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Everyday Graces: Child's Book Of Good Manners Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 407 pages
  • Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 1st edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932236090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932236095
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

In Everyday Graces: A Child's Book of Good Manners, Karen Santorum has produced for parents and teachers a wonderfully rich and instructive anthology. Her volume speaks to the regrettable fact that the subject of manners is not much discussed anymore, and good manners seem practiced even less. Yet, good manners are a prerequisite for the growth of moral character; they are the habits of conduct and behavior by which we express in the most ordinary circumstances our fundamental respect for others, whether parents, friends, colleagues, or strangers. It is evident, then, that when we fail to instill good manners in our youth we invite a decline of civility and a coarsening of our common life.

Under such headings as "Honor Your Mother and Father," "Please and Thank You," "No Hurtful Words, "Good Behavior in Sport," and "Showing Respect for Country," Mrs. Santorum has arranged a collection of stories and poems that will develop and enrich the moral imagination. Some of her selections are well known; others are forgotten gems that deserve a new hearing. Authors include Hans Christian Anderson, Beatrix Potter, Mark Twain, Frances Hodgson Burnett, M. Montgomery, C. S. Lewis, Max Lucado and Arnold Lobel, to name only a few.

Karen Santorum writes that this anthology "grew out of the frustration of not being able to find a book on manners that instructs through stories rather than by rules of dos and don'ts." Each of her selections has been tried and tested on her own children, and each is introduced and concluded by her own thoughtful commentary. The result is an informality and intimacy that is inviting and infectious. Everyday Graces will be useful both as a bedside book and as a reference for home, school, and church library.

"This book is a treasure chest - every story a gem. The knowledge imparted in this book will, indeed, make the world a much better place." --Elizabeth Dole, US Senator

"It's also book of manners for Rock Stars . . . " --Bono, singer/songwriter, U2

"Good manners are a reflection of a person's heart and soul. There is nothing more beautiful to a parent than when a child looks beyond himself in consideration of another. All of the kind deeds and words that come from a wellmannered child add so much joy to the lives of others. Everyday Graces is fun, entertaining, and instructive. Without even knowing it, children are learning good manners as they read through the stories and poems. I highly recommend this book to every parent. It is a book every family should have and enjoy!" --Jane Seymour, actress, author of Remarkable Changes

"A lovely and touching family reading experience. Here is a delightful and poignant opportunity for parent and child to bond in love and wisdom." --Dr. Laura Schlessinger, national radio talk show host and author of the children's book Where's God?

"Good literature can be an inspiring guide to good behavior. Parents who share this book with their children will thank Karen Santorum for the skill and sensitivitywith which she chose its contents. And so will the parents' children when, years hence, they read it with their own children." --George F. Will, syndicated columnist

"Karen Santorum touches a raw nerve. The moral decay in American life has led to the coarsening of America. Slothfulness, remember, is one of the seven deadly sins. Through stories, poems, fables and myths, here is a great resource to restore manners." Charles W. Colson, Chairman, Prison Fellowship Ministries

"Karen Santorum believes that politeness stems from the nature of a person. As a mother, she also knows the power of stories to shape and mold the nature of our children. In Everyday Graces, Karen has complied a treasure chest of tales that helps us raise the next generation of children into adults of kind compassion. Everyday Graces is a must for families that desire their children to become people of character." --Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated talk show host

"A charming collection of stories that will delight children while teaching them important lessons about life." William Kilpatrick, author, Why Johnny Can't Tell Right From Wrong

"Among the casualties of the 'culture war' have been civility, manners, and what we called in my grandparents' generation 'deportment.' Karen Santorum mounts a counteroffensive in Everyday Graces, gleaned from classic and contemporary sources that teach what we once held to be common sense and common values. This book belongs in every home in need of reinforcements." --Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist

"Everyday Graces represents a valuable contribution to the new national trend to emphasize virtues above information, character over skills. Karen Santorum has provided a useful service for all parents who want to encourage more civilized behavior in their children." --Michael Medved, film critic and national radio talk show host

"What I want to say to Mrs. Santorum for giving us this remarkable and stimulating book on the much-neglected subject of manners is: Ma'am, permit me, "thank you so very, very much." --William Murchison, Radford Distinguished Professor of Journalism, Baylor University

About the Author

Karen Santorum is the author of the acclaimed book Letters to Gabriel. By profession, she is both a nurse and attorney. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and worked for several years in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Her Juris Doctorate degree is from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she was a Law Review member. One of twelve children, she is married to former U.S. senator Rick Santorum. Together they have seven children: Elizabeth Anne, Richard John, Daniel James, Gabriel Michael (deceased), Sarah Maria, Peter Kenneth, and Patrick Francis. Her greatest role and love in life is being a full-time mother at home. According to Karen, “There is no greater joy in life than to be a mother. It is the most important job I will ever have.”

