NONFICTION
Boy oh Boy: From Boys to Men, Be inspired by 30 Coming-of-Age Stories of Sportsmen, Artists, Politicians, Educators and Scientists
Quarto/Wide Eyed Editions. Apr. 2019. 64p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781786038753.
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Gr 3 Up–Featuring 30 profiles of men who have promoted peace, championed justice, and defied societal expectations, this collective biography sets out to show that “there is no one way to be a man.” Each life story features a colorful full-page illustration that represents the subject and also depicts significant elements of their life and legacy. A featured quote encapsulates each subject’s personal philosophy or life mission. The profiles include several well-known and widely covered individuals like Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Frederick Douglass, and LeBron James, but also chronicle the importance of the lives of the lesser known such as Richard Loving, Ezra Jack Keats, John Dewey, and Carlos Acosta. While these biographies are necessarily brief and pitched in language and tone to an upper elementary or early middle school audience, there are a few where important controversial details are glossed over and the balance of a particular profile tips from simple to simplistic. For example, in Mandela’s profile, there is a reference to his co-creation of an anti-apartheid organization that “used violence to fight against racial inequality.” However, it fails to explain his role in the African National Congress and other groups that used violence as a protest tactic. With no source notes nor suggestions for further research, the book offers no help to readers who might be inclined to dig deeper.
VERDICT This biographical encyclopedia provides much-needed insight into lives of those who redefined men’s roles. Recommended for elementary and middle school library collections

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