Stand Up!: Be an Upstander and Make a Difference

Magination Pr. Dec. 2019. 112p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781433829635.
Gr 6-10–Moss defines the term upstander as “a person who stands up to support fairness and respect while also trying to decrease bullying and injustice.” The book provides examples of good deeds that will positively impact one’s community. Quizzes ask students how they would react in certain situations, allowing them to evaluate their own communication skills. An early chapter explains how young people must learn to be kind to themselves before they can help others. The following chapters cover empathy, compromise, conflict resolution, and antibullying techniques. The simple explanation of these concepts makes the book accessible to middle school readers. Concrete examples of how to make a difference at home (doing a chore without parents asking), at school (giving a “Kindness Certificate” to show appreciation to helpful classmates), and in one’s community (visiting the elderly at a nursing home) show tweens real tasks they can try in order to improve their world. If they have more complex actions to tackle, they can break them down into manageable steps by creating a ladder chart with the goal written at the top.
VERDICT Considering the recent flood of advice books for young adults penned by social media influencers, it’s a huge plus that this one is written by a highly experienced clinical psychologist. Give to tweens who want to take action and become positive forces in their communities.

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