Cover Image: How to Be a Person

How to Be a Person

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Member Reviews

"How to Be a Person" by Catherine Newman should be on the must read list for every tween and/or teen. I know a few adults that could even benefit from some of the tips in this book as well. This is a fun guide book that tackles important topics in a light-hearted way. From teaching readers how to fold t-shirts and sheets to how to cook simple meals, this "how to guide" has it all.  This would be wonderful addition to any public library.
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How to Be a Person by Catherine Newman is such a gem!! I requested this book to review because we have been talking (a lot) with our almost 10-year-old about basic yet important life tasks lately. And after spending the last 3 months will our kids 24/7, I can tell you there is plenty for them to learn, LOL. 

As parents, we are quickly realizing just how many things we will be guiding our kids through during the next stage of parenting life with tweens and teens...While the physical demands of daily parenting are much different than the baby and toddler years, the amount of emotional energy that goes into this stage of parenthood is intense, and it can feel a little daunting!  
I love that these simple yet important life skills are covered in a simple and easy to consume manner. This book is filled with tips and tricks and has a perfect balance of information and humor. I found it was an enjoyable read and our son found that the writing was accessible and relatable. 

How to Be a Person covers a wide array of topics like how to take care of houseplants, implement a money management system, creating a simple and balanced meal, and how to write a condolence card. I was super excited to add a hard copy to our home library (I pre-ordered it last fall!!) and I basically squealed with excitement when it arrived in the mail this week.

I know this book will come in handy for years to come and highly recommend it to anyone parenting kids from elementary school to college years...and beyond! 

Thank you to Storey Publishing for the advanced galley in exchange for an honest review.
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My Thoughts
Of course I was a kid myself years ago (gasp, go my kids! You were a kid once?! just kidding….), and I had to or automatically learned many of the skills outlined in this book. They were things we did, simply because. The present generation, and the skills they learn automatically, are different, and thus makes this book more necessary.

As a parent who constantly shifts between letting my kids (teens) learn by practice or even more effective, from their mistakes, and badgering them on the hows-whats-whys of the everyday tasks that are seemingly mundane but totally important, and simply giving up and letting them figure it out when they need to do it all by themselves, this book is a boon. While we try to inculcate many of these and I do know that my teens know at least part of these very basic skills, there are some that get missed because we don’t realize it needs to be taught or it gets lost in all the eye-rolling!

This book helps with all those missed skills, and the humor, cuteness factor, and practical, no-nonsense as well as age-appropriate (no speaking down), plus non-parental conversational style along with the fun two-tone cartoons definitely strengthens its cause.

It includes the following sections:

Other Beings (How to Care For the People, Pets, and Plants in Your Life)
Saying it Right (How to be Kind and Get Your Point Across)
Dirty Things (How to Clean and Care for Your Home)
Edible Food (How to Make Meals and Find Your Way Around the Kitchen)
You’re Wearing That (How to Clean and Care for Your Clothes)
Your Two Cents (How to Get, Give, and Spend Money)
Useful Skills (How to do Basic Important Things)
So there you have it, from watering plants to writing a thank you note to addressing envelopes, and from boiling an egg to folding clothes and figuring out whether to buy that item all your friends have as well as to use that screwdriver, this book teaches it all. And I loved the pop quizzes sprinkled throughout the book!

In Summary
Definitely recommend this for tweens and younger teens; and just about anyone who will benefit from these basic skills.

Hint, hint: A perfect gift item for the young one of this age group that you know (even if it is your own!)

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the eARC of the book; these are my honest opinions after reading this book.
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A worthwhile addition to any tween focused collection. There’s a lot of great tips — even some that adults will appreciate it. Written in an engaging yet informative way.
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I'm always looking for excellent books to give to my bookclub kids has the move on from my little library. I think I've found a new winner!!! Also, totally buying this for my kid with some rubber gloves and a plunger!
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How to be a person offers young people tips for different life situations such as interactions with family members or other people, using words in different situations in writing, making themselves useful around the house by doing *gasps* chores, how to cook basic meals, how to wisely earn, save, invest and spend money, and random, but useful to have skills.
Although the book is targeted to children and it's a good starting point for the child that wants to be more grown-up, it's also like a refresher for older tweens and teens as well. I personally, as an adult, learned some tricks from this book, but I'm not telling which, hehe! The writing is friendly and not at all parent-y or sounding patronizing. The illustrations are lovely and they make the reading even more enjoyable. For an adult, this book would look cool and cheery as a coffee table book.
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If you are without life skills or raising a human to have life skills, this is the book for you. It covers very basic skills everyone should have to be an adult in this world. Great ideas and explanations.
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My favorite quote is “If you are responsible for a particular chore – scooping the cat litter or changing the hamster’s bedding, say – be sure to do it, even if it’s gross.”

Everything from how to wrap a present to how to contact your political representative to how to apologize is covered.  There is even a section on how to clean and care for your home.  This includes items like how to clean a bathroom and make a bed.  The food section teaches simple items to cook such as scrambled eggs or boiling spaghetti.  I particularly liked that a section of taste and seasoning food is included.

My favorite item was how to turn a 33-cent package of Ramen into dinner.  It even teaches how to wash dishes, and clothes.  The folding tips are invaluable.

All kids need to know how to save money, use a debit card and calculate a tip.  This book contains so many useful tips that every page is valuable.  Every young person I know is getting a copy for Christmas.  This is the best book for young people available.


