Michael Parker is the author of seven works of fiction, most recently the critically acclaimed novel The Watery Part of the World. His work has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and many other magazines. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, and three lifetime achievement awards, including the North Carolina Award for Literature. He teaches in the MFA writing program at UNC-Greensboro and lives in North Carolina and Texas.
**STARRED REVIEW**In this surprisingly funny book, novelist and educator Parker (deputy headmaster, Cranbook Sch., Sydney; Doppelganger) provides parents with a neat tool for introducing conversations involving moral and ethical concepts. Aimed at children ages ten to 15, 109 brief numbered scenarios in three categories are presented and address topics such as lying, stealing, drugs, money, and more. Never pedantic or out of touch, the author has a singularly humorous way of making the topics not only relevant but also slightly dangerous and exciting. Some entries give a familiar concept a modern twist (Robin Hood stealing from the rich to give to the poor becomes redistributing a jerky millionaire's wealth), and some are rooted in daily life ("Your sister's rabbit dies when she is away. Should you replace it with an identical bunny?").VERDICT If parents can heed the author's advice ("If you?are speaking more than your children, you are speaking too much"), the practicality and relevance of the topics will have kids debating in no time. For younger children, go with Ian James Corlett's E Is for Ethics, but for those with older kids, this title is a must-have.