boys, tween

Surviving Seventh Grade

Surviving Seventh Grade
Author: Glenn K. Currie
Publisher: Snap Screen Press
Genre: Middle-grade
ISBN: 978-0-9779675-7-5
Pages: 92
Price: $19.95

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In this sequel to A Boy’s First Diary, we meet our main character again as he attempts to navigate the perils of seventh grade. It’s the 1950s and things are a bit scary at school, but with his best friend, Billy, he struggles to survive.

Problems include the cafeteria, rope climbing, French class, a bully named Arnold, and his sworn enemy, Snobby Donna. Girls are much more complicated now, and he and Billy attempt to figure them out. But as the school year progresses, he is growing up, and his relationships begin to change.

Although today’s kids may not have even heard of Brylcreem, they will understand a boy’s fascination with Kleenex stuffed bras, and the importance of learning how to undo clasps with one hand. And they can certainly relate to avoiding teachers and school administrators, as well as class bullies, whose only intent is to torment seventh graders. Surviving Seventh Grade is a fun read for everyone.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

boys, health, tween

Bork Reveals the Real Deal About the Facts of Life

Bork Reveals the Real Deal
Author: Terri Shearer Trenchard
Illustrator: Tracy Councill
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Boys / Health
ISBN: 9781466427846
Pages: 74
Price: $12.99

Author’s website
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Having a “facts of life” discussion with his parents doesn’t usually top the list of bright ideas a pre-teen boy might consider. But when whispered conversations with friends leave him wondering what’s really going on, he needs somewhere to turn for information. Bork Reveals the Real Deal About the Facts of Life can provide the answers.

Speaking in a humorous and light-hearted manner, Bork explains puberty and adolescence in a way boys can understand. Body changes, fluctuating hormones, and even “the facts of life” are covered in this all-inclusive book about growing up.

Most boys would probably rather not talk to a parent about this topic, unless they first have some basic understanding, but Bork encourages them to try. Even if they choose not to, they will have enough information to handle the many changes going on inside them.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

adventure, boys, children

Two Little Savages: The Adventures of Two Boys Who Lived as American Indians

Author & Illustrator: Ernest Thompson Seton
Publisher: Axios Press
Genre: Children / Adventure
ISBN: 978-1-60419-033-5
Pages: 313
Price: $18.00

Author’s website
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Most boys have dreamed about spending a week or two camping out, surviving on what they can forage. If they’re fortunate enough to live near the woods, and they have indulgent parents, they may be able to live out their fantasy. But if they’re city dwellers, they may have to read about it instead.

Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946), who founded the Boy Scouts of America, penned this work sharing the adventures of two boys who experienced their dream of living as Native Americans for three weeks. In it, they build a teepee shelter, hunt, learn about the animals around them, and solidify their friendship.

Yan and Sam try to do everything the way the Native Americans would do it. Teepee construction, making their own arrows, and crafting a drum are all done as authentically as possible. With no Native people around to help, they rely on Caleb, a man who seems to know quite a bit about their methods.

Boys probably would not be too upset by animals being killed in this story, but the more sensitive might be turned off. Some of the animal antics don’t ring quite true, and it seems as if the author used some exaggeration to create more drama. But overall, this is a great read for all boys who crave outdoor adventures.

Reviewer: Alice Berger