Summary and book reviews of Real Boys' Voices by William Pollack, Ph.D.

Real Boys' Voices

by William S. Pollack, Ph.D.

Real Boys' Voices by William S. Pollack, Ph.D.
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2000, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 1999, 447 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Hear verbatim what boys have to say about violence, drugs, sports, school, parents, love, anger, body image, becoming a man, and much, much more.

"In my travels throughout this country, I have discovered a glaring truth: America's boys are absolutely desperate to talk about their lives," says Dr. William Pollack, author of the bestseller Real Boys. Now, in Real Boys' Voices, Pollack lets us hear what boys today are saying, even as he explores ways to get them to talk more openly with us. "Boys long to talk about the things that are hurting them--their harassment from other boys, their troubled relationships with their fathers, their embarrassment around girls and confusion about sex, their disconnection from and love for their parents, the violence that haunts them at school and on the street, their constant fear that they might not be as masculine as other boys." In Real Boys' Voices we hear, verbatim, what boys from big cities and small towns, including Littleton, Colorado, have to say about violence, drugs, sports, school, parents, love, anger, body image, becoming a man, and much, much more.

Real Boys' Voices takes us into the daily worlds of boys not only to show how society's outdated expectations force them to mask many of their true emotions, but also to let us hear how boys themselves describe their isolation, depression, longing, love, and hope. How can you get behind the mask of masculinity many boys wear? How can you tell whether a "bad boy" is actually a "sad boy"--and how do you spot the danger signals of depression? How can you grow closer to the boy you love? Pollack explores how to create safe spaces and engage in "action talk," how to listen so a boy will speak the truth about, and be, himself. In the real boys' voices here, boys speak eloquently and truthfully about such topics as shame, bullying and teasing, the pressure to fit in, addictions, how they see the lives of the men they know, the importance of their mothers and fathers, their own spiritual and creative experiences, friendships with other boys and with girls, being gay, and coping with divorce and other losses, including the death of a friend or parent. We also hear what boys from Columbine High School and other places say about fear and violence in their lives. Full of insights from and about young and adolescent boys, William Pollack's Real Boys' Voices is an important, illuminating, and invaluable book, for boys themselves and for all the people in their lives.


From Real Boys' Voices



"Boys are supposed to shut up and take it, to keep it all in."
--Scotty, from a small town in New England

"What I hate about this school is that I am being picked on in the halls and just about everywhere else."
--Cody, from a suburb in New England

"Sometimes people say there are two mes, like I have a dual personality. . . . The public persona is not really who I am. It's a tool . . . to be who everyone wants me to be."
--Raphael, from a city in the West

"If you see [abuse] coming, just walk out of the room or walk out of the house or go somewhere, go to a friend's house, go for a walk, take your dog for a run, whatever. Just try to get away from that situation before it actually explodes."
--Paul, from a suburb in the West

"Maybe a couple of times I used to bully some kids. I haven't bullied anyone since the shooting. I try to be nicer to people even if I don't like them."
--John, from Littleton, Colorado

Introduction

Listening To Boys' Voices

"Boys are supposed to shut up and take it, to keep it all in. It's harder for them to release or vent without feeling girly. And that can drive them to shoot themselves."
--Scotty, 13, from a small town in northern New England

IN MY TRAVELS THROUGHOUT THIS COUNTRY FROM THE inner-city neighborhoods of Boston, New York, and San Francisco to suburbs in Florida, Connecticut, and Rhode Island; from small, rural villages in New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania to the pain-filled classrooms of Littleton, Colorado - I have discovered a glaring truth: America's boys are absolutely desperate to talk about their lives. They long to talk about the things that are hurting them - their harassment from other boys, their troubled relationships with their fathers, their embarrassment around girls and confusion about sex, their disconnection from parents, the violence that haunts them at school and on the street, their constant fear that they might not...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Robert Coles

The boys Pollack calls as personal witnesses can be persuasively introspective and socially discerning. They speak compellingly, sometimes with winning earnestness and candor.

Kirkus Reviews

Topics such as virginity, spirituality, bullying, divorce, drugs, racism, and sexism are discussed by both the boys and the author. Somewhat redundant, Pollack offers many useful psychoanalytical insights worth repeating.

Booklist Vanessa Bush

Pollack found that many of his subjects longed to communicate their feelings but felt restrained by a culture that discouraged emotional displays by boys, thereby adding to the pressure on boys today. Pollack also heard from his subjects that they often feel alone and disconnected. Such despair and alienation distinguish the increased violence among young American boys. If the boys poignantly describe pressure and depression, sadness and loneliness, feeling suspected of being gay and feeling sexually uncertain, and receiving mixed messages from society, they also express relief that perceptions of men and boys are changing. An important, comprehensive report from the trenches on the emotional state of American boys.

Reader Reviews

Josh

Its so nice and interesting book...

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Real Boys' Voices, try these:

  • Manhood for Amateurs jacket

    Manhood for Amateurs

    by Michael Chabon

    Published 2010

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning author— "an immensely gifted writer and a magical prose stylist" (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)—offers his first major work of nonfiction, an autobiographical narrative as inventive, beautiful, and powerful as his acclaimed, award-winning fiction.

  • The War Against Boys jacket

    The War Against Boys

    by Christina Hoff Sommers

    Published 2001

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Sommers says that boys do need help, but not the sort they've been getting. They need love, discipline, respect, moral guidance and understanding. They do not need to be rescued from masculinity.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Wonderful Feels Like This
    Wonderful Feels Like This
    by Sara Lovestam
    High school is hard; or perhaps, more accurately, growing up and finding oneself is hard. This is ...
  • Book Jacket: Blue Light Yokohama
    Blue Light Yokohama
    by Nicolas Obregon
    Blue Light Yokohama, Nicolás Obregón's crime fiction debut, takes place in an exotic ...
  • Book Jacket: Inferno
    Inferno
    by Steven Hatch
    The word "Ebola" sets off an almost visceral reaction in many of us; we think about the men, women ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Scribe of Siena
    by Melodie Winawer

    Equal parts transporting love story, meticulously researched historical fiction, and compelling time-travel narrative.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Book of Summer
    by Michelle Gable

    The bestselling author of The Paris Apartment, Michelle Gable now transports readers to Nantucket.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit:
A Ruth Galloway Mystery

A string of murders takes Ruth underground in the newest book in the series.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T W Don't M A R

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -