Each of the Portraits of Character books consists of 24 stories introducing various people and their remarkable stories. Each detailed account has a teacher's guide that includes a synopsis of the story, questions to encourage thinking, ideas for writing assignments, character traits observed, and interesting words and phrases used in the piece. Each of these narratives is amazing! Children (and teachers) will learn about some very important people. Moreover, they will learn about the impact these people have had on the lives of others.
The writers have done a marvelous job sketching a picture of these incidents while capturing the essence of the person involved. Until reading these short memoirs, I would have thought it impossible to quickly tell the story of such people as Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, or Clara Hall. Furthermore, some of the people in Portraits of Character are famous individuals, whereas many are common people who managed extraordinary circumstances with fortitude.
Although the focus of these books is not to highlight God's impact on these lives, we know that God is the supreme example of character and thus we see His light on their lives. My love for Portraits of Character is due to my love of history and stories. To quote Thomas Lickona, "Stories are the oldest way we have of teaching virtue - and one of the most effective. Stories teach by attraction; they invite rather than impose. They inspire as well as instruct, touching the heart as they enlighten the mind."