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Review: Being a boy by James Dawson

 Being a Boy by James Dawson
Published by Red Lemon Press

Goodreads Synopsis
Everything you wanted to know about puberty, but were too afraid to Google. Queen of Teen nominee, acclaimed YA author and former PSHCE teacher, James Dawson, expertly guides boys through puberty from surviving the social scene to learning about sex, how to pull, dealing with spotty faces and everything in between. Witty text paired with over 50 hilarious black-and-white illustrations by Spike Gerrell makes this the essential guide to growing up brutal honesty included

My Thoughts
I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of this book and without a doubt it is a perfect book for teenage boys.

Being a boy talks to teenage boys in a frank and funny way about being a teenager, going through puberty and sex. It isn't judgemental or glamourised and sets the facts out straight. In a world where the sexualisation of children is rife and where hard core porn can be access by all with the click of a button this book is so needed. What I love about this book is it is so frank. It outllines facts such as, the vital impoortance of safe sec, the fact that everyone has body hair, that sex seen in porn isn't realistic and that everyone everywhere no matter what gender of sexual orientation is capable of finding a loving relationship if they so choose to wish to do so. In an age when unrealistic body images which are airbrushed and manipulated are portrayed by the media as the norm I can't think of better messages for teenage boys to hear.

I love how unjudgemental this book is. It screams equality for all regardless of sex or gender identity and encourages teens not to label themselves whilst they are still young and finding out who they want to be. In addition to all the sex stuff it has lovely messages about being a decent human being, bullying, treating people with respect and about feminism which is also vitally important for young men to hear. I particularly loved the social hierarchy stereotypes including characters such as the 'pin head peacock', the 'sheep' and my personal favourite the 'shitweasel' which was used to outline vividly the types of people you should aim not to be in life if possible.

I could go on for ages about the messages contained within this book and now important they are however for me the real selling point and the reason why this will be popular within the target audience is how it doesn't take itself too seriously. Quite honestly I have never laughed so much reading a book about sex and puberty which is a stark contrast to the dreaded sex education lessons I remember being subjected to as a teen when my crumbly old science teacher bored us through the dry biological parts of puberty and then horrified us through personal stories of his own sexual conquests in the seventies substituting sandwich bags for condoms. Being delivered in such a funny and accessible way is so engaging and whilst driving vital messages home.

A fantastic and much needed book for teenage boys which offers frank, non-judgemental and honest advice from someone who has been there. In age of Internet porn, and unrealistic body image role models this book is utterly vital for those hopping precariously through the puberty minefield.