Monday, July 15, 2013

Book Review: Ed Douglas Publications

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We were asked to review the 25 Truths, from Ed Douglas Publications. Ed Douglas is an author, high school tennis coach, and retired bank CEO. He compiled a list of 25 Truths that he believes lead to a happy, successful life and, after sharing them with various people, was encouraged to put them into book form. This book is the result of that.

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The book, which retails for $12.50, is a relatively quick read, with a short chapter for each Truth, followed by some discussion questions. The Truths are simple, but profound. Examples include "Be Slow to Judge" and "Take Life One Step at a Time".

The suggested age range for this book is Grade 6-12 and up. Even though Sassy and MiniMe are slightly below this range (4th/5th grade), I used this book as a part of our bedtime routine. I read a "Truth" to them, and we discussed it. A few led to deep discussion, but in most cases, even at 10, they could see that it was pretty common sense, though the reminder is good. The discussion questions are very similar for each Truth, and often didn't work well for my children at this season of their life. The standard questions essentially ask if you know someone who's lived this truth, how did it seem to impact their life? And, conversely, do you know someone who didn't live this truth, how did that impact their life? In most cases, the girls couldn't come up with someone, and honestly, while I probably could have come up with someone *I* had known at some point, I couldn't easily come up with people they would know. Part of that is that we don't interact with hundreds of people regularly, since the girls aren't in school or group sports or similar. By part way through the book, they were frustrated with the discussion questions and we moved away from the questions to just discussing the truth in general, answering THEIR questions about it, etc. That seemed to work better for us.

I love the idea of this book, to get teens and young adults (or older adults) to think about how they live their lives and what their goals, priorities, etc need to be. It's a quick read, helpful for times of life when young people are swamped in general and don't have alot of time to read. For MY children, I wish, since it is marketed as a Christian book, and does include a few Bible verses, that the focus was more on living a life to please GOD rather than focusing on worldly success (making money and being seen as successful in your community), and personal happiness. I also found a "Truth" about investing your money using compound interest to be "out of place". Saving is important, but this seemed very specific compared to the rest of the book, and I found it . . . misleading, in today's economy, to use examples of investing at 12% interest when most places a new investor could easily, and safely, invest funds are offering less than 1%.

MiniMe enjoyed the book. About halfway through, Sassy mentioned that it seemed like every chapter was all about how great the author was at living out that truth which, kinda makes sense, given the overall premise of the book, they ARE the truths that HE chose to live by, but to her, it felt like "bragging" and she found that took away from "hearing" the truths.

So all in all, I love the idea of this book and it can certainly be a valuable resource for helping a teen think through how to live their lives.

Be sure to see what other crew members thought of this book, by clicking on the banner below.


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