From the Publisher
“Every family needs a copy of Is It Still Cheating If I Don't Get Caught? by Bruce Weinstein, Ph.D.” Family Circle
“This appealing guide speaks to the ethical dilemmas that all young people experience in their daily lives, and it should prompt considerable conversation and reflection.” Kirkus Reviews
“… Readers will identify with many of the issues raised.” Publishers Weekly
“The approachable tone of the book and the realistic scenarios make this a good choice for those teens who need some advice about how to deal with all that they face in their daily lives.” School Library Journal
“The author, also known in Web circles as "The Ethics Guy," is a well-known motivational speaker and syndicated columnist who has published other self-help books on life skills and cooking. It is highly readable, practical, economical, and sensible--perfect for all nonfiction collections.” VOYA
“Drawing examples from teen life, the nationally syndicated columnist offers specific questions, sample responses, and explanations of the ethical responses using his principles . . . . Readers looking for a game plan for their lives will be well served by this clearly articulated approach.” Booklist
Weinstein, aka the syndicated columnist "The Ethics Guy," addresses adolescent ethical dilemmas using a set of five "Life Principles" (Do No Harm, Make Things Better, Respect Others, Be Fair, Be Loving). Posing theoretical situations, Weinstein makes assessments based on the principles (buying student essays online violates the first principle by "diminishing your educational experience") and suggests an ethical course of action ("If this is the book you're assigned... this is what you have to tackle"). While readers will identify with many of the issues raised (trying marijuana, downloading music without paying, breaking up with someone by e-mail), some may find the approach didactic. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 10-14. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
VOYA - Kevin Beach
Students might wonder what the real harm is in downloading music illegally, copying homework, or accepting a favorable error in monetary situations or grades. Several scenarios are presented in this little book concerning friendships, feelings, and situations where honesty and justice are at stake. Options are offered, and then the author evaluates these possible responses with some basic common-sense advice. He proposes five simple principles that can be applied to any ethical dilemma. This particular volume aimed at a teen audience covers many probable situations that can arise from sports and Internet behavior to sticking up for friends and being honest at work. The book's arrangement suggests that it could be used as a class exercise to prompt frank discussions or just between friends as a chance to explore their moral compasses. Illustrations will accompany the simple text. Short chapter layouts and an index of the dilemmas make the source a very easy tool for consultation or browsing. Final chapters on dealing with grief and applying the fifth principle, "be loving," are an added bonus. The author, also known in Web circles as "The Ethics Guy," is a well-known motivational speaker and syndicated columnist who has published other self-help books on life skills and cooking. It is highly readable, practical, economical, and sensibleperfect for all nonfiction collections. Reviewer: Kevin Beach
Children's Literature - Karen Scialabba
By introducing fictional but true-to-life events in the everyday lives of teens, Bruce Weinstein, Ph.D., an ethicist and popular syndicated columnist for adults (otherwise known as "The Ethics Guy"), skillfully ushers young audiences into the world of ethical reasoning. With the clarity of an expert, he takes centuries worth of deep philosophical inquiry and distills it down to one essential phrase: "How should one live?" Then, keeping "right thinking" on track, he offers five ethical life principles to use as a filter for the values and competing factors that under-gird most issues and dilemmas. Young people will be challenged to think more deeply and do the work needed to resolve life's complicated issues rather than avoiding or ignoring the problem or, worse, mindlessly submitting to peer pressure. A valuable resource for professionals, counselors, and teachers, this book is ideal for parents wishing to engage in a one-on-one discussion with their child. Reviewer: Karen Scialabba
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up
Young adults live in a world that offers them more choices, and more challenges, than they can possibly process without some confusion and frustration. Weinstein offers them some guidance in this accessible and practical guide. At the start of the book, he outlines five "life principles," encompassing simple ideas such as honesty and compassion, which he then applies to various hypothetical situations. The situations run the gamut from school issues, sports, friends, and dating to Internet use and drugs. The author creates realistic scenarios in which many kids may find themselves. His advice repeatedly refers back to the life principles, maintaining a consistent reference point for readers. He closes the book by encouraging them to find another person, whether it be a parent, another close adult, or a religious mentor, with whom to discuss their problems. The approachable tone of the book and the realistic scenarios make this a good choice for those teens who need some advice about how to deal with all that they face in their daily lives.-Carol Fazioli, Gwynedd-Mercy College, Gwynedd Valley, PA
Weinstein, a professional ethicist who writes a syndicated column as The Ethics Guy, offers an accessible guide to living an ethical life and sound, practical advice for applying ethical principles in a variety of scenarios. Following a concise introduction to the origins of the concepts of ethics and morality, Weinstein addresses three myths about ethics. He uses the example of Rosa Parks to illustrate the ethical myth of "if it's legal, it's right." The two other myths are "if everybody's doing it, it must be right," and "if it feels right, it is right." The author suggests adopting five ethical principles to serve as guidelines for doing the right thing: do no harm; make things better; respect others; be fair; be loving. After elaborating on the meaning of each of these "Life Principles," he illustrates applications in situations involving such issues as cheating, plagiarism, dating, lying to parents and friends, online social networking, peer pressure and shoplifting. This appealing guide speaks to the ethical dilemmas that all young people experience in their daily lives, and it should prompt considerable conversation and reflection. (Nonfiction. 10-14)
Read an Excerpt
Is It Still Cheating If I Don't Get Caught?
Life Is Like Whac-A-Mole
Have you ever played Whac-A-Mole? The object of the game is simple: Take a rubber mallet and strike a mechanical mole as it pops up through one of many holes on the board. As soon as you hit one mole over the head and it retreats back into its hole, another one pops up. You hit that mole on the head, watch it retreat, and then prepare to smack a third one that will emerge from yet another hole. The object is to hit as many moles as you can in the time allotted. You win if you can hit all the moles before the bell rings. But that doesn't happen very often. After all, it's a carnival gamethe odds are stacked against you.
Life can sometimes feel like a carnival gameexhilarating but also unpredictable. You feel that you ought to be able to figure out how to handle whatever life throws at you, but problems seem to pop up at random. The truth is, without a game plan for tackling life's problems, you'll keep whacking away at them with little chance of success.
Wouldn't it be better if life were problem-free?
Not really. A world without any problems would be a dull place to live. After all, overcoming problems can make us better, stronger, and happier. Problems can force us to think of new ways to look at things, bring out qualities that we never knew we had, or prompt us to rethink the way we live our lives.
Some of the toughest problems of all involve doing the right thing. When you ask yourself "What should I do?" you're really asking "What is the right thing to do?" Sometimes it's difficult to know what the right thing is, and sometimes, even when you know the right thing, it's hard to find the courage to do it. You may be afraid to talk about the problem with your family or friends, or worry that doing what you believe is right will make you unpopular. You may be concerned that a relationship will be damaged, no matter what you do.
Since life isn't problem-free, the next best thing is to come up with a strategy for tackling dilemmas. It is simply not the case that all of the possible responses to a problem are equally good; there are better and worse ways of playing the game. In other words, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it.
Read on and you'll learn five powerful principles that provide the foundation for doing the right thing anywhere, anytime you're faced with the question "What should I do?" The goal is not for you to become perfect, but to live life to the fullest and continue to be a person you can be proud of.
Text copyright © 2009 by Bruce Weinstein