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The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons From Falling Behind in School and Life Hardcover – August 15, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys (1996), and Stevens investigate the "male learning style" that is so often at odds with current educational practices, leaving the mistaken impression that boys are difficult to manage and teach. The authors begin by detailing the crisis faced by boys--lower grades, greater discipline problems, higher dropout rates. They then explore research on the differences between the male and the female brain that account for their differences in conforming to current teaching methods. Throughout the book, Gurian and Stevens offer advice to parents and teachers on how to encourage learning based on the particular strengths of boys, from bursts of attention and physical play with infant boys to appropriate discipline as they grow older to developing a more boy-friendly curriculum at schools. The authors emphasize that their strategies are aimed at boosting the learning and academic performance of boys without disadvantaging girls in any way. Parents and teachers concerned about teaching and disciplining boys will appreciate this thought-provoking perspective. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


“…I found the authors’ thesis compelling” (Times Educational Supplement, 13th January 2006)

“…practical…the authors offer step-by-step guidance to help boys…” (Human Givens, Vol 12 (3), 2005)

"…(Gurian’s) humane, thought-provoking strategy for engaging boy’s…" (The Times T2, 4th November 2005)


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (August 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787977616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787977610
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I would highly recommend this book to any parent of a boy.
A. Nahmias
This book helped me, an adult female educator, to see how boys think and learn very differently from girls.
L. Thornton
The book is well written with ideas logically flowing and assertions supported by scientific research.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Hilary Brown on September 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When my son was just born, THE WONDER OF BOYS came out. I'm an engineer who also loves being a mother, but I sort of think like a guy. So I thought, "I understand guys--raising a son won't be tough." It has been tough, indeed. There was so much I, who had no brothers, just didn't get about boys. Michael Gurian's very scientific but very empathic approach to kids really helped me ten years ago.

Then, a few days ago, I got THE MINDS OF BOYS. Now Gurian, teaming up with educator Kathy Stevens, has written the sequel. This one is all about how to help boys in school. It comes none too soon for me. My son is going into fifth grade and needs help especially with motivation. Thank you, Michael and Kathy, for your two chapters on how to motivate our sons.

Truthfully, I think it's about time someone wrote this book. There's been a lot of emphasis on girls in school, and I'm glad of it, but I'm seeing a lot of boys around me, my son's friends, who are having trouble focusing in school. This new book will help a lot of us moms (and dads).

Lastly, I really like the emphasis in the book on getting everyone involved in a kid's education--grandparents, neighbors, friends. This is important for all kids, boys and girls.
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77 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Kellemen on September 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Gurian and Stevens use scientific research to diagnose what every alert parent and educator has been thinking for over a century--boys' brains and bodies were NOT made for the modern western educational system. Our system forces boys to be taught in sedentary settings, using learning styles unfit for their masculine minds.

Gurian and Stevens begin by documenting the boys' crisis in education. Such research, though not novel, when pulled together like this, rattles our cages enough to gain and keep our attention.

However, the true strength of "The Minds of Boys" is its thorough, detailed, specific, field-tested solutions. In area after area, "Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life" empowers parents to equip their sons to overcome the many obstacles that they face in the school setting.

One can only hope that educators themselves will read and heed the advice of Gurian and Stevens. If they do, then the next hundred years could produce a much more boy-friendly educational system.

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," and the forthcoming, "Beyond the Suffering."
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Wright on August 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The library at the college where I work puts out a list of new books they have purchased in our area once per month, and this book was on the psychology list back in January. I thought it looked interesting and picked it up then, thinking it might have some good things to say about a book I'm writing about men and depression. I finally picked it up and started reading it last week, and finished it in less than a week. I really enjoyed the authors' styles of writing which made some of the technical information more accessible and easier to understand, which to me means it would be a great resource for students studying education and for parents of boys of all ages.

If it's so great, what's it about, you ask? A lot actually. The first thing that they discussed that caught my eye was the idea that for the past few years we've focused on girls and how to educate them better, and now the authors think it's time we focused on boys who were not doing well in school. It's not that we're helping girls to the detriment of boys, but now that we've helped girls it's time to focus on boy education. They describe some of their negative experiences with the education system, and it makes me realize that the things I've heard from guys about school all my life weren't just "coming from my friends." I always assumed I hung out with the non-academic guys or the extremely smart guys who were just turned off by education. Come to find out there are a lot of boys (and future men) who were turned off to education by our educational system's lack of teaching them in a way that they can learn. As Gurian writes in another one of his books, Boys and Girls Learn Differently!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mad Mom of Five on February 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
We have five children with three boys. All three have had problems ever since kindergarten. They are all now in middle school. Everything in subjects changes in middle school dividing the instruction among different teachers. It is highly more difficult as a child struggles with coping with the personality of each teacher and adapting to the individual instructional expectations in middle school.

This alone is a challenge. If you have boys and they have ADHD or ADD, not only will the children become frustrated, but so do the parents as will the teachers.

We were at our wit's end before our physican recommended The Mind of Boys. It made perfect sense to us as parents as we read things we had always noticed in our three boys.

With book in tow, we set up an appointment with the school counselor of each boy. Each one had a different counselor leading us to have to meet with them more than once. Stress among our family, friends and relatives was at an all time high. After many conferences with teachers and doctors, things seem to be coming together for the first time since I can remember.

The Minds of Boys has changed our life and we highly recommend it to any parent who has boys, to every teacher who teaches boys and to each counselor in every school district. If we can just save one family of having to go through what we did, it will be worth our testimonial.

When we thought we might never have a normal family life, this book helped us to snap out of it and helped us to make sense of the incredible mess we demonstrated among ourselves in our personal relationship with our boys.

It can change your life for the better.
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