BOOK BLOG: Boy Oh Boy

I am FOREVER looking for inviting non-fiction books to get kids engaging with non-fiction. Recently, there’s been a whole host of absolutely brilliant non-fiction published by a range of publishers, but Quarto are absoluely killing the game! 

There’s been a whole load of these books published about brilliant women (and we can never have too much of that), but when I saw there was this book about inspiring men, from all kinds of fields, I knew I needed it in my life! The brilliant humans of Quarto were kind enough to send me a copy too, so thanks guys!

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“Meet 30 positive male role models from throughout history. From activists like Mahatma Gandhi and Frederick Douglass to creative innovators like Prince and David Hockney, these men have fought conventional stereotypes to prove that modern-day masculinity can be defined freely.

Instead of a single model of how a boy can grow into a man, this book offers 30 stories of people whose lives demonstrate that there are endless possibilities – that boys and men can do and be so much more than what we think of when we say things like ‘boys will be boys.”

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In this book, you get to discover a whole host of men ranging from inspirational change-makers, teachers, peacemakers, artists, scientists, ballet dancers and more who have defied expectations, cared about others, stood up for what’s right and done things that people sometimes aren’t brave enough to do.

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One of my favourite things about this book is just that… it’s the VAST ARRAY of people who are covered in this book. It’s not just scientists, it’s not just atheletes, it’s not just this or that… it’s a whole host of things. It’s boys seeing that they can be whatever they want to be: they don’t have to be the things that society chooses for them. Just look at this contents page of names and you’ll see some familiar names, some names you know of and some names you know nothing of. Books like this are great for introducing kids to new faces. 

As soon as I saw there was a ballet dancer, I did a PROPER cheer. I think boys need to know that there’s no boundaries in their lives. Everything they want to do, they can do. Boys can sometimes be a little afraid of choosing careers they see as “girly” because of a fear that they’ll be judged, so seeing that made me feel SO BLOODY HAPPY.

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I think another thing about this book that just made my heart jump with joy is that it is gorgeous and interesting to look at. It’s got a very 60s/70s feel about it – bright colours, beautiful illustrations – and this will be something that gets kids to pick it up. There’s brilliant chunks of text to consume – it’s not going to be intimidating for kids.

Another thing I love about this book is these quotes that run through. These quotes come from the men in question and I think these quotes would make excellent talking points with children: talk about their meaning, how they apply to today’s society… anything that gets kids talking about being kind and fair in today’s world works for me!

I could keep going. I think books like this, not just this one, are much needed in the world. I’m currently plotting how we can use this book as inspiration for our own biography unit in Year 5… I’ll get back to you on that one once I’m sorted!

Have you got a favourite person from history?
What’s your favourite quote from history?
Who do you think we should talk about more?

Talk to me! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

S x