Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: As a Boy
Publish October 12, 2016
Plan International’s previous book, Because I am a Girl: I Can Change the World (2014), describes global initiatives that fight for the rights of young women. The humanitarian organization invites males into the dialogue with their companion book, As a Boy. Striking, full-page photographs show boys going about their daily activities. In Haiti, a young athlete balances a soccer ball on his forehead; in Niger, male students enthusiastically raise their hands to answer a question posed during class; and in Benin, a child smiles while he relaxes outside. The harsher realities of being born a male are also explored, such as the haunting image of a child soldier in South Sudan brandishing a wooden gun, and young boys in Egypt struggling under the weight of hard, physical labour. The arresting snapshots are paired with first-person, declarative statements that cut to the heart of inequalities faced by children around the world: “As a boy, there will be times when I am very lucky. I will be able to go to school and learn each day … while my sisters must work and wish for an education … because they are “just” girls.” With immediacy, and a sense of urgency, the text conveys the message that being born a boy brings privilege, but as brothers, sons, nephews and future fathers, it also brings a responsibility to advocate for the rights of females in their lives. As global citizens, it is important to learn and care about the world around us, and As a Boy will spark much thought and conversation.
Second Story Press
ISBN 13: 978-1-77260-016-2
Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library. Her reviews have appeared in Quill and Quire, School Library Journal and CM: Canadian Review of Materials. When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.
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