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Handbook for Boys

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  344 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Jimmy and Kevin could really use a guide to life.

Their activities almost land them in juvenile detention until Duke employs them in his Harlem barbershop. Duke has rules for everything. But is he offering good advice or just more aggravation?

In the groundbreaking tradition of the award-winning Monster and Bad Boy: A Memoir, Walter Dean Myers fashions a complex, layered nov
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Amistad (first published May 7th 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 580)
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stephanie
my love of walter dean myers has passed, mostly because i think he writes to an audience that doesn't exactly exist. well, i don't know. this did not appeal to my students at all, and to be honest? i didn't like the fact that this stereotyped the "readers" of the book. also, i suppose it goes back to all the old debates on ebonics and the related, but why should these targeted kids read books with terrible grammar in the dialogue? i understand this is how they speak, but how are they supposed to ...more
Sherry
The book, Handbook for Boys: A Novel, is about how to make the right decision in life before you actually do something. In the book, Jimmy Lynch is a 16 year old teenage boy who have made some bad decisions, but is given another chance by Duke (a neighbor). Duke gets Jimmy out of juvenile detention by making an agreement that Jimmy will start working at his barbershop. Duke also hires Kevin, a 17 year old teen, and wants Jimmy and Kevin to learn about hard work, responsibility and also how to no ...more
Eugene Goode
The book I'm reviewing is called Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers. The book is realistic fiction. The main character name is Jimmy, and he is learning how to make choices before he does things. Jimmy learns the hard way, That your responsible for what you do, and at the end of the day you make your own decision. What ever happens next it's all on you, so be ready, and make sure it's the right one.

The book is trying to help young boys to say out of trouble, and be wise about things. the m
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Chris
I really liked this book, and I'm surprised at the number of teachers who either don't like it or say their students didn't like it. That makes me wonder if I really am out of touch. This is not a novel. It is a series of life lessons woven onto a framework of the happenings in a Harlem barbershop. The story is still from the POV of Jimmy, a teenager who agrees to work in the barbershop rather than be sent to a juvenile detention facility for fighting. The shop's owner, Duke, and his friends try ...more
christopher
Book review

Christopher Jordan 1/8/09


This book that I have finished reading is called Handbook for Boys. This is by the award winning Walter Dean Myers once again. This story is a novel and the theme of this story is to make choices before you do things.
The main character in this story is named Jimmy Lynch he is 16 years old. This whole story takes place in New York. Jimmy has mad some bad choices in the past with the law and suffered the consequences so a man that is well known around the neig
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Dan
Talk about taking me back to the days of hanging out in the barber shop and crackin’ on all the goofballs from the neighborhood that come in to get their hair cut (wait, that was a movie not my life). Jimmy gets himself into a bit of trouble that could land him in jail but he is “rescued” by a man named Duke who mentors youth by having them work at his barbershop. Jimmy and another guy, Kevin, are made to keep the place clean (even though it is almost always spotless) allowing them time to spend ...more
Marc Kohlman
Superb! I've been a fan of Walter Dean Myers books since high school, and this one I enjoyed immensely. The characters of Jimmy and Kevin I was able to relate to, being a young African-American man myself who is learning about life and experiencing and taking in the lessons and realities of it. Duke and Mister M remind me a lot of my grandparents, friends of theirs, my uncle and mother who always impart their words of wisdom and talk about their lives growing up. Like Jimmy and Kevin at times I ...more
Bruce
Multi-cultural book talk:
Jimmy Lynch beats up another student in school and is charged by the police. Instead of going to juvenile detention, a gentleman named Duke has volunteered to mentor him while Jimmy is on probation. Duke is also mentoring another kid named Kevin who is in a similar situation for drugs. Duke has promised to pay for Kevin's first two years of college. Duke owns a barber shop in Harlem. Cap and Mr. M hang around the shop with Duke, and help give the two boys a hard time. T
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Sonya
Handbook for Boys: by Walter Dean Myers
Date Finished: June 2010

