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E Is for Ethics: How to Talk to Kids About Morals, Values, and What Matters Most Hardcover – December 8, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When their two children were young, kids' TV writer and animator Corlett and his wife initiated a weekly family after-dinner discussion to explain and foster ethical and moral values. Admitting that he is a plain old dad and not a Ph.D. in ethics, Corlett nonetheless felt obliged to address the void in moral education left as school and even Sunday school curricula stopped routinely teaching ethics for it seems no one wants to touch the subject of right and wrong anymore. He developed two charming and lovably humorous characters—Elliot and his sister, Lucy—and 26 story situations that take place in families, at school, in team sports and in the community, each of which demonstrates a different ethic ranging from honesty and understanding through forgiveness, courage and perseverance to loyalty, gratitude, fairness and acceptance. Even citizenship, generosity, trust and respect are covered as Elliot and Lucy encounter life's moral predicaments. Each of the 250-word lessons is followed by a what would you do? kind of question, the definition of a moral quality with accompanying short commentary and a pertinent famous quote or two, which together point youngsters toward doing the right thing and understanding why. Most likely to be well received by younger kids, this charming, interactive little book is appropriate for kids preschool to tween age and their parents. (Dec.)
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Review

"Corlett, a veteran in children's programming, hits a home run with this small gem of a book. Enthusiastically recommended." -- Library Journal, starred review

"[A] charming, interactive little book" -- Publishers Weekly

"To help your child look at the bright side -- and the best side -- of life, check out E Is for Ethics by Ian James Corlett. It has 26 stories about the values that make the world tick, including gratitude." -- The Washington Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (December 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416596542
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416596547
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Today I spent over 30 mins with my three girls (10, 8, and 5) talking about Ethics and we all had a good time. I don't think this ever happened before. It was a wonder experience. I can't wait until we can sit down and read a few more stories out of this adorable book.

It is a simple and easy to read book. The stories are about two pages each and are followed by a few questions. Some of the questions did lead us to longer conversation, which was wonder. Some of the stories seemed a little silly to my 10 year old. Her comment would be "that wouldn't happen" or something like that. Even when she didn't really like the story she still learned something by trying to make up another version/idea for the Ethic or helping her sisters figure out an answer to one of the questions. I was amazed on how often they were able to come up with a story from their own lives that when with the book. I was also amazed they kept asking for another story. They each picked an Ethic they figured would help the other.

This book is great and children of all ages could get something out of it. However, an older child might get more out of it if he/she had younger children to help. I think my 10 year old would have been a little insulted if I would have tried to read this book just to her.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I saw this on Amazon Vine, I thought that it would be a nice thing to pick up for my 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old. Taking nothing away from this book, my kids are probably a bit young for it. That being said, it is still a good read with a modern spin on ethics.

Pros
* 26 short, mostly easy to understand stories on 26 different aspects of morality (honesty, forgiveness, tact, politeness, patience, etc.).
* My 4 1/2 year old daughter already gets some of the lessons, so I look forward to really leveraging the Q&A in a year for an even fuller experience.
* Nicely written.

Cons
* These "stories" aren't as beautifully written and lack the character development of the historically common more traditional religious stories and fables I grew up with. Those stories taught lessons in morality with amazing character development and mesmerizing story lines. Elliott and Lucy (the children) are not very well developed and you don't really get to know them, or what they are like, through these stories.
* 26 is too many. Certain topics seem a bit duplicative. I would have reduced the # of topics and developed the remaining stories more extensively.

All in all, well worth picking up!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Children suffer unnecessarily because no one has taught them about ethics. For young adults without these skills, life can be full of hard knocks. Parents: please don't expect society to teach your children about ethics in a mild and caring way.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think in today's society, these concepts are completely skipped in the curriculum, leading to smart people that don't know how to empathize, care about each other, communicate civilly. Being civilized is the difference between civilization and society!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This has to be one of the best books EVER! It teachers morals and values on a child/teens level. The book gives 26 key words, such as respect or responsibility. It gives a story, asks questions at the end that make one think, and it gives examples. This is well written and a must have for every home or classroom. Just get it, you won't be dissatisfied.
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Format: Paperback
Before I review some of the stories , I would like to make a comment about the forward that Ian wrote. His is a dad of two children who believes that children need training, reinforcement, and respect for ethics. He and his wife decided to establish a Monday night "family fun night". They used this time to discuss ideas, parables, and issues for the week. Ian feels parents need to fill the void of making sure their children are taught ethics.

I will share a few of the read aloud stories included in Ian's book:

HONESTY: This is a story about a little boy, Elliott, who found a $5 bill. He was shopping with his mother and as she waited to check out, the woman in front of them was telling the clerk that she had had a $5 bill but lost it somewhere in the store. Elliott knew right away that the money he found belonged to this woman. Ian has discussion questions at the end of the story for families to use and this quote from William Shakespeare: Honesty is the best policy.

INTEGRITY: Elliott and Marci were together working on a dinosaur project for school. Elliott made the model of the dinosaur. Marci responsibility was to write the text for the report. Marci copied the text from the internet article she found. It was not her work. Elliott did not feel this was right. The discussion questions center around keeping your reputation and what is right in this particular circumstance. The quote written was by Janis Joplin: Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got.

TRUST: Elliott was going on a skiing trip with his family. His dog Lola needed a responsible person to take care of her while Elliott was gone.
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