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The Book of Virtues for Young People: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories
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The Book of Virtues for Young People: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories

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4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,858 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
Stories from the best-selling The Book of Virtues for a younger audience

The Book of Virtues for Young People is a treasury of timeless stories, poems, and fables selected from William J. Bennett's national best-seller, The Book of Virtues, that teaches young people the importance of incorporating virtues in one's daily life.

The collection, which also includes new material,

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Hardcover, 384 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published November 1st 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephen
5.0 stars (I would give it more if I could). An absolutely superb collection of stories brilliantly edited by William Bennett. A wonderful teaching tool for parents and a lot of fun for kids.
Spencer
Mar 01, 2010 Spencer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading excerpts from this book at a time is like sitting down in front of the fire with your Grandpa or Grandma telling you stories you can fall asleep too. All the stories, essays, poems, songs, rhymes uphold a virtue. They range from humorous to serious in nature. Any book that carries Henry V's battle cry, "Once more unto the breach, dear friends," belongs in the home library.
Danielle
Oh. That was my reaction once I finally got around to cracking this tome open. It turns out this book is not what I was thinking it was going to be. Based on the title, I was expecting real, true stories that illustrated great moral truths. Ya know, like the guy who was honest about the clerk giving him too much change, even though he didn't know how he was going to feed his family that night, and then because of his honesty, the store manager offers him a job, and he's able to feed his family f ...more
Stephanie
Jun 07, 2007 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dreamers
Well I'm rounding 700 pages in this 815-page monster, so I'm going to call it read. Hope you won't protest.
The Book of Virtues is a very large collection of interesting fiction, non-fiction, children's poems, Greek myth, biblical stories, inspiring speeches once given, historical figures' journal entries, tall tales and such. They are loosely compiled according to the "virtue" they posses. This is just the kind of thing I love: Things that are fanciful and thought provoking. Over the course of
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Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
some kids had "Goodnight Moon" and stuff like that.
I had the Book of Virtues. Thanks, parents.
:P
Mason.osman
Jan 21, 2013 Mason.osman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Book of Virtues" is made up of smaller stories on important life virtues. I was actually kind of excited to read some of the smaller stories, mostly the ones that mean the most to me. I read Loyalty(pg663-737) and Self Discipline(pg19-104), which were both very interesting. I enjoyed Loyalty most, I think because I can relate to that more. One quote in Loyalty is ,"We don't have to like those to whom we are loyal, and they don't have to like us". Reading this quote made me think twice about ...more
Moira
Apr 25, 2010 Moira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Youngsters who love legends, fables, and fairytales.
I remember being introduced to this book on my tenth birthday, when it was given to me as a birthday gift. I was completely fascinated by the thickness of the thing, and I was so proud at the thought of reading through it all. I did eventually read it all, and after that one read I went back and read my favorite stories over and over. Some were very serious, others more lighthearted, some funny, and still some that were unbelievable - but to a child's mind, deliciously fictional.
Perhaps some gro
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Eric_W
Dec 09, 2008 Eric_W rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
All Bennett proved is that he can compile good stories than he didn't write but liked. And then he makes a lot of money from it. No original thinking here and shouldn't original thinking be one of the highest virtues?
Jackie
Jul 31, 2009 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic book! A collection of works that is easy to dip in and out of during the day. This book was originally intended for kids but I feel that adults can gain much from this book. I am currently reading the chapter titled "Compassion." I have to share this one particular entry with you:
The Sin of Omission by Margaret E. Sangster

It isn't the thing you do, dear,
Its the thing you leave undone
That gives you a bit of a heartache
At setting of the sun.
The tender work forgotten,
The le
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Lora
A big fat book of many types of stories that are arranged by the virtue they illustrate- honesty, hard work, courage, etc. There's a little bit of everything in here for a family- from a little spooky tale of The Wee, Wee Woman to the inspiration of Washington's Farewell Address.There are Greek myths and retellings of scripture stories. There are songs and poems. There are even things we didn't agree with, or the kids found disturbing in small ways. They led to important discussions on dealing w ...more
Neil Sharma
Sep 27, 2015 Neil Sharma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a book designed to be read cover to cover. Rather, you flip through it, pick a few short stories or poems, and read it slowly. Afterwards, stop and think about it, let your mind marinate in each virtue, and perhaps memorize a passage or two.

