The Trouble with Boys: Book summary and reviews of The Trouble with Boys by Peg Tyre

The Trouble with Boys

A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do

by Peg Tyre

The Trouble with Boys by Peg Tyre X
The Trouble with Boys by Peg Tyre
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Book Summary

From the moment they step into the classroom, boys begin to struggle. They get expelled from preschool nearly five times more often than girls; in elementary school, they’re diagnosed with learning disorders four times as often. By eighth grade huge numbers are reading below basic level. And by high school, they’re heavily outnumbered in AP classes and, save for the realm of athletics, show indifference to most extra­curricular activities. Perhaps most alarmingly, boys now account for less than 43% of those enrolled in college, and the gap widens every semester!

The imbalance in higher education isn’t just a “boy problem,” though. Boys’ decreasing college attendance is bad news for girls, too, because ad­missions officers seeking balanced student bodies pass over girls in favor of boys. The growing gender imbalance in education portends massive shifts for the next generation: how much they make and whom they marry.

Interviewing hundreds of parents, kids, teachers, and experts, award-winning journalist Peg Tyre drills below the eye-catching statistics to examine how the educational system is failing our sons. She explores the convergence of culprits, from the emphasis on high-stress academics in preschool and kindergarten, when most boys just can’t tolerate sitting still, to the outright banning of recess, from the demands of No Child Left Behind, with its rigid emphasis on test-taking, to the boy-unfriendly modern curriculum with its focus on writing about “feelings” and its purging of “high-action” reading material, from the rise of video gaming and schools’ unease with technology to the lack of male teachers as role models.

But this passionate, clearheaded book isn’t an exercise in finger-pointing. Tyre, the mother of two sons, offers notes from the front lines - the testimony of teachers and other school officials who are trying new techniques to motivate boys to learn again, one classroom at a time. The Trouble with Boys gives parents, educators, and anyone concerned about the state of education a manifesto for change—one we must undertake right away lest school become, for millions of boys, unalterably a “girl thing.”

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Tyre treads carefully, offering a terrifically useful synthesis of information. " - Publishers Weekly.

"Boys have their troubles and The Trouble with Boys so sensitively reveals them. Parents, teachers and others of us who work with kids will do so more effectively having read this vital book. Boys everywhere will be the fortunate beneficiaries of Peg Tyre's insights and suggestions." - Mel Levine, M.D. author of A Mind at a Time.

"A clear-eyed, wide ranging, deeply thoughtful book about what's going on with boys . . . and why we should care. This is the book about boys that could change our world." - Jon Scieszka, Library of Congress-appointed "Ambassador for Children's Literature," and author of numerous bestsellers and award winners including The Time Warp Trio books, The Stinky Cheese Man and Math Curse.

"Passionate, powerful and persuasive, Peg Tyre's beautifully researched book, The Trouble with Boys offers the reader a compelling explanation for why boys are not being served well by America's schools. I recommend this book to any mother who is confused or worried by her son's struggles in the classroom. What you learn here will help you to guide your son's education. I suspect that teachers may feel that Peg Tyre has given voice to their deepest doubts about the things we make boys endure in school. I urge all educators to read The Trouble with Boys. You won't teach boys in the same way once you’ve finished it." - Michael Thompson, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Raising Cain: Protecting The Emotional Life of Boys.

This information about The Trouble with Boys was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Peg Tyre

Peg Tyre was, until recently, a senior writer at Newsweek specializing in social trends and education. She has won numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize, a Clarion Award, and a National Education Writers Association Award. She lives in New York City with her husband, novelist Peter Blauner, and their two sons.

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