I received an ARC from Storey Publishing, LLC through NetGalley.  This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book.  I am voluntarily submitting this review and am under no obligation to do so.
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This is an amazing How To book for kids! It is divided into seven chapters, each addresses a topic. For example, Saying It Right covers apologies, thank you notes, and addressing envelopes among others. You're Wearing That? gives laundry tips (including how to remove stains) and how to sew on a button. The information is immensely practical, but is presented in a winsome and often humorous way with colorful, complementary illustrations. Newman expands beyond the physical realm to include information on philanthropy and tips on being happy. Highly recommended for six and up.

Thank you to Storey Publishing and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.
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How to be a person - Catherine Newman
Published by: Storey Publishing 
Publication Date: May 2020

“We swear we’re not trying to turn you into a premature adult [...] with a suit and a briefcase”
This first line had me in giggles already. Throughout this book, Newman shows children how they can ‘be an adult’ by doing acts of kindness such as help the elderly or help someone who is sick. Children in this modern world cannot wait to become adults. What sets this book aside from others like it, is the mature language used to engage the children and convince them they are little adults. A lovely read. ARC courtesy of @netgalley - Thank you. #book #bookreviews #howtobeaperson
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What a charming book. I loved all Catherine Newman's books and this was no exception. This book would be a perfect gift for young people in your lives!
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Every child NEEDS this book!  As a mom of three boys, I will surely buy this as soon as it is released.  This will also be a "go-to" gift for niece's and nephews.  I have an old book called "What Do I Do Now That I've Moved Out and Mom is Gone?", this book reminds me of that; practical advice for everyday activities.  All of the essentials on how to be a (good) person!  I will also recommend this book to our elementary school counselor and special education staff to help write social stories for students.
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Graphic novels are really great right now! I love this cute and fun, straight to the point and right to the problem solving with no extra filler that the kids won’t read. Info graphics are my favorite way to remind my kids of instructions when they’re trying things on their own. Great for middle schoolers!
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How to be a person by Catherine Newman is a useful book for elementary age, pre-teen, and teenagers.  I also think it would be useful for young adults on the autism spectrum.  It goes through things like how to thank someone. How to do chores. How to save and spend money.  I would recommend this to several people I know both pre-teens and adults on thecspectrum
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I am finding this helpful in helping my son with what I am defining as the "life skills" lessons during this shelter in place time. School is great for learning the academics, but in order to survive, one must know how to do functional things like sew on a button, clean a kitchen, cook a basic meal, etc. This book is a great guide for helping new adults learn what their parents didn't teach them, or even for families like mine, who want to make sure our kids know the practical skills needed to thrive.
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Absolutely love this reference book for kids on how to do all sorts of things. With fun illustrations and text it makes very accessible all sorts of tasks like writing letters, doing basic chores. Some of the items covered are relationship building, like visiting a friends house or writing a condolence letter. Others are very practical such as how to wash dishes by hand or clean a bathroom. Each is given a simple step by step outline of how to complete the task with a fun illustration. The pages are not overwhelmingly full and while parents might have individual instructions to add in some cases, the basics are very well covered for young people. 

A great reference to have on hand in a house with children (or adults that don’t know!!??) to help them be self sufficient in their life.
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How to Be a Person was a funny yet informative read.  This is a nice book to slide to that young adult moving out into the world for the first time.  Its a fun reference to how to adult in a few areas.  Tip from how to plunge the toliet, making ramen noodles to  even cleaning up a kitchen!

  The book makes it humorous and helpful at the same time.  It added jokes in between the tips making the book more friendly. If you didnt know how to do something you didnt feel bad when you read the steps for how to do it because of how casual its stated.

  This  is a great gift to pass on and anyone who gets it will appreciate it for the helpful funny guide that it is.
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Sometimes, when I read a book, I think about how my 7th grade self would have reacted to it. For this book, I would have written out a list of all 65 skills, posted it on the bulletin board in my room, and driven my mother up a tree trying to work my way through all of the skills! Some of the items mentioned are things that every 12 year old knew in 1977-- writing letters, sewing on a button, vacuuming a room. Heck, I was in charge of ironing all of my father's handkerchiefs when I was three! (Not joking. I had my own little ironing board and electric iron. Pink, of course.) But my students today can't even thread a needle or make a knot in the thread. They are sorely in need of these instructions. 

I liked that the information was presented as basic things all people need to know to get by. Some things are purposefully vague-- how to take care of pets, for example. Others include more details, such as directions on how to clean a bathroom or some of the simple recipes. My 86 year old father would actually benefit a great deal from this book! My favorite instructions, however, are for folding a fitted sheet: just kidding, wad it up like everybody does!

The two color graphics are engaging, the print nice and big, and the instructions simple enough for even young readers to grasp. I will definitely be purchasing a copy for my library, and it will be great for handing to children who are "bored" and don't feel like reading a novel. If I had all the money in the world, I would buy each of my students their own. They need it!
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A book I wish I had when I was a kid, with some very helpful advice and practical tips. Will be giving a copy to every young person in my life.
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I received an advanced reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

This is a practical yet entertaining at the same time, book for children aged 10+ that is aimed at making learning to do general things for themselves independently, fun! 
Many things in this book as an adult you may think a 10+ year old should know how to do, but if your an adult reading this (like myself) please don't be critical because all children are different and unique and have different learning stages and interests. 
This book guides children through general things such as chores like using a washing machine, doing laundry, how to make simple meals like boiling an egg, how to write a letter properly, how to do basic DIY, how to make a bed and how to sew a button on to clothing etc. 

As adults we often forget that we had to learn all these things ourselves once and if we think back to that time, remember how satisfying and rewarding that achievement was. This book will definitely bring that to the child reading and doing those things from this book.
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