I probably only read a quarter of the book so far, but glimpsed at most of it. Some stories are familiar -- the velveteen rabbit or the boy who cried wolf, others are more obscure and come from non-western cultures.

There is a charm in reading chil
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DC
Apr 13, 2014 DC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This audio collection is very nostalgic for me. I remember the times when my mother would play these for me (in glorious cassette form, no less!), and I would listen to these memorable stories, told with only the most soothing of voices, until I fell asleep. When I got older, my mother had the cassettes recorded and burnt into CDs, and I, in turn, got the MP3s and listen to them on my portable media player from time to time.

The stories come from far and wide, featuring the mighty Genghis Khan to
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Caleb
Aug 30, 2014 Caleb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've had a copy of this book for years and finally read it.

I would venture to say that many (most?) people who grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s won't know many of the stories contained here. So the kids growing up today won't have a clue. That's a shame.

This is not really a sit-down-and-read-all-the-way-through book, but one that's better for fireside readings where you talk it over afterwards, because the stories contain lessons that are timeless and true for everyone. This book inspired me t
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Vania Melamed
Jun 20, 2012 Vania Melamed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should belong in every parent's library. Each story is no more than a few pages long and has a moral at the end to be discussed with the kids. If you need a reprieve from the heavy reading of religious works yet still crave some substance, this book is basically an indirect self-help book that should be entitled: "Inspired suggestions to prevent you from further screwing up your life, you 'forward-thinking' pansy, you".
Cheryl
Jul 09, 2009 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
I borrowed this book from the library with the intention of having "family reading time". I read the stories myself and kept a list of the stories that I thought my 13 year old daughter would be most interested in. Dang teenagers... she didn't want anything to do with it! As for myself, there were some stories I really liked and others, not so much.
Melissa
Sep 17, 2014 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My parents had a copy of this that they bought when I was a teen. I loved the collection of classic short stories, fables and fairy tales. I also think the wording is updated to modern understanding. I have a large vocabulary, but recently read an older version of Aesop's fables that was tripping me up. Many of those stories are in The Book of Virtues, but readable for children. Because the stories are short, you can always just pick one to read at night, no need to go through the book front to ...more
Elle Alexander
Jan 27, 2013 Elle Alexander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Every person, be they very young or very old, should own this book.
Misterscottypooh
WELL WELL.....WELL. I WAS ON A RUNNERS HIGH WHEN I WALKED INTO THE NEW BARNES AND NOBLES IN KANEOHE. I'VE NEVER BEEN MORE RIGHT ABOUT KNOWING SUBDUALY THAT IN THE PSYCHOLOGY SECTION THE BOOK TEEMED, "THE HELPING FRIENDLY BOOK" DID TOO EXIST. I AJOINED MY CHILDHOOD YEARS FLUNKING GRAMMAR AND GRADESCHOOL FOR EXELENT REVIEWS RATHER THAN LAST NIGHTS HOMEWORK WHICH MIGHT BE AND REALLY MUST HAVE BEEN COMPLETE FOR HONORING THE STUDENTS OF THE PASTS AND OUR FOREFATHERS WE EDIT TODAY, THE PROPHETS WE HAD ...more
Michael
I've been reading this book off and on for fifteen years or so. It is filled with stories, fables, poetry, song lyrics, and lots of other great pieces of classical literature. I use many of the myths in this book in my classroom. It's a long book; not one you'd sit down and read cover to cover, but each time I open it I find something else I like. Essentially, the editor arranges each chapter by virtue--friendship, discipline, faith, etc.--and provides selections from classical literature and hi ...more
Terry Jacobs
Aug 15, 2013 Terry Jacobs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Book of Virtues" is an interesting collection of stories and philosophies concerning virtue. While marketed as a book to "... aid in the time-honored task of the moral education of the young," much of it is beneficial to enlightening the parent as well. The material in the book that I personally found most intriguing is probably beyond the comprehension of "the young," but would serve as a catalyst for dialogue that could be useful in instructing teens in the art and science of virtue.

