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Handbook for Boys

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  472 ratings  ·  101 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
Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Amistad (first published May 7th 2002)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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Oct 27, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Like other reviewers have said, this book doesn’t have much of a plot—rather, it’s a series of conversations that take place in a barbershop. However, the lessons in it are good, and I think this would be a good read for kids in danger of falling into the wrong crowd.
Oct 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is about a kid named jimmy who assaulted a kid at school and is put on parole.He starts to work at Dukes barbershop.Duke gives jimmy some life lessons and advice about life.Jimmy starts to change his personality(not the ending). I personally do not like how the story is slow and boring,and does not have any action. But i did like how the book starts with him at the court and goes back to the present. I recommend this book to people who like books that are slow and that like it when the ...more
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-11-20
Jimmy and Kevin get into some trouble, resulting in working at a barbershop owned by Duke. He becomes their mentor and helps guide them through their decision making ages, as they are 16 and 17 respectively. Duke helps open their eyes with all the time the boys spend with him in the store. They discuss right and wrong. Duke makes a learning opportunity out of ordinary moments, like seeing someone addicted to drugs and talking about the consequences. These boys are taught lessons from costumers' ...more
Alize Butler
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jimmy Lynch has gotten himself into some of trouble in school. Duke, the proprietor of the nearby barbershop, takes the boy under his wing to keep him out of a juvenile facility. With another boy named Kevin, he does weird jobs and listens to the crazy and thoughtfully given advice from the Grandpa like Duke and his elderly friends, the irrepressible Cap, an ex-courtroom guard who thinks he has seen everything. Also on hand are a bunch of other men, some wise and some foolish, including the phil ...more
Duke, a local barbershop owner, runs a casual mentorship program for the neighborhood boys. When someone gets in trouble, Duke will take them under his wing. Jimmy is no exception. His temper got the best of him one day, and he was facing charges. In court, Duke said he'd allow Jimmy to work in his shop instead of getting jail time or probation. While Jimmy is working in the barbershop, Duke and his friends teach Jimmy (and another boy named Kevin) about the "rules" of life, what Duke calls a "H ...more
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is about two kind of different boy, to guide their own life, this book, it’s beginning at the juvenile detention and Harlem barbershop, this is kind of difficult beginning, the author write this book, is really difficult, sometimes I can’t understand what he writes about.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is about many stories happened in a barbershop. And the boss of barbershop are always talking his life and others. It told me many ways to figure things out and how to stay out of troubles.
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed listening to this audiobook, because it was like being at a family gathering and listening to my uncles have a conversation that starts with “that’s what’s wrong with these kids these days...”

But the book is dated, and I’m not certain who the audience would be. It’s too preachy for kids and it’s not appealing to me as an adult.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This should be required reading for all young boys and girls in middle school. Great message!
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
All kids should read this book....good advice!!
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good advice, a bit like a series of essays, but covers a lot of ground simply. Love this author.
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Eugene Goode
Nov 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-678
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
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 t
Jul 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Brian Henderson
Oct 16, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Brian Gouin
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 08, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Jan 13, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Nov 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
At (Austin)SOF2014
Jan 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Ms. D
Oct 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
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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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