Top positive review
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Good Introduction to Rights and Responsibilities
on October 28, 2007
While I do not often agree with Bill O'Reilly, I found this book to be a good quick read on the rights and responsibilities of young people in today's society. O'Reilly does a good job of explaining why rights are not absolute and how the Constitution applies to every day situations.
Tossed in for good measure are examples of issues that affect kids and he asks them to think about how they would bring the issue to a conclusion, forcing the reader to try to figure out a solution themselves. In addition, a side benefit is proving that there is no "right" answer to many of these problems.
Finally, a third theme of the book is negotiation and compromise. I think that may be the most important lesson of all. He tells kids, in very clear terms, that court is a last resort for disputes and it is much better to work with another party than to fight them.
I was impressed that he stayed away from ideology (for the most part) and kept the vast majority of the book to facts. When his opinion was injected, he was sure to label it as such, and in most instances explain that it was only his opinion...not necessarily the answer.
My one disappointment with the book was its short length and it's "under" writing to the youth he claims it is for. The writing is rather simplistic and, while he claims this is for "smarter" kids in middle and high school, I think it would be better suited for kids in upper elementary and middle school. As a test, I gave to book to my 16 year old daughter, who read about 30 pages, and then gave it back with a note attached telling me that she learned most of this in 3rd or 4th grade.
I recommend this book, but be careful about the age of the reader. Most teens (with a brain) over the age of 12 will be insulted by this book. If kept to the proper age range, however, this could be a good learning tool.