No Dragons Needed!


From Patch Adams to Benjamin Zephaniah, meet the men who have (or are) making contributions in all walks of life. Some are trailblazers in a particular subject or social issue; some have overcome emotional or physical challenges; and yet others who used their curiosity, natural skills, or passion for others to change the way we think or go about our day. 

Parent Perspective:
These one-page biographies take readers all over the world and into all kinds of life experiences. Some of the males are more widely known like Leonel Messi, Daniel Radcliffe, and Jeffree. Some are men whose names are recognized but kids likely don't know a lot about, like Beethoven or Harvey Milk. Yet others are probable unknowns like Baldwin IV and Christian McPhilamy, who became passionate about helping kids with cancer by growing his hair. I learned a TON reading these snapshots. 

The Table of Contents is extensive, so kids can pick and choose who they want to learn about, or they can use the full-page illustration to catch their eye. Love that you can start reading on whatever page interests you. 

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Kids who like short stories will flip over these 1-page biographies. Comics-like illustrations will pull readers in to read stories of men/boys they have never heard of. Expect your reader to pick this book up often.

Content Awareness Factors:

Overall, no cons for this one. There are a few changes I would have made. Take out Messi and put in Arthur Ashe. There are no authors, and several come to mind: Sherman Alexie, John Scieszka, Kadir Nelson, Jerry Pinkney, come to mind. 

Type of Book:
This anthology has 76 mini-biographies for middle grade/junior high school readers.
Educational Themes:

So much you can do with this book. Whether you want to explore dynastic history (Confucius, Baldwin IV), social justice leaders (Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Chief Joseph), scientists, athletes, artists of all stripes - there are at least two biographies for you to enjoy.  Use these stories as a way to introduce a "character," then visit the library to find other books that can expand your child's knowledge even more.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
11 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
10 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. If you have a reluctant reader and/or someone who likes to learn a little about a lot of things, this is the book for them.

Title Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different: True Tales of Amazing Boys Who Changed the World without Killing Dragons
Author Ben Brooks
Publisher Running Press © 2018
Illustrators Quinton Winter
ISBN 9780762465927
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.99
Genres Biography, Short Stories, Anthology, Self Worth
Reminder: Cover images, and links are affiliate links. The Reading Tub can earn income via purchases made via these links. 100% of any income goes directly to our literacy mission.
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