It’s all very well raising our girls to be rebels, pioneers and innovators, but what about our boys? As Mum to a girl and a boy, it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Alfie loves the Rebel Girls books, but, like me, has questioned the use of ‘for’ rather than ‘about’ in the title. Why shouldn’t the lives of inspirational women be for rebel boys as well? And what about those rebel boys? Where are their stories? Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks (Quercus, RRP £17.99) goes some way to addressing the issue (although, again, why ‘for’, not ‘about’?) by exploring the lives of men who have made a difference in the world by ploughing their own furrow and eschewing traditional male stereotypes.
These are not the dashing princes, action heroes or cheeky chappies, rather the introverts, geeks and the unusual who have gone on to achieve amazing things. Drawing from all walks of life, the list of 100 men includes Spanish artist Salvador Dali, naturalist David Attenborough, scientist Stephen Hawking, magician Dynamo, politician Harvey Milk, German composer Beethoven, French poet Rimbaud, singer Frank Ocean and athlete Jesse Owens, all of whom have fascinating stories to tell. A great way to encourage children to ignore peer pressure and follow their own path. I’ve bought this for Alfie’s birthday on Thursday (shh, don’t tell!) – really looking forward to reading it with him and Kitty. Educational and inspiring.