A Boy Like You

Cover: A Boy Like You

There's more to being a boy than sports, feats of daring, and keeping a stiff upper lip. A Boy Like You encourages every boy to embrace all the things that make him unique, to be brave and ask for help, to tell his own story and listen to the stories of those around him. In an age when boys are expected to fit into a particular mold, this book celebrates all the wonderful ways to be a boy.



  • Dewey: [E]
  • Graphics: Full-color illustrations
  • Hardcover (9781534110465): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2019, 07/15/2019
  • PDF (9781534146259): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2019, 07/15/2019
  • Hosted ebook (9781534146594): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2019, 07/15/2019
  • Subject: Language Arts, Social Studies


  • Suggested Interest Level: Age 0-4 - Age 7
  • Suggested Reading Level: Grade 1
  • Lexile® Measure: 500
  • Guided Reading Level: M
  • Accelerated Reader® Quiz: Pending

BISAC Subjects


Publisher's Weekly - A Boy Like You

Excerpt: The story is directed squarely at boys, but Harren’s illustrations show representations of all kinds of kids and families. Being a boy can mean many things, Murphy suggests, but being “a smart boy, a brave boy, a kind boy” are the first important steps toward manhood.

Kirkus Reviews - A Boy Like You

The title answers a question: What does the world need?In simple, aphorism-laced language, Murphy offers a positive vision of masculinity that focuses on what he dubs " ‘inside’ strength"—the sort that privileges kindness, respect for self and for others, knowing when to ask for help, and daring to dream big. He begins with guidelines for right behavior on the playing field (“Say ‘Nice goal!’ and ‘Good try!’ / Don’t say ‘You throw like a girl.’ Ever”). With the heartily welcome reminder that “there’s so much more than sports,” he goes on to suggest that spending time in a garden, kitchen, or science lab, playing music, reading or writing stories can all be just as valid and satisfying. Likewise showing consideration for others, working toward goals, and finally realizing that “the best you / is the you that is ALL you…. / Not a little you and a little someone else.” Harren adds life and color to this earnest but not exactly electrifying advice in vignettes depicting a black lad with mobile features and interracial parents playing or otherwise posing in various settings amid a thoroughly diverse cast of peers, pets, and passersby. The figures, human and otherwise, are rendered with fetching individuality that really comes out in group scenes…particularly on the closing pages, where the illustrator lines up smiling young children, including girls, in informal rows.This visually buoyant book may well succeed at redirecting gender expectations—though not bending them.


Author: Frank Murphy

A graduate of Rutgers University, Frank is currently a second grade teacher in the Council Rock School District in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Frank lives in Holland, Pennsylvania, and has two sons, Griffin and Chase.

Illustrator: Kayla Harren

Kayla Harren is the author and illustrator of Mary Had a Little Lizard, and the illustrator of a number of other projects, including Hannah's Tall Order. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.