Review Blog

May 16 2019

Boy oh boy by Cliff Leek

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Illus. by Bene Rohlmann. Quarto Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9781786033291.
Themes: Masculinity, Activism, Racism, LGBTIQ. Subtitled 'From boys to men', inspired by 30 coming-of-age stories of sportsmen, artists, politicians, educators and scientists, Boy oh boy is a collection of biographical entries to highlight the way that different young men from around the world have expressed their strength, individuality and their influence in the world. The variety of expressions of what it is to be a man is deliberate in showing that there are many ways to do this. From Nelson Mandela, Mohammed Ali, Gandhi to Prince and LeBron James, there are many examples of activists, politicians, musicians, artists and sports stars that have changed the world in some way. Many of the men will be unknown to young readers, but do make interesting reading. There are also individuals whose fame has also given them opportunity to serve and impact the world and a number of LGBTIQ individuals whose stories of overcoming discrimination are told in this collection.
Illustrated with a Pop Art style bright design for each bio page, there is a youthful and non-realistic representation for each man depicted. This is ironic for a non-fiction biography and perhaps will attract some, and dissuade others from reading this book and may make it difficult to be used as a reference book.
Carolyn Hull

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