Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Our Boys Speak

Our Boys Speak

Adolescent Boys Write About Their Inner Lives

John Nikkah

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

John Nikkah asked one simple question: What do the boys think? From the best-selling Ophelia Speaks to the "girl power" movement, teenage girls are speaking their minds and having their due. But what about the boys? Aside from the works of a few academics, there seems to be no outlet in today's media for the true voices of teen-age boys. Until now.

John contacted over 5,000 schools across the country looking for the voices of America's boys. What are their goals, their fears, their hopes, their dreams? What are their lives really like as they stand on the verge of manhood? Our Boys Speak takes the best of hundreds of entries from boys aged 12-18 from varied racial, economic, religious, and regional backgrounds. The essays, poems, diary entries and stories cover topics ranging from sex and dating, sports, religion, depression, violence, video games, family, and just about everything in between. And narrating the essays is John Nikkah, who comes to new understandings about his own teenage years through the raw voices he encounters. This is a book for parents, for teens, for educators and for the heart.

Our Boys Speak is just that. It is our sons, our friends, our neighbors, our families, ourselves. Sometimes painful, sometimes joyful, Our Boys Speak is most of all truthful and real.


Our Boys Speak

Part I
Our Inner Circle
In You We Trust
MANY OF YOU are going to be shocked by what I'm about to say, just because it is an extremely uncommon sentiment, but here...


Praise for Our Boys Speak

Our Boys Speak should be required reading for those concerned with the coming of age of young men in America.” —Dr. Arien Mack, Alfred and Monette Arrow Professor of Psychology, Graduate Faculty, New School University

“Convinced that boys, like girls, need to air their emotional lives, psychologist Nikkah offers a collection of essays, journal entries, stories, and poems written by young men ages 12 to 18. Heartfelt entries grouped into sections on relationships with family and friends ('Our Inner Circle'), outside influences ('Our World'), and inner struggles ('Our Selves') reveal the turmoil that male teens often mask with nonchalance and bravado. Friendships forged and forgotten, families pulled together and torn apart, threats of violence faced or avoided--all are thoughtfully examined in these revealing accounts. The young writers are painfully honest and generous in sharing those uncomfortable moments so much a part of growing up. Nikkah's brief chapter introductions add perspective and make the collection flow more smoothly. Teachers, parents, and teens themselves will find these writings eye-opening.” —Candace Smith, Booklist

“A graduate student in clinical psychology who has worked with adolescents, Nikkah seems very much in touch with boyhood . . . His lengthy, analytical chapter introductions (thirteen in all) are . . . articulate.” —Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

John Nikkah

John Nikkah is a graduate student in clinical psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York City. His clinical and research experience includes working with adolescents as an assistant recreational therapist at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.

John Nikkah

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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