What Do You Stand For? For Kids

A Guide to Building Character

A self-help book that encourages kids to recognize the importance of values in everyday life. Each chapter contains activities to help cultivate positive character traits. For Grades 2-6.

165 pages. ©2005.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted March 21, 2022


My daughter loved this book!


Review posted March 16, 2022


This was a wonderful tool to add to my teaching toolbox.


Review posted March 1, 2022


This book created thoughtful and engaging conversations with our family.


Review posted January 21, 2022


This book is worth reading! Helps explain positive character traits while also providing exercises pertaining to those traits.


Review posted January 8, 2022


My kiddo is 7 and we are working our way through this. Well, I am. When there is a passage that I think will resonate, I pull out the book and we read it together. The “getting organized” section was helpful. Having help with how to plan was a game changer. Breaking down the process opened her eyes to a new way of doing things. Certain quotes (“no choice is also a choice” Yiddish proverb) rang true for her. Disaster preparedness was also very helpful.


Review posted December 1, 2021


A good guide for building character


Review posted October 27, 2021


I have loved using this book in my classroom of 5th graders. It has helped to be able to guide individual and class discussions.


Review posted September 26, 2021


This is not the book I expected. I thought it was a book written for kids to help them build positive character traits. It does offer information for kids to discover their own personal qualities and building them stronger. However, I would not describe this as a kid's book. I think this book is too advanced for kids and not written in kid language or at a kid level to help them learn about these terms and how to develop and apply them. This is a book written for adults to maybe read with or to kids and discuss together. This is a good book written for building quality time together to read together but not meant for kids.

Sarah Levitt

Review posted September 3, 2021


Great book to read and go through with kiddos in an easy conversation around skills building


Review posted August 28, 2021


As a homeschool parent, teaching and building character in my children is not only a top priority, but it can also be a challenge due to more limited situational experiences in the early years. I am impressed with the format of this book, and I believe it will be a valuable asset to our home this next school year. It explains each character trait in language kids can understand and relate to, it provides great real life examples, and it also provides practical ways kids can in turn demonstrate these traits and continue to build upon where they are. This book also provides some great self awareness assessment tools to get started, to help a child determine strengths and weaknesses. As this book does not have to be completed in order, these tools can provide a good starting point by pinpointing areas where more attention may be needed. I think as adults, we often assume kids know how to demonstrate good character, that they know what that looks like, but some areas are not intuitive for each child. I am very hopeful that this book will help me fill in some of the gaps for my children, and we will see some positive outcomes.


Review posted August 23, 2021


I truly loved working with my son using this book. It brought us closer and gave us opportunities to discuss many things that I hope will help him understand who he is and what is important in life.


Review posted June 14, 2021


The variety of strategies to engage young learners and get them to 'think' and 'grow' their minds was impressive. One wish left unfulfilled for me was not having printable handouts to share. I was imaging in part the book would offer some handouts. But even without printable forms to share, it really did pack a lot of information into less than 150 pages. Dotted throughout you'll find real stories retold to parallel the them covered. Overall, I'd say it was a nice collection of ideas to help young learners recognize the value of and the steps toward becoming a good citizen, developing character.


Review posted June 6, 2021


I love this book for young children. I had originally gotten this book for a teenager but it was too juvenile. It is a perfect fit for early elementary children especially if they have an adult to use the book with.

Forever learning

Review posted May 21, 2021


I loved reading this book and after reflection, incorporating it into our family culture.


Review posted March 15, 2021


This is a great interactive book to use with students or you own children! Lots of great stories and examples plus activities to really get kids thinking about character traits in their own selves!


Review posted January 11, 2021


The book was extremely helpful . The worksheets and reprintables are extremely useful . And helps with character traits and emotions.

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Review posted January 4, 2021


This book is a great resource for character-building. Each chapter explores a different topic (like respect, fairness, responsibility, cooperation) and has examples, stories, and an activity. My eight-year-old enjoyed it.


Review posted December 14, 2020


Love this book! It's an easy and simple reference for parents to use to help guide kids with value based choices


Review posted November 17, 2020


As a school counselor I teach Character Education. This year I have 15 minutes per lesson. The entire grade level meets me for class virtually. I have been finding great ideas in What Do You Stand for? I teach the lessons and am particularly interested in the book suggestions.


Review posted November 3, 2020


My son and I had a splendid time reading and discussing all of the topics in this book. What a great way to present to children how to be an upstanding human being. It was easy to understand and caught my eleven year old's attention with colorful pages and relatable examples and suggestions on standing strong for his values and his integrity. It is a book we will likely go back to time and time again for review.


Review posted October 2, 2020


Very helpful insight.


Review posted September 28, 2020


I have discovered that embracing the development of positive character traits not only makes us better citizens but contributes greatly to the soundness of emotional health and stability. Through the activities, What Do You Stand For? For Kids: A Guide to Building Character, children are guided through the process of self-discovery and knowing their strengths and building up their weaknesses. I highly recommend this book to parents and teachers who want to give their children the tools to becoming positive members of their communities.


Review posted July 30, 2020


This is perfect for children attending 3rd grade- 7th grade. Many activities require children to be able to write. It is organized in a fun and comprehensive manner.


Review posted June 9, 2020


Great way to start conversations with young children.


Review posted June 1, 2020


I love how easy this book is to use with students! It really flows well into lessons with my fourth grade class about how to shape our own character into something we can each be proud of.


Review posted May 23, 2020


This was a great book to use for my child's social studies. My child is in kindergarten but is pretty advanced. This book explains character traits and helps the child understand these traits through stories of real children doing great but often simple things. It has small writing assignments throughout. The reading was very engaging and understandable to my child. Contains suggestions for further reading in each category as well.

Jan Diamantine

Review posted May 4, 2020


What an excellent book and so many ideas on how to interact with kids. My daughter is a behavior specialist in a school and she is anxious to use some of the tools in the book.


Review posted March 18, 2020


Great book, easy to read and digest.


Review posted March 3, 2020


What a great book to share with one's children. It has quizzes that are fun and provoke conversations and more questions about morality and critical thinking skills.

Janice I Woody

Review posted February 9, 2020



Hilary Barfield

Review posted February 8, 2020


Wonderful book with pages for children to fill out.


Review posted February 7, 2020


This is such a fun, interactive book. I got it to accompany the deck of cards that go with it as a group conversation starter.


Review posted February 4, 2020


I initially thought my 13 year old son would like this, but it appeared to be geared more towards the 8-10 year old range. I foresee it being better served as a group activity (therapy, school, etc) than an individual at-home work.


Review posted December 5, 2019


This is a great resource! I can't wait to use it in a small group with some students.

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Review posted November 18, 2019


This workbook for kids is a great tool for thoughtful and guided discussions with your children. For my daughter, some of the workbook lessons are a bit too abstract for her to complete alone, but that allows for a more natural home instruction time. I appreciate the foundation this book can provide, though, be warned that it is not a quick read with your child.


Review posted November 5, 2019


This book has many good resources for teaching about character traits to students, including scenarios to discuss, activities to try, and worksheets to use. This could be a great book for a child to work through with some adult guidance and many pieces could be used for large groups. Overall a good resource for children.

Emiliya King

Review posted October 25, 2019


I got this for a my 7 year old and it seems to held his attention


Review posted October 12, 2019


This book has a lot of information on character traits. It has an explanation of the trait, a story of someone that exemplifies that trait and a way to work on the trait. There are reproducibles so that you can do the activities yourself and resources so that you can read more if you want. It will be a great resource to use in a classroom on the character traits. It also would be a great resource for families to use that want to build character in their children.


Review posted October 10, 2019


I found this really similar to the curriculum to Six Pillars of Character. We use this at our residential facility and I have used it with adjudicated youth. Easy book and the kids don't mind it!


Review posted September 18, 2019


Great book to help kids lean self esteem and self worth. I use the concepts and ideas for my socials skills groups.


Review posted September 6, 2019


This book has been a great resource for my 7th grade students, especially when writing about themselves, what makes them who they are, and the type of person they want to grow up to become. Great questions and ideas with contributions from other kids for students to think about.


Review posted July 11, 2019


I love that this book focuses on important values that all kids and adults should be using in their daily lives. It is so easy to read through the stories and complete the discussions and activities with kids. I love books like this that help make it easier for me to have important discussions with my own children and the youth I work with.


Review posted July 10, 2019


What a terrific book! Easy to read and understand. This book is about helping children build character. It starts out with a quiz and then in the following pages explains what your answers mean. It then guides the reader in steps to build character. A good read for anyone helping children build character.


Review posted May 7, 2019


This is a great book for kids of all ages. It's good for younger children, I'd say 4th grade and up, but also good for adults who don't always understand the big abstract things that are sometimes thrown at us. This makes character building fun and understandable. I highly recommend this for everyone!


Review posted April 25, 2019


I got this book thinking it was for parents, however, I found that it has many great tips and activities for parents to support children in building character traits such as fairness, honesty, respect and many other foundational core values that builds children up for success in the world. I really enjoyed reading about each trait and all the kid friendly and age appropriate tips and activities to try with kids in building each trait.


Review posted April 22, 2019


This book is amazing! It gives many acronyms for skills that children can work on and those contain strategies and examples to use with them. I love how there are questionnaires that they could fill out about themselves to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses. I already know I will be using this book in my classroom especially to help students problem solve and accept their responsibilities.


Review posted April 15, 2019


Love this book! Great ideas that are easy to put into action.


Review posted March 19, 2019


This book is organized very well and does a good job of going into detail about the character traits that it focuses on. I like the different sections of each chapter with both the anecdotal stories and the suggested practices to engage with these traits.


Review posted March 16, 2019


I am a home visitor, and am really excited to start using some of the ideas in this book with the kids I work with. In reality, I don't see a lot of kids sitting through a parent reading this word for word, which is a disappointment because the stories are great. However I really enjoy the flow of the book. They cover 10 character building traits, and each trait gets its own chapter. They cover: Citizenship, Cooperation, Fairness, Forgiveness, Honesty, Relationships, Respect, Responsibility, and Safety. Each chapter follows the same general flow, they start out with a real life example of a kid in the world practicing the trait, then it breaks the trait down and gives definitions and such, then it goes into discussion questions you could easily use with kids, it flows into examples children can do at home/in their community to work on the trait, and then it gives you a list of books you can read to learn more about that trait. Overall a great resource, that provides worksheets to use, lots of definitions, real examples, and provides additional resources.


Review posted February 25, 2019


I like how the lessens help my pre-teen granddaughter work through dilemmas she can or has encountered and make good choices. She can use the references given though I think a parent to check those as well in case something has changed as in Abbie Hoffman who was disrespectful in his protest. I also would not recommend a child go to Moveon.org, a protesters page. The book does help with character and has given her much to think about and all of us much to talk about.


Review posted February 24, 2019


This is a wonderful, concise book that addresses, in sections, the following character issues: caring, citizenship, cooperation, fairness, forgiveness, honesty, relationships, respect, responsibility, and safety. Each section starts with a true story about a child that exemplifies the trait being discussed. This is followed by a definition of the trait and ways that the reader can build that trait in himself. I bought this to read with my own children and ended up passing it along to my child's teacher. As a teacher myself, I think that this book is a useful tool to help us teach our children about the importance of character.


Review posted February 5, 2019


We don't teach character anymore. This book is a great resource for parents, teachers, and counselors.


Review posted December 31, 2018


works great as a tool to help children understand that topic.


Review posted December 30, 2018


Great Book


Review posted December 15, 2018


Many of the activities repeat. It’s another good resource but as a stand alone book it’s lacking.


Review posted November 26, 2018


This was helpful in giving the parents that I work with a guide and way to have active discussions with their kids about values.


Review posted November 26, 2018


I absolutely love this book! Very informative and a must for any educator or adult with children. This has come in handy already within the short amount of time that I have owned it. We are working on virtues this year, and this book is an addition to those virtues.


Review posted November 5, 2018


I read this book with my second grader. He did say that some parts were really boring. However , it was a good bonding for the both of us.


Review posted October 17, 2018


I selected this book to be a resource for my 5th grade Sunday School class. The subject matter and tone of the book should be helpful as we delve into areas of character and community building.


Review posted October 9, 2018


This book is a great tool to have when trying to teach elementary school children positive character traits. The quotes and stories are relevant and easy for them to understand.


Review posted September 26, 2018


This is a great book. I love the fact that it has quizzes. It makes you really think about yourself and others.


Review posted September 14, 2018


I love the whole idea of this book. I was happy to discover that there are schools that actually teach Character as part of their curriculum, and sad to simultaneously realize that not all schools do.


Review posted September 6, 2018


I love this book and plan to work with my granddaughter to complete the exercises in it. Very thought provoking.


Review posted August 13, 2018


This book was a little different than I was expecting. It's is written for youth to read and use themselves whereas I was expecting a book written for parents. It includes topics around forgiveness, honesty, fairness, responsibility, caring, cooperation, and citizenship. These are ideas that my 11 year old has been exposed to quite a bit through family and school. It is recommended for youth ages 8 to 12 however I think the younger end of that spectrum is more appropriate. It feels a bit immature for my 11 year old. It seems to have a good diversity and equity lens.


Review posted August 3, 2018


Great book to use as a elementary teacher resource! It has simple explanations for important characteristics, interesting real-life stories of children showing specific characteristics, and quizzes to learn more about yourself. There are "What If?" examples for kids to discuss, examples of ways to build stronger characteristics, web resources, books ideas for extra reading, and address for foundations to help children. Great book!


Review posted July 4, 2018


Helpful resource organized by values (ex: caring, citizenship, forgiveness, and responsibility). Diverse, nonfiction stories with themes related to these values begin each chapter. Chapters also include examples of activities to increase behaviors relevant to those values and suggested children's literature with relevant themes.


Review posted July 3, 2018


This is a good book to use with kids, I created a group with some of the activities and readings.


Review posted June 22, 2018


Good book to help children identify their value systems which is so important to start at a young age.

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Review posted June 15, 2018


I was not expecting this to be as useful as it was. I read the honesty chapter out loud to my 5th grade classes, and they really related to it and it sparked great discussion.


Review posted June 5, 2018


This book is a great resources for children and youth who want to work on developing skills for the future. It can also be used as classroom lessons for Counseling, due to its connection with social-emotional learning and academic support. I will be using it with my students as a School Counselors, to help them with character development and support for the future.


Review posted May 23, 2018


I loved this book for all the ideas for developing 10 Character Traits! As and adult, I plan on continuing to build and develop these traits as well. Wonderful, insightful principles, examples, charts, ideas to inspire and encourage with true stories! I loved the acronyms ie: Forgiveness, Caring, TALK, Family, Fair and the quizzes to help you see where you might need to work on some of the traits that bless your own as well as other lives and all relationships! This is my third book in your reading program. Thank you!


Review posted May 9, 2018


This book is SO much fun!! I read almost all of it with my 10 year old daughter the day it came in. It is so easy to read and understand. I highly suggest this book if you have kids in your life!


Review posted March 29, 2018


A nice resource for elementary students.

Toby Abraham-Rhine

Review posted December 27, 2017


Well written and bears high ideals, but as I read it I was wondered about the age of the target audience. As an elementary school counselor, I was hoping for ideas for teaching character building as part of my comprehensive guidance curriculum. The scenarios it presents offer practical application to use in a classroom with children, however I cannot see the bulk of my students relating to the level of content. Perhaps, middle school? The quotes are all very well chosen and thoughtful and I am very interested to know what children think of this book. I will perhaps try it on some of my fifth graders to see if it hits the mark.


Review posted December 25, 2017


What Do You Stand For? For Kids: A Guide to Building Character I see this as a workbook for children and family to work through together. The title sums up the gist exactly. This serves as a mixture of activities and interventions that most can relate to and all need to take the time to read.


Review posted December 7, 2017


Great book for teaching on character.


Review posted September 15, 2017


This is a great book for 8-12 year old kids; just when they are really ready to think about these concepts. I ordered the book because I thought there might be some activities I could do with my team. I got some great ideas to adapt for adults, and as a bonus, I'll share it with my elementary age grandkids!


Review posted September 6, 2017


I started reading this to my 6 year old and while I knew I liked the material, I was amazed at how interested he was in the content. the way the book is set up is easy to read and kept my son captivated! Well done


Review posted September 4, 2017


I really like the quizzes that allow the child to evaluate themselves on each character topic. I feel like we can use this book over and over and examine growth in these areas as my kids age.


Review posted August 31, 2017


This was a very good book. There were several real-life stories that encouraged a lot of thought and would be a great conversation builder with children. It is applicable to most people and situations, but it wouldn't be the best for somebody with a very conservative stance. However, there are enough scenarios, that it would be great for everybody to read.


Review posted August 18, 2017


A good book with useful strategies to help children.


Review posted June 27, 2017


This book was easy to read and well organized. I provide clinical supervision for a job. I am going to take some if the ideas and activities from this book, modify them and use them with my team.

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Review posted May 16, 2017


This is a great resource for teachers and parents who want to enhance character development. The book has practical activities to use with children, as well as work sheets, additional resources, and discussion starters. This is a resource that should be on every teachers shelf.


