Spurgeon, Joseph. It’s Good to be a Boy. Large type / Large print edition. 5 Solas Press, 2020. 26pp. $14. Purchase here.
Biographical Sketch of the Author
Personally, I have observed Joseph for years online and am impressed by his commitment to scripture, his desire to see the heathen evangelized, and his willingness to stand for life as an abortion abolitionist. I’ve also had the chance to talk to him on his podcast here where we talked about sports, idolatry, and evangelism. Link to Patriarchy Podcast with Michael Coughlin.
It’s Good to Be a Boy is an honest attempt to put forth a positive argument for God’s design for men (and boys). Spurgeon does a fine job keeping it simple with lines such as “boys are made to be builders,” and “boys are made to be worshipers,” so that even young children can see the goodness of God in His creation of boys.
First, the illustrations are well done. Children’s books need good pictures to engage the youngest minds and It’s Good to Be a Boy handles that nicely. My kids were seeing themselves in the story and realizing that the book is about another boy, but that it applies to them. I saw one Amazon reviewer complain of a Babies Are Murdered Here sign in one of the images. If someone hasn’t taught their children the truth about what abortion is or the requirement that men lead their households, this book will be offensive. But to Christian parents, it is an island of relief in a cesspool of worthless children’s books and an easy way to start conversations about the topics included, such as defending the weak, worshiping God, leading a family, and building things.
Secondly, the book doesn’t disparage women or girls at all. In fact, the author has a similar title, It’s Good to Be a Girl, which I haven’t read (maybe Garrett will?). Spurgeon provides positive arguments for things boys and men traditionally do. It doesn’t say everything there is to say about manhood, but what book written by men could?
I recommend this book to any Christian parent or grandparent who wants to give their sons or grandsons an alternative to the narrative they’ll constantly hear in our culture. I think dads should read it to their sons and sons should read it back to their dads. For the aunt or grandparent who wants to have a positive influence, this book will come in handy.
But in particular, this book will be of good use for single moms of boys. Whether there’s a dad in the picture or not, and whether he’s a good model or not of manhood, It’s Good to Be a Boy will help a single mother lead her son in a way that is missing in that family dynamic, a way she can’t do naturally.
I also think Spurgeon’s book can be helpful to moms to help them see how their little guy thinks, and the types of things he wants to do, so that they may raise him with more understanding.
At $14–18, this book is worth buying for yourself or someone in your family or church who has a boy. Purchase here.