Parents' Guide to

This Boy

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Poignant, funny look at being a straight, suburban teen boy.

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

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Is It Any Good?

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This story shows an ordinary boy with an extraordinary voice hilariously and poignantly navigating his four years of high school. In This Boy, Paul Walden is a pretty average kid by most accounts, but his world view takes the reader on an engaging ride through the mind of a suburban American teen boy. Author Lauren Myracle does a stellar job of giving Paul a strong, unique voice that will make most readers feel like they really know him by the end of the book. Paul has hilarious takes on figuring out friendship, school social hierarchy, and dating. His friend Roby is endearing and adds a lot to the realistic feel of the book. So many of us have that one friend in our teens who isn't the flashiest, coolest, or edgiest kid, but is the solid, truthful, rock of person we desperately need. Roby fits that bill. Paul's journey shows what different people we are at 14 and 18.

The story takes a sharp turn in tone and plot at the end, which is jarring and reads like the author was trying to cram in a lot of "message" and information in the final pages. The issues and plot points are good, but the tone and pace change are so dramatic that it almost feels like a different book. Though, to be fair, the plot twist provides the kind of unexpected jolt many readers appreciate.

Book Details

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