Below the Radar.


“Waltzing with Wolverines is a remarkable piece of work. This is a book of practical, nuts-and-bolts wisdom about working with youth on the edge. Anyone who works with young people will find useful ideas and inspiration in these pages.”
—Mark Gerzon, author of Leading through Conflict (Harvard Business School Press).

“If you are a parent, you need to commit the principles and techniques expressed in this book to your heart and mind so that you can remain sane during adolescence. If your child is already a teenager this book will become yours and your child’s best friend. Using the techniques expressed so eloquently by the author allows you not only to reconcile problems expressed by your children, your spouse, your colleagues but also to reconcile the more frustrating and problematic non-expressed problems, all in a non-confronting manner. This book should be a mainstay of communication programs.”
—Melissa J. Roth CHt., Ph.D.


“Mark doesn’t just discuss theories and philosophies of becoming a master facilitator for “at risk” youth, he models how it works in almost any possible scenario with brilliance, patience and true genius! If you want to become a master leader with teens in any venue, then this book is your bible for how to do it with great  humanness, compassion, humor and brilliance.”
Kimberly Kassner, author of, You’re a Genius—And I Can Prove It! and Founder of EmpowerMind.

Sweet Fruit from the Bitter Tree: 61 Stories of Creative and Compassionate Ways out of Conflict


Sweet Fruit from the Bitter Tree_Mark_Andreas_Boulder_COEnjoy these fascinating stories of how real people dealt with conflict situations by responding in unusual and creative ways that most of us would never think of. Some intensely moving, some funny, some startling or surprising—these stories will bring tears to your eyes and open your heart with a deep appreciation for what is possible. These pages cover the full spectrum of life—from the kinds of conflicts that all of us face, to the intensity of war and threats of extreme violence. Here you will find stories that take place in the community, the workplace, the schoolyard, and the backyard. You’ll read stories from dark alleys, psych wards, jails, hostage hideouts, and wars. These stories show how each person came face-to-face with a challenge and found their own unique way to meet it. There are no recipes here, no set of steps—just raw experience unfolding with a richness that will keep you on the edge of your seat through the last page. This book includes stories from Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, NonViolent Communication founder Marshall Rosenberg, Colonel Christopher P. Hughes, Milton H. Erickson, and many others.


“As a sage once said, ‘God invented men and women, because God loves stories.’  The stories compiled by Mark Andreas in Sweet Fruit from the Bitter Tree, tasted one by one, each morning or evening, can transmit real-world reminders about how changing our behavior can change the behavior of others—and that the right words, used skillfully and with heart, can turn a life around.”
Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior and The Journeys of Socrates


“There’s an old saying that some conflicts are so difficult that only a story can heal them. Mark Andreas has done us a great service with this collection of extraordinary stories that have this inspirational quality.” 

William Ury, co-author of Getting to Yes, author of The Power of a Positive No


“The stories in this book can teach you more than any academic course or workshop. They are not ‘case studies;’ they are life itself.”
—Mark Gerzon, President of Mediators Foundations, author of Leading Through Conflict (Harvard Business School Press)


“In the immortal words of songwriter Nick Lowe: What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding? This book is a charming and moving book about peace, love, creativity and understanding. I predict that you will be inspired by the stories in this book. One of them may even save your life someday.”
Bill O’Hanlon, featured Oprah guest and author of Do One Thing Different


“What a wonderful book this is — truly exceptional. The stories are so varied, so profound, so fun and surprising. The result is a sense of possibility awakened. If these ‘ordinary people’ can turn a tense or scary situation into harmony and peace, couldn’t the rest of us do that too? Sweet Fruit from the Bitter Tree subtly instructs us in the fine arts of possibility and peacemaking, as we savor its beauty and grace.”
Dr. Pamela Gerloff, Founder of The Global Possibility Project, co-author of Dignity for All: How to Create a World without Rankism (Berrett-Koehler)

Watch a story reenacted by the author: