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Be the Best You Can Be: A Guide to Etiquette and Self-Improvement for Children and Teens Review by Kathy Gelzer

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson Charm School
17298 Lake Knolls Road
Pekin, IL 61554

The often overlooked area of etiquette is one that homeschoolers are uniquely positioned to study, and it behooves us to perfect our children's manners so that we project a good image of the homeschooler. Though a secular book, Be the Best You Can Be addresses proper behavior, which is certainly something Christians should be concerned with. The author, who teaches etiquette to all ages, covers self-esteem, posture, conversing and telephone manners, making friends and overcoming shyness, table manners, and all kinds of behavior at home and out.

The book is easy, enjoyable, and interesting to read, with short introductions to the subjects and plenty of bullet points and lists. The inclusion of examples and anecdotes might be a good addition to the chapters.

Be the Best You Can Be is not only a text but also a workbook, with fun personal surveys and "Just for You" challenges. There are also five review exercises scattered throughout which are comprised of true/false questions, fill-in-the-blanks, role-playing, and short answer.

The book tends to apply more to female than male readers in the chapters on good grooming, but ladies usually have more to attend to in that department.

This is a great little book (106 pages) with about 29 chapters on specific topics related to good manners and personal presentation. It would be easy to read this book with mixed ages as a family. I'm sure it would foster good discussion, especially if parents shared their perspectives and experiences with their children.

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2011