Wiseman, R. (2013). Masterminds and wingmen. New York: Harmony Books.

Masterminds and Wingmen is Rosalind Wiseman’s follow up ‘male’ version to her bestseller Queen Bees and Wannabes. In Queen Bees and Wannabes, Wiseman provided insight into the theories that surround teenage girls and how they relate to one another. In Masterminds and Wingmen, she attempts to provide the same awareness to the world of boys. In researching and writing this book, Wiseman enlisted the assistance of middle and high school aged boys to develop a guide based on the real-world experience of boys.

As with previous books, Wiseman has written Masterminds and Wingmen in a style that allows the reader to go back to it as needed — there is no need to read from cover to cover to understand what is happening — a person can gravitate to any chapter as it speaks to their situation. The aim of the book is to help parents and other key adults navigate the often tricky terrain of boy life.

Each of the 18 chapters give the reader insight and strategies to different boy-centric areas. Everything from common boy roles and how they can change based on environment, body image, communication problems and lying through to helping boys traverse the girl world. All chapters are written in an easy to understand format with personal anecdotes doted throughout. In each chapter, Wiseman has placed “check your baggage “points which ask the reader to connect with themselves and remember both positive and negative experiences from their childhood and growing up. It is through linking the readers with their own self that they can gain greater awareness of the mindset of a boy growing up.

Rosalind Wiseman is an internationally recognised expert on children, parenting, teens, bullying and social justice. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and is the author of several bestselling parenting books. Rosalind Wiseman wants boys to learn that asking for help is a strength and a skill.

Reviewed by Anda Davies

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