Review posted March 3, 2017


I thought this book was great however, the age rating for grades 2-6 to be a little over my 8 year olds head. I find my daughter did not comprehend the information well enough but I am keeping the book to review again when she is a little older.


Review posted February 9, 2017


Love this book!


Review posted January 6, 2017


I liked the format I just wish you had an adult version.


Review posted October 31, 2016


This was a great book to help with ideas and building my elementary school leadership program.


Review posted October 5, 2016


I ordered this book to hopefully help my daughters to grow, and become women of good character. It is a great book/tool that any parent can go back to with their children as needed. My girls are still young but if you break it into small pieces and talk about what you have just read it really seems to make changes. Children want to learn and they want to be "good" people. I was surprised at how receptive they were to this. I want them to know that possessing good character traits is the best way to get ahead in this world. Those are the people you want out there making a difference.


Review posted August 7, 2016


This book allows adults to begin conversations with kids about very important personal qualities like honestly, forgiveness, cooperation, responsibility, and more. The book allows adults to have discussions with children rather than act in authoritarian ways to teach the qualities.


Review posted July 19, 2016


I ordered this for some fifth grade girls who found the book to be a pretty boring read. I think this is better suited for adults to use as a teaching/group guide, rather than as a "self-help" book for young people to use on their own.


Review posted April 11, 2016


Aimed more at teenagers so not perfect for my young children. Building character is not something that is emphasized in schools today, so this will be a useful guide for me to work through with my children when the time comes.


Review posted February 23, 2016


I ordered this book to use with my two boys that I home school. We enjoyed reading through the story examples of what other kids are doing in the communities and the What If..? questions were good for starting conversations or role playing. There are a good amount of extra resources listed for a range of age levels that we have looked up as well. I am using this book for lessons, but it also sits on the kids book shelf and they will pick it up and read parts of it independently as well.


Review posted December 8, 2015


My kids and I read it together. We really enjoyed it and learned a lot.

ashley advocate

Review posted November 23, 2015


I love that there are many activities and it is easily adaptable to individual needs.


Review posted November 16, 2015


My daughter took this book from me and is using it for herself.


Review posted October 13, 2015


I have worked both as an elementary school teacher and also as a non-profit executive director. I used this book with my daughter to engage conversation at the dining table. My daughter is 11 years old the questions, topics and activities in the book gave us wonderful jumping off points. If I ever return to the classroom, I would definitely use this book.


Review posted October 12, 2015


This is a fantastic book that's great for educators, parents, and pretty much anyone who works with children. Children are able to gauge where they're at by taking a quiz, which helps them to understand their strengths as well as character traits they can work on. With my daughter getting older (and her school encouraging particular character traits), I'm always looking for ways to convey messages in ways that she can easily understand. Being half Korean, I really appreciated the section on respect, which details how Sowan Bahk respected her elders by obeying them and not talking back to them when they did not permit her to pierce her ears. I didn't expect to have a book that can help children see things from the perspective of other cultures as well! This one's a keeper for sure.


Review posted June 29, 2015


Workbook for kids.. It has good info on having a good foundation in character


Review posted May 14, 2015


great book for kids!


Review posted April 12, 2015


I work in an elementary school as an educational assistant. One of my responsibilities is working with kids with behavior problems and poor decision making. This book has some GREAT ideas I can put to immediate use. I highly recommend it to anyone who works with young children.


Review posted March 31, 2015


I recently read a book that encouraged parents to write out characteristics they wished to see in their children when they were grown adults. Things like to be caring, kind, compassionate, etc. The idea was to use what you wrote as a kind of road map to guide you in intentionally raising your children. It was a great idea, but how as a busy parent do I go about doing that? When I discovered What Do You Stand For? For Kids, I knew I had found my road map. My kids are 8, 4 and 2 and all boys. We starting sharing the book over dinner and then I would follow up over the course of the week as we focused on just one character trait at a time. All 10 traits have a definition, a true story about how a child embodied that characteristic, ways to develop that trait and a section of what if questions. While my kids are still pretty young to really absorb all that the book has to offer, it has been a wonderful jumping off point to start the conversation about what it means and why it is important to be a person of character. I would highly recommend this book and know that it will be one that I will be revisiting throughout the years as my boys continue to grow.


Review posted February 5, 2015


Loved this Book Thank you!


Review posted December 29, 2014


I really enjoy the hands on examples this book gives of how to encourage positive behaviors from kids. I am a counselor and plan to use this with my adolescent clients and their parents.