A Boy Like You

Carolyn W. Field Award (Pennsylvania Library Association) - Honors Award
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.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$16.99 $16.99
$28.99 $28.99
Interest Level Preschool - Grade 2
Reading Level Grade 1
Dewey E
Lexile 500L
ATOS Reading Level 2.6
Guided Reading Level M
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781534110465), PDF (9781534146259), Hosted ebook (9781534146594)
Copyright 2019
Number of Pages 32
Dimensions 9 x 11
Graphics Full-color illustrations
  • Amelia Bloomer List, Commended, 2020
  • Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award List, Short-listed, 2020
  • Carolyn W. Field Award (Pennsylvania Library Association) , Commended, 2020
  • Eureka! Gold Award , Winner, 2019
  • Best of 2019 Kids Books - Future Classics Category, Winner, 2019

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.

A Boy Like You - Teaching Guide

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A Boy Like You - Activity Pages

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Author: Frank Murphy

Frank Murphy writes children’s books and teaches elementary school. Every school year he views each new class as a “family”—for over 30 years now! His “at home” family includes people and puppies with the names: Carla, Haley, Griffin, Chase, Kathleen, Francis, Jumper, Cali, Jack, Katie Claire, all the Saglimbenis, the Murphys, and many more.

Illustrator: Kayla Harren

Kayla Harren graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She is the illustrator of many picture books, including A Boy Like You and A Girl Like You. She grew up in a family with her mom, dad, and older brother. She has also been included in sports team families, art club families, and friendship families. Kayla lives in Minnesota with her own little family made up of her husband and adopted dogs.

  • Beginning of text
  • Author's note about being strong
  • From the author
Author/Illustrator biography
Full-color illustrations