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Ben Brooks was born in 1992. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for the Dzanc Best of the Web anthology.
'This book can save lives. This book can change lives. This book can help to bring forth another generation of boys who dare to be different.' Benjamin Zephaniah Prince charming, dragon slayer, mischievous prankster... More often than not, these are the role-models boys encounter in the books they read at home and at school. As a boy, there is an assumption that you will conform to a stereotypical idea of masculinity. But what if you're the introvert kind? What if you prefer to pick up a book rather than a sword? What if you want to cry when you're feeling sad or angry? What if you like the idea of wearing a dress? There is an ongoing crisis with regards to young men and mental health, with unhelpful gender stereotypes contributing to this malaise. Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different offers a welcome alternative narrative. It is an extraordinary compilation of 100 stories of famous and not-so-famous men from the past to the present day, every single one of them a rule-breaker and innovator in his own way, and all going on to achieve amazing things. Entries include Frank Ocean, Salvador Dali, Rimbaud, Beethoven, Barack Obama, Stormzy, Ai Weiwei and Jesse Owens - different sorts of heroes from all walks of life and from all over the world. A beautiful and transporting book packed with stories of adventure and wonderment, it will appeal to those who need the courage to reject peer pressure and go against the grain. It is the must-have book for all those boys who worry about stuff and all those parents who worry about their boys who worry about stuff. It will educate and entertain, while also encourage and inspire.
Winner of a Somerset Maugham Award 2015. A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Serendipitously a British counterpart to TAMPA, in which a young male teenager embarks on a tragicomic affair with a much older woman, which they initiate on the Internet. Witty, moving and at times properly hilarious, another wonderful example of how one can tackle delicate subjects and avoid vulgarity, or being judgemental. A warning tale for our times which catches the zeitgeist with unerring precision and also the most laughs I've had reading a book in ages.
Sharp, twisted confident writing – hard to believe the author is only 19. If you are literary minded and a fan of Skins and the In-betweeners you will love this and be calling the books narrator, Jasper, the new Holden Caulfield. Hilarious and heartbreaking by turns, GROW UP is the ultimate twenty-first-century coming-of-age novel. It paints a vivid portrait of the pills and thrills and bellyaches of growing up today. It is the story of one young man transformed. If you are a fan of Glee or 90210 maybe you should give it a miss.