A Boy Like You
2020-2021 Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award List
2020 Amelia Bloomer List
Winner of the 2019 Eureka! Gold Awards
Winner of Best of 2019 Kids Books - Future Classics Category
There's more to being a boy than sports, feats of daring, and keeping a stiff upper lip. A Boy Like You encourages every boy to embrace all the things that make him unique, to be brave and ask for help, to tell his own story and listen to the stories of those around him. In an age when boys are expected to fit into a particular mold, this book celebrates all the wonderful ways to be a boy.
|Interest Level||Preschool - Grade 2|
|Reading Level||Grade 1|
|ATOS Reading Level|
|Guided Reading Level||M|
|Publisher||Sleeping Bear Press|
|Available Formats||Hardcover (9781534110465), PDF (9781534146259), Hosted ebook (9781534146594)|
|Number of Pages||32|
|Dimensions||9 x 11|
- Amelia Bloomer List
- Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award List
- Eureka! Gold Award
- Best of 2019 Kids Books - Future Classics Category
School Library Journal - A Boy Like You
Short motivational messages speak directly to young boys: “You are the only YOU there is. And the world needs a boy like you.” Some tips on being a great teammate are shared, like “Play hard, but play fair” and “Say ‘Nice goal!’ and ‘Good try!’ Don’t say ‘You throw like a girl.’ Ever.” Moving beyond the sports field, boys are encouraged to be community-minded, curious, and compassionate. The advice also rebukes stereotypes with such truisms as “You can’t be brave without first being afraid” and “Cry. This shows you’re strong.” In Harren’s realistic and nuanced artwork, a young boy demonstrates daily acts of kindness, like eating lunch with a new classmate, helping his younger sister tie her shoelaces, and holding the door open for a woman laden with shopping bags. An author’s endnote elaborates on the “many ways to be strong.” VERDICT A strong offering that models pro-social behavior and helps disrupt unhealthy stereotypes about boyhood and masculinity. Pair with Paris and Jason Rosenthal’s Dear Boy.
Publisher's Weekly - A Boy Like You
Excerpt: The story is directed squarely at boys, but Harren’s illustrations show representations of all kinds of kids and families. Being a boy can mean many things, Murphy suggests, but being “a smart boy, a brave boy, a kind boy” are the first important steps toward manhood.
Kirkus Reviews - A Boy Like You
The title answers a question: What does the world need?In simple, aphorism-laced language, Murphy offers a positive vision of masculinity that focuses on what he dubs " ‘inside’ strength"—the sort that privileges kindness, respect for self and for others, knowing when to ask for help, and daring to dream big. He begins with guidelines for right behavior on the playing field (“Say ‘Nice goal!’ and ‘Good try!’ / Don’t say ‘You throw like a girl.’ Ever”). With the heartily welcome reminder that “there’s so much more than sports,” he goes on to suggest that spending time in a garden, kitchen, or science lab, playing music, reading or writing stories can all be just as valid and satisfying. Likewise showing consideration for others, working toward goals, and finally realizing that “the best you / is the you that is ALL you…. / Not a little you and a little someone else.” Harren adds life and color to this earnest but not exactly electrifying advice in vignettes depicting a black lad with mobile features and interracial parents playing or otherwise posing in various settings amid a thoroughly diverse cast of peers, pets, and passersby. The figures, human and otherwise, are rendered with fetching individuality that really comes out in group scenes…particularly on the closing pages, where the illustrator lines up smiling young children, including girls, in informal rows.This visually buoyant book may well succeed at redirecting gender expectations—though not bending them.
Author: Frank Murphy
A graduate of Rutgers University, Frank is currently a second grade teacher in the Council Rock School District in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Frank lives in Holland, Pennsylvania, and has two sons, Griffin and Chase.
Illustrator: Kayla Harren
Kayla Harren is the author and illustrator of Mary Had a Little Lizard, and the illustrator of a number of other projects, including Hannah's Tall Order and The Boy Who Grew a Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- Beginning of text
- Author's note about being strong
- From the author