Snapshot: Jimmy is a young boy on the path to juvenile detention—if he doesn’t straighten out. That’s what the older men at the barbershop set out to do. Duke, the owner of the barbershop, hires Jimmy and Kevin, another troubled teen, to do custodial work. However, the real reason he hires the boys is so they can soak up the wisdom and values of hard work, responsibility, education, and success from the men that hang out there. Thoug
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Brian Henderson
This is that type of book where you would say, don't judge a book by it's cover. The genre of this book is realist fiction. I really didn't like this book because it wasn't my type of book. I read the first page and thought i would fall in love with it.

The setting of this story is at a barbershop. The narrator wanted to find out about life, but he didn't like school so he went to the barbershop instead, so they taught life lessons, then he caught on. The conflict is person vs society because the
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Yousef
There comes a day when the good face a decision. This decision will determine not if they are a good person, but if they were persistent. Some stay on their path to success, but some go astray, and give in to the hatred. Sometimes, they give in to some sort of awkward hatred, and feel rebellious against the law. Young Jimmy got involved within the wrong idea at the wrong time. “Handbook for Boys” by Walter Dean Myers…
When being sentenced to a juvenile detention center for crime related activit
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Brian Gouin
This book definitely surprised me I thought it was going to be similar to Part-Time Indian but it was incredibly different. The book is about a boy who gets charged for assault. While in court a man named Duke speaks out on his behalf he saves him from going to jail. He sees hope in the boy and he feels as if he can make him a better person. Duke owned a barbershop in Harlem, New York (where the story takes place) thats where the boy does most of his community service. He usually would sweep aro ...more
Tyler
I like the way the author showed in a way how some people were the main character and some are not. This is important because in many books the main characters and the back round character are hard to see who's who. I didn't agree with the court saying that kevin had to go to a juvenile prison. Because he had possession but his friend gave it to him. I want to know why the shop had got another boy to tell lessons to. Because kevin the boy before him just went away to a juvenile prison. I underst ...more
Ben
Handbook for boys from dean Myers was a very great book that really Caught my attention in the beginning because of its topic. The two main characters are Kevin and jimmy and they have a hard life. When I read this book I thought the cover was a little bit to kiddy for the information in the book. I love how it is about life's lessons because that's important. At time I got very bored because it seamed as if they were repeating some stuff over again. In general this book was not as interesting t ...more
Anthony Herrera27812
This was a very good book. One of the very best that I've read. Sure it sounds like a book that a boy would read but their is more to it than that. It talks about the right way a person should live their life. So I don't think this book should be read for just guys, it should be read by any gender. The writing in this book is very detailed and strong. If I think that this book is very good, then I'm sure others out there will enjoy it to.
Ralphie
This book's characters include, Jimmy and Kevin who are two troubled kids living in Harlem.Duke who is the owner of his own barbershop,in which he employs both Jimmy and Kevin to save them from going to a juvenile detention center.

I can connect to this book because during the book, Duke and Jimmy seem to grow very fond of each other. They seem to develop a bond like grandfather and grandson. I can connect to that kind of bond because that's the kind of bond my dad, my grand father, and I still s
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Maughn Gregory
A sequence of life lessons urged on two boys working after school in a Harlem barbershop, by the Socrates figure proprietor. I was put off by the conservative ideology until the barber said something like, No matter how unjust your situation is, you either deal with it or let it deal with you.
Kevin
This book, is about choices, both good and bad. It also shows you how to deal with the choices you have already made. I really enjoyed this book and so did my mom, we had some good discussions about the characters. I would recommend all teenage boys read this book.
Tyree
The book Handbook for boys by Walter Dean Myers, is about a boy who talks about his child hood as a little boy. This book is mainly about about a boy who investigates the world with girls in his life. Lastly the main character in this book finds out that, girls arent nasty, and he finds out that he really likes girls.
One internal conflict that the boy in this book has is that, should he keep dating girls and then lose his virginity to one of the girls, or should he just wait till he gets older
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At (Austin)SOF2014
Handbook for boys is a book about a young boy named Jimmy and another boy named Kevin. Both Jimmy and Kevin were delinquents. They almost got sent to jail. Kevin for smoking pot and Jimmy for beating a kid. Fortunately Duke, who owns a local barbershop, came to their rescue. They now have to work under the supervision of Duke for 6 months. Duke tries to get them both on the right path of life, but some people just cannot be helped.

