Review Blog

Jan 03 2019

Stories for boys who dare to be different by Ben Brooks

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Ill. by Quinton Winter. Quercus, 2018. ISBN 9781787471986
(Age: 10+) Recommended. Themes: Men - Biographies. Boys - Biographies. Masculinity. Inspirational author Ben Brooks continues his motivating series with Stories for boys who dare to be different. The subtitle captures his rationale for sharing these one-hundred stories of courageous boys, teenagers and men - True tales of amazing boys who changed the world without killing dragons.
Brooks has gathered information from across the globe, showcasing famous male role models and introducing less well-known ones from many fields, including sports, science, music and social activism. He champions the power of positivity, the importance of inclusivity, explores gender and social identity and shows how individuals can rise above their circumstances and make a difference. His material is gathered from across the globe, from historical figures, with different professions, socio-economic backgrounds, beliefs and ethnicities.
Set out in alphabetical order of first names, we begin with South African teenager Achmat Hassiem who survived a shark attack, had his leg amputated and then went on to race in the Paralympics. Bill Gates, Galileo Galilei, Nelson Mandela, Louis Braille, Daniel Radcliffe all have encouraging messages. The boys from Isca School protested about the unfair uniform rules having to wear trousers in summer. They all protested by wearing the girls' uniform skirts for a day and their message was heard. Moviemaker Tanka Waititi created his own films and comic book universe to champion his Maori culture and history.
Quinton Winter's creative, bold graphics are visually engaging. Bold backgrounds and easy to read stories make this an exciting book to dip into with a family, on your own or with a class.
Brooks continues to empower his readers, with messages of staying true to yourself, believing in your own capabilities and being caring and compassionate with both people and the environment.
Rhyllis Bignell

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