UGA alumni Anne D. Mather and Louise B. Weldon are effecting a change for the considerate, one child at a time.
Their book, Character Building Day by Day: 180 Quick Read-Alouds for Elementary School and Home, is a series of vignettes designed to teach morality in real-life situations and germinate thought in children.
Each story takes up about a page and can be read aloud in fewer than five minutes. The discussions, which are classroom-, youth group- and dinner table-ready can last from minutes to hours, according to the authors.
But the book’s value lies in its subtlety: It doesn’t preach a rigid set of ethics, opting instead to let readers form their own sense of morality.
The stories concern true-to-life situations (a neighbor asks to borrow your bike one too many times, a best friend becomes a ghost when a couple of new girls move to town, etc.) and plays out the adolescent dramas succinctly.
The fast-paced tales, narrowly focused plots and quick resolutions lead, inevitably, to the questions: Was that the right thing to do? What is? What would I have done? And it’s up to children to sort out right responses from wrong.