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Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That's Leaving Them Behind Paperback – September 30, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 41 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“…thorough, thought-provoking look at the increasing achievement gap between boys and girls…engaging read…offers arguments that could be used by…youth advocates to fund literacy and related programs for boys.” --Voya

“… parent of a son, school reform advocate, elementary school teacher, or, most importantly a school administrator or member of …school boards…you need to read this book.” --Tucson Citzen

“This is why we need reporters…an unbiased look at what is and isn’t working in schools. Plenty of real stories and real journalism.”

“…subject matter is compelling…sound advice—recommended for parents, educators, and others advocating for innovation and flexibility in their educational situations.” --Library Journal

"…excellent starting point for examining a problem that could have long lasting consequences if it’s not addressed soon….insightful look into a serious deficit in our educational system…" —Bismarck Tribune

“…addresses an important, and neglected, problem in our schools. Teachers and administrators should pay close attention to what Whitmire has to say.“ --Washington Times

“The gender gap will certainly be a difficult problem to overcome…but hopefully this book will help pave the way for a better understanding.” —Geekdad blog on

“… brilliant new book… I don't know of a clearer or more balanced examination of this issue…recommendations at the end of the book are sensible, creative and overdue…” --Washington Post

“…provocative and useful new book…” --Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Chosen by The American School Board magazine as one of 2010's Top Education Reads

“Armed with data, interviews, case studies, and analysis Richard Whitmire explores why boys fail in school…An eye-opening read for educators and parents.” —District Administration magazine

Selected as one of the Top 5 Educational Books by Literacy News.

"… excellent overview of the subject, examining how environmental factors, school policies, and parenting approaches can lead to gender gaps in education.” --Literacy News

Book Description

Selected as one of the Top 5 Educational Books by Literacy News

The signs and statistics are undeniable: boys are falling behind in school. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the biggest culprits are not video games, pop culture, or female-dominated schools biased toward girls. The real problem is that boys have been thrust into a bewildering new school environment that demands high-level reading and writing skills long before they are capable of handling them.

Lacking the ability to compete, boys fall farther and farther behind. Eventually, the problem gets pushed into college, where close to 60% of the graduates are women. In a time when even cops, construction foremen, and machine operators need post-high school degrees, that’s a problem.

Why Boys Fail takes a hard look at how this ominous reality came to be, how it has worsened in recent years, and why attempts to resolve it often devolve into finger-pointing and polarizing politics.

But the book also shares some good news. Amidst the alarming proof of failure among boys—around the world—there are also inspiring case studies of schools where something is going right. Each has come up with realistic ways to make sure that every student—male and female—has the tools to succeed in school and later in life. Educators and parents alike will take heart in these promising developments, and heed the book’s call to action—not only to demand solutions but also to help create them for their own students and children.

Always the perfect gift

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ AMACOM; First edition (September 30, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0814420176
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0814420171
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 18 years
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 0.035 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
41 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2011
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Top reviews from other countries

Dr. Edward H. K. Acquah
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading
Reviewed in Canada on November 8, 2014
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5.0 out of 5 stars About boys failing at school as the world becomes more verbal and they haven't changed
Reviewed in Australia on March 14, 2017
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4.0 out of 5 stars 男の子を救え!
Reviewed in Japan on March 29, 2010
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