Boys Will be Human

Publisher: HarperCollins

Justin Baldoni, American actor, filmmaker and podcaster, whose 2017 TED Talk on ‘what it means to be man enough’ went viral, has written a chatty, kind, honest guide to being a boy. Covering topics like being brave, being smart, being cool, as well as sex, puberty, bullying and being bullied, body image and love, this is essential reading for 10+.

The tone is conversational, and Justin reveals moments from his own life where he’s been embarrassed or said something awful, or been extremely unsure of his own identity. These confessions show the reader that everyone feels inadequate sometimes and no one knows what they’re doing as they’re growing up. The message throughout is: acknowledge your feelings, and those of the people around you, and know that you’re not alone, and that you are enough.

Justin doesn’t shy away from tricky subjects either, like obsessing over porn or doing stupid things to be accepted by your friends. It’s tough being ‘one of the boys’! There are also brief explanations of concepts like the patriarchy, privilege and consent, and many inspirational and thought-provoking quotations. By the end, readers will resolve to be kind to themselves, to stand up for themselves and others, and to listen to their feelings.

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