Parents' Guide to

Boy: Tales of Childhood

By Katherine Kearns, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Dahl autobiography focuses on nasty school days.

Boy: Tales of Childhood Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 9+

A story of the past

I think it was a cool book. It told me a lot about the past of schools and how teachers, in this boys experience, would behave around their pupils. The teachers did beat the children. If your child is sensitive to violence or death I wouldn’t recommend this book. This is something about this story: his father died when he was young. His father had a wife from before and she also died. So did his mother and one of his sisters. I liked how he gave an account of his life and I liked learning how medicine was different back then. I gave it 4 stars because I know it was his life but it was a little violent. These are some of the points of the story. I hope if you read or listen to this book you have a great time. Happy reading!

This title has:

Great messages
age 7+

A great read.

I read this book first in 1989 as a 7 year old and I loved it, the cane had only been banned a few years earlier, so there was nothing shocking about it, but I think kids should know how things were. Roald Dahl was a great writer, with just the right amounts of humour, excitement, seriousness, and a dash of mischief. When I reached secondary school, age 11, it was the chosen book for English literature.

This title has:

Educational value

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (13 ):

Because Dahl tells repeatedly of the cruelty of schoolmasters who constantly refined their caning techniques on him, some children will be saddened, and others enraged, by the unfairness of it all. These scenes clearly show the child's vulnerability in an adult world. But, unlike in most novels -- such as Dahl's own -- in this true story, the abusers never get their comeuppance. These are not reasons for children to avoid BOY, however; they may, in fact, be reasons children will respond to the book, which promotes the values of honest courage and determination. It also has lighter descriptions of teachers, such as the eccentric old bachelor, Corkers.

Book Details

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