Many
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Sean
Oct 05, 2013 Sean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a little surprised by this book. I've seen William Bennett interviewed and was a little turned off by his extreme right-wing viewpoints (read--moralistic). But The Book of Virtues is just a huge collection of stories that are organized by the virtues that they proclaim: Self-Discipline, Compassion, Responsibility, Friendship, Work, Courage, Perseverance, Honesty, Loyalty and Faith. Bennett serves merely to introduce each story with a short comment and he does so without seeming at all mora ...more
Poiema
Oct 04, 2015 Poiema rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An invaluable anthology of Biblical, mythical, historical, poetic, and other moral writings that are foundational to the Western world view. The selections are superb, short enough to read to children but meaty enough to engage adults. The audio edition is a joy to listen to. Take it with you on long car rides and your children will be entertained and educated. A gem.
Emily Dern Reynolds
I love this book - it sits on the living room table and when occasion arises, we pull it out and find a relevant story or poem. We've used to to talk about a whole range of virtues and ideas, as well as for school projects on famous people in history, speeches, authors... my boys are seven, and I know we'll refer to this for years to come.
Joan
Feb 19, 2014 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I keep this anthology easily available all the time. I refer to it regularly since I first bought and read it in the 1990s. Anytime I am asked to prepare a program for a group or a devotion, this book is one of the first resources I reference.
Ellie  Dynek
Sep 09, 2014 Ellie Dynek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
A wonderful collection of stories that every person should read at least once in their lives, full of lessons that are always applicable to situations in every day life
Gwynne
Oct 24, 2014 Gwynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-but-unread
I borrowed this book from the school library. Unfortunately, finals were coming up and I coudn't finish it and had to return it already.

Even though I was only able to read the first two chapters, I can say that it is a great book. It is truly meant not only for a children's treasury, but also for teen and adults. The morals are well expressed in the strories, poems, and discourses. Plus, the printing quality was also good. The book is awfully heavy, by the way.

Actually I found a hardbound copy o
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Brandon Fast
Filled with a great collection of stories, poems, and letters!
Debbie
Mar 10, 2014 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the take on Morals/Values.....Recently Re-Read
Edgar Mora-Reyes
Jul 10, 2012 Edgar Mora-Reyes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Padres de familia, educadores
Gran libro en lo concerniente a las historias cortas, poemas y demás.
Se podría decir que el autor aporta poco, y eso le resta valor al concepto en sí, sin embargo es un libro que aporta mucho por si solo, ya que como el autor menciona, es un libro de apoyo, que auxilia a los padres en la ardua labor educativa con ejemplos claros y prácticos sobre temas fundamentales para la vida y alcanzar la felicidad.
Es bello recordar los cuentos que nos contaban de pequeños, y recordar sus moralejas.
Recomenda
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Janene
You know you've got something good when your kids are asking you to read once again that one story about George Washington, or that one about the "please," or the one about the frog and the snake, or the one about the shiny windows.

I think to myself, do they REALIZE that they just asked me to teach them about honesty, self-discipline, friendship, gratitude? I finally had to return this to my mom because we've had it for so long, but I'll be watching for it at a bargain price so I can have my own
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William J. "Bill" Bennett is a politician and author who served in the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, as chief of National Endowment for the Humanities and later Secretary of Education under Reagan, and Drug Czar under Bush. He is a nationally well-known figure of political and social conservatism and authored many books on politics, ethics, and international relations.
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