You could ask: why should I read a book about boys, after decades of female battles to avoid discrimination? Considering that women are still now far away from being on the same level of their counterparts?
Maybe, because by raising boys in the right way, we can help women and men to live together in a better way?
Actually, after all these feminist battles, boys are nowadays a little discriminated.Yes, this is not a premeditated discrimination, but we cannot deny that boys are different. Go and take a look at children in a classroom: on one side yo see girls chatting and laughing; on the other side you see boys running and screaming.
This is a brain issue, an hormon issue and a cultural issue.
Biddulph is a firm advocate of late entering of boys into school: they are slower than girls, at the beginning, because development happens in a different way. If they enter school together with same age girls, they see themselves as awkward and this has a negative influence on their future behavious and self-estime.
But the part where the author insists the most, is about the mentor.
Boy lives can be distinguished in several parts: first years (when they are strictly bound to their mothers), from 7 to 12-13 years (link with fathers) and after.
After the family, a mentor can be the solution to anticipate deviations. Mentor cannot be coeval to the boy, at the same development stage, but something older; he must be a person whom the boy trust in, maybe an uncle or a family friend, someone who doesn’t judge, but gives suggestions without let them appear like suggestions. Maybe during a fishing game or a race.
Useful book, of course.
The majority of examples refer to Australian or American lifestile. For instance, here in Italy the phenomenom of very Young mother is not so widespread.
Another thing that I do not like very much, are the short stories inside the essay. And, to be mean, I really do not appreciate all drawings… they are cute, but I do not find them so necessary. This book is not meant to be ready by teenagers, but by adult parents: I hope that a 30 or 40 y.o. parent can be able to read a book without too many blanks or cartoons.
Well, ok… I must admit: if such cartoons are useful to draw people who is not accustomed to reading… ok, cartoons are welcome.