Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Amazing Tales for Making Men out of Boys

This Neil Oliver title was from HarperCollins First Look program and was billed as "epics that we should all know by heart; the tales of courage, endurance and sacrifice that made men out of boys."

In exchange for the book, HarperCollins asks for 20 word reviews. This was my best shot: "Covering a wide variety of exciting tales of heroic feats and brave sacrifices, this book is a good introduction for today’s youth to the tales their grandfathers knew by heart."

All the same, I am a little confused by this book. The stories should be riveting and exciting, but are done in an overly didactic way. The cover is really awful. The insidepictures are cheesy even though The Sunday Telegraph thought it was "sumptously illustrated". The book actually uses the phrase "manly men". I was hoping that the short, episodic nature of the entries would make it good for my reluctant readers, but the leisurely, descriptive style and the (ARC) 364 page length make it unappealing for that group.

Maybe it's a guy thing that I didn't get. Hey, Boys Read! Boys Rule!-- you want my copy?


  1. I'll take your copy, i have a 14 year old who might be interested and would provide his take on it.
    PS. I love your site! it is very helpful

  2. I'd send it to you, Rachel, but they never let me leave my cage long enough to get to a post office, and I couldn't find contact info for you. Also, I lent it to a reluctant reader just to try, and he was a couple of chapters in when I checked. Go figure.

  3. I was out of town when you posted this and didn't see it. thanks for the offer, though. I'll check and see if the library has any plans to purchase it.