I would probably connect to Jimmy in this book. Jimmy has anger i
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Samir
I just finished reading Handbook for books and I liked it a lot. It had my attention through the whole thing. It just was really interesting to read. This book was about a boy named jimmy lynch who got in trouble and he had to serve community service in a barbershop.
What surprised me about this book was that you got to know all the characters really well. Walter dean Myers did a good job describing all of them and you could almost feel as if you were them. What I liked about this book was that i
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Anthony
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ms. D
This book is about a 16-year-old named Jimmy who gets out of juvenile detention by agreeing to work in a barbershop with a mentor figure named Duke. Duke and the other two old men in the shop teach Jimmy and other young men about life with stories, advice, philosophy and examples. I usually love Walter Dean Myers, but it was hard for me to get into this book, possibly because it is a 'handbook for boys' and I am an adult female with a pretty set view of the world... It felt like reading a sermon ...more
Michael Mosqueda
This book was a really good novel. It told the story of a boy fighting through the hard life in New Jersey. He shows to younger teenage boys it is not hard to stay out of trouble if you put your mind to it. With a postitive mindset, he went through being in trouble to helping another boy out in life through trouble. This book inspired me to do better as a person because I live through the same conditiions as him. This book can really help others in knowing which route to take through life with s ...more
Darrius Green
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
704jeremy
Jimmy the main character in Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers needs help. He recently visits the jail after getting into a fight over a small issue at school. His only hope of avoiding jail is to do community service, cleaning a barbershop up daily. He goes through many lectures and fights to the point where he finally realizes the people working there are just trying to get his mind set up for doing good things in life.
For people who are up for many confusing lessons and changes read thi
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Ian Mcenaney
Kevin and Jimmy are bad kids. they almost got sent to jail. kevin got sent for pot and jimmy beat up a kid. duke from a local barber shop tryed to save them from going to jail. so now that he did that they have to work at his barbershop under his supervision for 6 hours a day. he trys to get them to do the right thigns in life.

I could connect to Jimmy the most. he has anger management problems. he cant control them that well and neither can I. he beats up kids when he gets mad. even though I co
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Alex Brignoni
1
a. what i enjoyed most about this book is that it was a guide on how to live your life and it had a very good sence of humoor
b. the book didnt really have a climaz or a point in it where i just didnt want to stop reading.
c. "but is all this talking back and forth worth it?" duke asked. "i dont know right now i'll let you know in about fifteen years" pg. 165 last paragrapgh
d. if you had to work in a barber shop with a bunch of old men, and all day they were giving you advice on how to live life
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De'vari Young
the book help me behavior wise because how he was to the person he work for and became better in behavior
Cliff
For Boys who have already been exposed to mature topics, this book can be a good guide, if read in conjunction with guidance from an adult who can help separate worldly philosophy from correct doctrines and principles. Overall, the message is spot on, as the major premise of the book is that one has to take personal responsibility for our choices and actions, but that if one does so based on thoughtful, forward looking goals, one can avoid the pitfalls of life and achieve success.
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pseudonyms:
Stacie Williams
Stacie Johnson

Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12, 1937 in Martinsburg, West Virginia but moved to Harlem with his foster parents at age three. He was brought up and went to public school there. He attended Stuyvesant High School until the age of seventeen when he joined the army.

After serving four years in the army, he worked at various jobs and earned a BA from Empi
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