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Customer Reviews

This is a book that is a great resource for good manners and habits.
Amazon Customer
I had 3 children visit us for a week and this was the book I read from at bedtime each night.
Traci D McCullah
The stories and poems are a great way to keep the children interested.
Brent Coursey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great collection of poems, book exerpts, and stories geared towards leading a child to good morals and desirable habits. My daughter (6 yo) loves reading these stories and poems.

The book is divided into sections, each focusing on a different moral trait or good habit, such as honesty, good table manners, and responsibility. Parents and children will find this collection interesting and entertaining. Many exerpts and poems have a humorous bent, which helps to freshen a possibly dry and tedious topic. Exerpts are taken from a wide variety of authors, from L.M. Montgomery (_Anne of Green Gables_), to the whimsical Shel Silverstein.

This is a book that is a great resource for good manners and habits.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. Cerow on March 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover

I bought this book for my 5 year old daughter, and we have been really enjoying it as it is a wonderful collection of literature. Each story comes with a little blurb emphasizing the moral of the story.

I read some of the other reviews and a few seem to knock teaching morals through stories. However, I disagree -- so many of us like a good story, and it is a great story that maybe teaches us a little something.

A story has been a great way to spark a conversation with my daughter about what happened to a certain character. We can start examining morals and life lessons, and work through how to make good choices.


The only con for this book I have is some of the literature is made for a child a little bit older than my daughter. As I said, she is 5 (almost 6) and she has had a harder time comprehending SOME of the stories written with an older English. However, for every story that she might have difficulty with, there are usually 6-10 other poems or stories where it is not a problem, and she will grow into the rest of the stories.


I really like this book and believe it was worth the money.
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46 of 61 people found the following review helpful By readsalot on October 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Our daily reading routine usually includes devotions in the morning and stories in the evening. Our boys, ages 4,6, and 8 each get to pick a story and mom or dad gets to pick one. For the parents' choice we usually pick a story which teaches a moral lesson. This book, is one of the better ones for this purpose as many of the stories or short enough for bedtime. The stories are also categorized for easy selection. Even though this is not our kids bedtime story choice, they do enjoy listening to them and they do pay attention and ask questions - important on moral lessons.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Geer on February 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend it. It has all kinds of literature in it (poetry, classical lit, bible verses, etc). The first section is about obeying your parents. The author gives examples through literature of children who didn't obey their parents and the consequences. For example, she retells the Greek myth of Icarus and His Father. It's very fun and helps spark conversation about obedience throughout the day with "remember the story...". For those of you who lean on Scripture for instruction to your little ones, it includes it and may be at the heart of this book as well, but the author doesn't wave it in your face on every page.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ethel Ellison on December 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has some wonderful, beautiful gems in it. There were many poems and selections from books that I remember from my own childhood, but also some that I have never heard of. The book is mostly too old for my 2 1/2 year old daughters, but there are a few poems and selections that I can read to them and get their attention with. There aren't many pictures - I can't recall any, but think there might be a few small drawings. This is for children old enough to listen as you read aloud. I am thrilled to have this book on my shelf, where my children can read through and explore it when they get older. I appreciated that there was a mix of styles, from whimsical poems by Shel Silverstein to selections from Anne of Green Gables.

One of the greatest things about this book is that it calls one's attention to indispensable classics that parents may have forgotten, or never read before. I will be buying some of the books which selections were chosen from, and referring to this book as my children grow up to get ideas for stocking the family library.

I do have a few minor complaints. First, many selections are followed up by a 'moral' written in everyday language. I found this potentially trite and the points were overly belabored. Also, sometimes the switch in tone could be jarring after some of the selections. However, I think that these little notes will have the desired effect as long as I don't read them and just leave them for my children to discover when they are able to read for themselves. I'm hoping that they will come across as little treasures and surprises for my children to discover on their own.

Second, some of the selections came from novels and needed a lot of prefacing to explain their context, and even then seemed a bit disjointed. Most were fine, but occasionally I just felt like something was missing as I read the selection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jen in NC on February 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the idea of this book- using great literature to illustrate points of good behavior. The author does a great job achieving this.

What I found frustrating, though, was that in most cases the reader is given only a chapter, or even just part of a chapter, of a book like LIttle Women or Anne of Green Gables.
If your children are not familiar with these books, you will have to spend some time explaining all that has happened to lead up to the point being presented.
Otherwise, if you don't know the whole story, it is very hard to appreciate fully the example given.

Also- having only a tiny part of the story frustrated my children. They were upset when the chapter ended and wanted to hear more of each story. And that is fine, and even good- inspiring us to read the whole book later- but it did make us "lose the moment", so to speak.

I think this book would be excellent for older children or teenagers who already are familiar with Anne of Green Gables and her friend Diana Barry, who know their history in Avonlea and can immediately connect with the chapter presented. Or who already have read The Iliad or Hans Brinker.

Otherwise- why not just read the whole of Hans Brinker? or LIttle Women? or any of these books? They are excellent stories, full of many examples of good morals and good manners that could be discussed along the way.
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