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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2009
I am a second grade public school teacher, and this book really changed my attitude about the "problem boys" in my class. I've gained an understanding that has made me feel more confident about teaching difficult boys, more responsive to their personalities, and less alone in my struggle. The book investigates the trouble with boys from sociological, cultural, psychological, and neuropsychological perspectives.

If you are a skeptic, read this book. I grew up with 2 sisters listening to "Free to Be You and Me" and graduated from Vassar College, a school very focused on women's issues. That boys are at some sort of educational disadvantage is the last thing I would have ever thought of (even though the ratio at Vassar was 60/40 women to men when I attended). I have no brothers, no sons, and I had no experience with young boys when I began teaching 5 years ago. Boys were a shock to my system. I wish I had read this book back then.

A warning: Peg Tyre tries hard to cater the book to teachers as well as parents, but it is clear that she sees a battle between parents and teachers of rowdy boys, and she sides with parents. There is one distasteful message to teachers at the end of the book (stating that teachers better love the irritating behaviors boys tend to exhibit, or else leave the profession)... but hopefully by then Tyre has gotten you to buy into the idea that there IS a problem and that we DO need to take responsibility for it and make a change...so hopefully you can take the statement as constructive criticism.

*It is also important to read this book if you have read the bogus book The Minds of Boys (by Michael Gurian). Once chapter in Tyre's book helps clear up ridiculous ideas that Gurian (who has NO background in science) has created about "teaching to boy brains."

Overall, a really important topic for teachers to be familiar with, and a good book to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2010
The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do
Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

This 311-page book expands the cover story Tyre, a senior writer for Newsweek, wrote in 2006 entitled, "The Boy Crisis." The awards she has received, a Pulitzer Prize, a Clarion Award, and a National Education Writers Association Award, almost guarantee a well-written book, and her book does not disappoint. About the book, Michael Thompson, author of the NY Times bestselling book, Raising Cain, wrote, "passionate, powerful and persuasive." This is truly an outstanding book. With ten pages of notes at the back of the book, Tyre offers a well-researched argument. She spends a great deal of time chronicling the different ways that the problem (underachieving boys) develops, her language is engaging and accessible, the ideas, stories, facts, figures, and anecdotes (she has two boys of her own) are fascinating and involving, and the conclusions she reaches are startling. One of Tyre's conclusions is that just as we rallied in the 90s to help girls catch up to boys in math and science, we need to do the same for boys in reading and writing. Although there may be only a few new insights teachers may be able to use, the information here for parents is valuable and worthwhile. This is a very good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2012
I liked this book. I read this entire book, which for me, a lover of fiction, is a big deal.

I have three sons. I come from a family of four sisters. My father is not a sports man, but a reader. I had a brother, who died of asthma as a teenager, for whom school was a challenge. Everyday was a fight, from the first day until the last. He hated school.

This book highlights many of the reasons why schools are failing boys, but doesn't talk enough about the solutions to those problems. What about letting boys enter school when ready, instead of just because they are five years old. WHO CARES that your son is the same age as my girl who started reading when she was 3? My son isn't ready, let him enter first grade when he's 9. If he learns all the first grade material in one month, let him move to second grade. The grades should be a reflection of ability, not age.

Also - it doesn't talk enough about how important MEN are in the lives of boys. One of the reasons that having male teachers in schools is important is that boys respond to the discipline of men better than that of women. MEN ARE IMPORTANT. Let me say this again. MEN ARE IMPORTANT. I have a college degree. I loved math and science in school. I never felt that I didn't know as much as my male classmates. We had a healthy competition in my classes in school. I don't feel less than any man, because he is a man. But boys need good men in their lives. Where are they? Feeling stupid in school because of SOME TEST!!!

When I had children I knew I wanted to homeschool, and I have. But I watch as parent after parent of boys in the school system bemoan the ways in which the schools are failing their kids. Standardized tests are the focus of EVERYDAY, from the first day until the tests are taken in the spring. 6 year old boys are told that they will not get to go to the next grade if they don't pass. Boys who NEED TO MOVE are told when they misbehave in class that the 15 minutes during the day they aren't required to sit still is now taken away from them.

I WILL NOT put my sons in school. Until the system changes DRASTICALLY, the best thing for parents is pull their boys out. You'll be amazed at how very smart they are.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2010
This is a crucial book for parents (and grandparents) of boys to have in their library. So much has changed for the worse in our educational system since the shift in emphasis to focus on one "gender" over the other. Peg Tyre delivers a solid, thoughtful treatise on how and why and when parents should intervene and take charge of the educational process of their sons. One of the most important issues this book brings into sharper view is something educators and psychologists have known for a very long time: boys and girls learn and absorb knowledge in different ways. The learning environment must be structured to accommodate the attention span and ability to stay on task. Therefore, the delivery of information and the learning process needs to be carefully designed and executed for optimal results. The school system, unless it's privately run with a great deal of parental involvement, is slanted to hit the middle of the road on the low side. The very bright kids and the slower learners are left without either challenges or additional assistance. Boys especially lose because they usually have more energy and are more restless than girls and are seen as more disruptive than girls. They are the first ones teachers suspect when it comes to discipline. From personal experience raising 2 sons and 2 daughters, I have seen when girls were clearly the instigators in an incident and the teacher/person in charge immediately blamed a boy without any investigation into the facts. In order to reverse the momentum on this downward spiral, parents and grandparents need to read this book and implement Peg's suggestions to give their sons and grandsons the opportunity to excel in spite of the state of education in America.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do

As a teacher in a boys' school and researcher into boys' education I found Peg Tyre's book a good starting point for those who are new to the field. Once the grammatical, syntactical and spelling mistakes are laid aside, the central argument of Tyre's book is easily digested. How relevant her work is for readers outside the U.S. is a moot point, but given that most of the English-speaking world seems hell-bent on repeating America's mistakes, Tyre's book is probably a foretaste of the future.
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on November 11, 2009
Bravo Peg Tyre. This book has given me quite a bit to ponder. Are we leaving a generation of boys behind and what can we as parents do to address this?

Peg Tyre has a beautifully researched and written book explaining the whys, hows, and whats of this very disturbing trend.
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on February 4, 2009
Wonderful read, and important for both parents and educators of boys. My only complaint is that it needs better citations of studies, the notes section at the back is only 10 pages long. Otherwise this is a must read!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2010
Read many other ideas like this but it brings lots of ideas together and suggests development
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2008
This books makes you think about how the US school system has swung the pendulum so far in the direction of girls that boys get lost. Hopefully there can be more balance in the future.
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