As a Boy

As a Boy 51ILRDzpuzL__SY382_BO1,204,203,200_As a Boy

Plan International Canada

Second Story Press, Nonfiction, Sep. 6, 2016

Suitable for Ages: 5-9

Themes: Boys, Education, Choices, Gender Inequality, Poverty, Responsibilities, Diversity,

Opening: “As a boy, I will have choices from the day I am born. Some will be made for me…and some I will make for myself.”

Book Jacket Synopsis: All children should be treated equally, whether they are boys or girls. Boys have sisters, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. They care about the choices that their mothers have, and the opportunities that their aunts are given. They want to see their grandmothers get the respect they deserve, and that their sisters have the same rights as their brothers.

Because boys love their sisters, they want them to go to school, just like they do. Because boys are sometimes given chances girls are not, they know that this is not right. And as brothers and sons, nephews and future fathers, they can help to make sure that all children have voices and choices.

Why I like this book:

As A Boy is an inspiring global story about boys and their families. Each page features breathtaking, expressive, and powerful photographs that will melt your heart and touch your soul. No matter how difficult lives can be, there are so many smiles on their faces and a glimmer of hope.

The minimal use of text is strong and conveys Plan International’s message “that boys are routinely given an education and choices that girls are not, and that this needs to change.”  The book allows boys to raise their voices in solidarity, to say that they too want the girls and women in their lives to be given equal opportunities to succeed in the world.”

I am a fan of Plan International books. They address tough issues and teach youth about how difficult life can be for children around the world. Since we are a global family, youth need to know that boys are treated differently than girls around the world. Their needs are put above their sisters. But, boys also face the burden and pressure of growing up quickly to be a man, to work, to support their families, to fight and to be brave.

As a Boy is a perfect companion book to Because I am a Girl: I Can Change the World, as well as The Way to School, both personal favorites of mine. Click on the titles to read my reviews. All three of these books are valuable resources for school libraries, so that children will have an understanding of what it is like to be a boy or girl in a third world country. Since so many children live in poverty, education is vital to their futures. Many times going to school involves hurdles and risks.

Plan International was founded in 1937. It is one of the world’s oldest and largest international charities, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Proceeds from all the book sales are used to support programs benefitting children around the world.

Resources/Activities: This is an excellent classroom discussion book to talk about how boys and girls are treated differently around the world. Pair As a Boy with the other two books mentioned above, so students get a better look at the gender inequality. Ask students if the feel they are treated equally in their country of origin. Make a list. Ask the boys and girls how they would feel if they had to change places. And, celebrate gender equality with other children on the International Day of the Girl, Oct. 11, 2016.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

36 thoughts on “As a Boy

  1. What a great idea for a book! There are so many empowering books with strong girl characters now, but boys don’t tend to read those books with female leads. And gender equality is a topic that all kids should be learning and caring about. As always, thanks for sharing, Patricia!


    • It is a gem because there is nothing else out there like it! And, it simple, delivers a great message and has beautiful illustrations. You may want to check out THE WAY TO SCHOOL, about the dangerous and difficult ways kids go to school.


  2. I love this! As in any “ism” it’s not the people being held back that need to understand the issues. Finally, a book about female equality addressed to males – so essential in the process of bringing about gender equality. Yay! Thanks for sharing!


    • It is a perfect book on gender equality to share in the classroom. I love how the boys in the books think about how they want their sisters, cousins and daughters to receive the same education that they receive.


    • It certainly is a first for me too. I was eager to review it. It is an important book for both boys and girls and belongs in every classroom. I love Second Story Press, because they tackle subjects like this with Plan International Canada. Last it was THE WAY TO SCHOOL, about the extremes kids go to attend school.


    • Second Story Press in Canada has published 5-6 books with Plan International. I listed two favorites in my post. But, they were written by Rosemary McCarney. This is the first that lists Plan International. This is an excellent book for boys/children to learn about gender inequality around the world and how boys are now standing up for the sisters. THE WAY TO SCHOOL and BECAUSE I’M A GIRL are also excellent reads. I wrote reviews on them. I love the simplicity and power in the books. This is a great classroom book, too.


  3. This is a fascinating undertaking. I often find boys who fall apart in secondary school after having a successful elementary experience. So many of them never recover. It takes a village whether it’s a boy or a girl.


    • It does take a village to raise a child. This story really focuses on the global community where boys are allowed to attend school, but girls aren’t given that privilege. So many times they have to help at home.


  4. I love the way this book empowers boys *and* girls at the same time! As a kid (and even now), I always enjoyed seeing photos of kids from around the world, so I’m sure other kids do, too. It sounds brilliant!


  5. I love the message of gender equality in this book & I agree with you & the authors that gender equality benefits everyone, not just the girls. Thanks for sharing this important new book.


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