Parents' Guide to

Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different: True Tales of Amazing Boys Who Changed the World Without Killing Dragons

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Inspiring stories celebrate difference and bold vision.

Book Ben Brooks Biography 2018
Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different: True Tales of Amazing Boys Who Changed the World Without Killing Dragons Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 8+

Born in the wrong body....

I really wanted to like this book, it's a great concept. However, within the first 7 stories there are two transmen who talk about having being born in the wrong body, and whose parents foolishly thought they were female at birth. Whilst I'm not against the inclusion of transgender people in a book about people being different, in fact that makes complete sense, the messaging is not right for me and my children. And 2 within the first 7 stories seems extreme - to be honest I never got beyond that.
2 people found this helpful.
age 18+

“Woke” agenda

This collection has some wonderful stories but they are tainted by stories about men who decide they are women. It absolutely pushed the false Narrative that biological sex does not matter and it glorifies men and boys invading women’s spaces. I was very disappointed that this was not mentioned in the main review.

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Young readers will find this lively, inspiring collection of stories appealing and accessible. It covers artists, inventors, writers, athletes, actors, explorers, politicians, and more. A celebration of difference, Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different highlights some people who broke gender or sexual identity boundaries, including Oscar Wilde, Harvey Milk, and makeup artist and international cosmetics mogul Jeffree Star. The main takeaway throughout the book is that it's OK to be different, and being different can lead to doing great things. It also shows there are all kinds of ways to be strong and successful, thereby expanding the concepts of masculinity and heroism. Illustrator Quinton Wintor's engaging portraits highlight key aspects of each person's life or career.

One quibble is that author Ben Brooks' mini-biographical sketches often leave out basic details that young readers might not miss but would be helpful for context -- details such as where the person lives or lived, or when certain events happened. A birth date or birth-death date range appears under the person's name atop each bio, but sometimes that's the bare minimum to orient the reader. For example, in the profile of Ludwig Van Beethoven, there's no mention that he was German or lived in Austria. The core tale of what happened to the person "at school" or "at home" is what comes through.

Book Details

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