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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Packed with 100 inspiring, creative, fun challenges for boys, this project from domestic-violence-awareness organization A Call to Men is a direct answer to parents' cries for building healthy manhood, respect, and emotional literacy in their sons. • Dare to prove a stereotype wrong • Dare to watch a movie about someone who's different from you • Dare to ask a friend to teach you som…

The Book of Dares: 100 Ways for Boys to Be Kind, Bold, and Brave

by Ted Bunch and Anna Marie Johnson Teague

Overall Book Review:

The Book of Dares challenges teen boys to become better versions of themselves. This challenge is issued through a series of dares that can be used in any order and with any number of dares. It’s not a checklist to run down and fulfill in specific order. The book focusses on helping boys grow into men with a healthy respect for women and for people who are different in terms of culture, religion, and interests and most of all to have a healthy respect for themselves.

While this book has its heart in the right place, it seems unlikely to appeal to the target audience of teen boys. The idea of dares is appealing to boys, but these dares are not the sort of “daring” things that teens typically are drawn to either in the traditional sense of being dared to do something or in the more modern equivalent of the internet “challenge”. These dares read more like a list of things parents, counselors, and teachers would like for the boys to do. With that in mind, it seems that the book may be more appealing to teachers, parents, and people in a position to help shape boys into young men than it will be to the actual boys themselves.

Review of a Digital Advance Reading Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House Books for Young Readers

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Dating violence, domestic violence, and mass shootings are mentioned in the afterward/letter to parents.

Sex/Nudity:  Pornography is mentioned in the afterword/letter to parents.

Mature Subject Matter:

Bullying (mention); unconscious bias; gender inequality; race inequality; LGLBTQ+ issues; racial, gender-based, and financial privilege. Suicide and mass shootings are mentioned in the afterword/letter to parents.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Smoking is mentioned, in the context of being a harmful habit. Vaping, alcohol, and drug use are mentioned in the afterword/letter to parents.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My taste in literature leans heavily towards sci-fi, fantasy, and (my favorite) horror, and the latter can present some fairly murky waters for parents to let their children explore. I enjoy novels of both the standard and graphic varieties. Since those genres, and graphic novels in particular, tend to appeal to boys, I hope that I can help other Boy Mommies in their quest to find books that their little video gamers--I mean, future bibliophiles will read and enjoy. When I am not reading, I enjoy tabletop role-playing games, video games, and singing karaoke. I have a wonderful husband who lets me indulge my reading habit by sharing the housework and being a great dad to our genius kids and their faithful hound.