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Masterminds and Wingmen

Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World
Written by: Rosalind Wiseman
Narrated by: Kathe Mazur
Length: 13 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Here is a landmark book that reveals the way boys think and that shows parents, educators, and coaches how to reach out and help boys overcome their most common yet difficult challenges - by the best-selling author who changed our conception of adolescent girls.

Do you constantly struggle to pull information from your son, student, or athlete, only to encounter mumbling or evasive assurances such as "It's nothing" or "I'm good"? Do you sense that the boy you care about is being bullied, but that he'll do anything to avoid your help? Have you repeatedly reminded him that schoolwork and chores come before video games only to spy him reaching for the controller as soon as you leave the room? Have you watched with frustration as your boy flounders with girls?

Welcome to Boy World. It's a place where asking for help or showing emotional pain often feels impossible. Where sports and video games can mean everything, but working hard in school frequently earns ridicule from "the guys" even as they ask to copy assignments. Where "masterminds" dominate and friends ruthlessly insult each other but can never object when someone steps over the line. Where hiding problems from adults is the ironclad rule because their involvement only makes situations worse.

Boy world is governed by social hierarchies and a powerful set of unwritten rules that have huge implications for your boy's relationships, his interactions with you, and the man he'll become. If you want what's best for him, you need to know what these rules are and how to work with them effectively.

What you'll find in Masterminds and Wingmen is critically important for every parent - or anyone who cares about boys - to know. Collaborating with a large team of middle- and high-school-age editors, Rosalind Wiseman has created an unprecedented guide to the life your boy is actually experiencing - his on-the-ground reality. Not only does Wiseman challenge you to examine your assumptions, she offers innovative coping strategies aimed at helping your boy develop a positive, authentic, and strong sense of self.

©2013 Rosalind Wiseman (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Rosalind Wiseman, who so insightfully explained the world of girls in Queen Bees and Wannabes, has done it again. This book is a powerful exploration of the inner life of boys, which is far more complex than many parents and educators may realize. Wiseman reveals the unwritten rules boys must both abide by and try to overcome, and she helps parents understand boys’ reactions, as well as their own. This is an essential guide - not just for parents but anyone who wants to better understand their own childhood and its impact." (Anderson Cooper)
"Trying to communicate with boys - teenage boys especially - can sometimes feel like cracking the world’s most complicated secret code. What makes Masterminds and Wingmen so remarkable is how thoroughly it decrypts boy-world language. It allows us to really connect with boys. If you want to understand what’s in your son’s head, read this book!" (Michael Gurian, New York Times best-selling author of The Wonder of Boys)

What members say

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  • Teacher
  • 2015-02-15

Insightful and down to earth

I'm a teacher not a parent. I've already sent paperback copies to parents of boys. Regarding audio performance it was clear when the author was speaking vs. some of the boys who were interviewed and had quotes in the book. Parents are definitely the intended audience but I still found it quite helpful and enlightening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Genevieve Desuasido
  • 2016-11-23

Such helpful insight

Every mom of a boy or girl should read this book. We were never given manuals in how to do things as parents, but this not only does that it also helps me to be a better aunt, God-parent, teacher, friend, confidant, to all the boys I know. As a sports coach, this is very helpful too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kimberly Gabor
  • 2019-08-14

Gah... can’t even listen to this

Some of it is obvious the rest is just terrible advice. I really wanted to like it but had to stop after a few hours. Don’t waste your time!

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  • Michelle
  • 2019-04-17

One mother's perspective

Some of the advice given in this book is accurate, however like all parenting advice, it is very partial to the author's perspective. It is obvios that this author does not have adequate knowledge and information in regards to private schooling. Whether she realizes it or not, she belittles private schooling and is unaware of their disciplinary procedures. In chapter 12, she claims that getting caught with drugs or getting into fights have less severe consequences when you attend private schools? I would like to know where she received this information. It would be a great idea if someoen could write this sort of book, but someone who does not have children in public schooling, or is unbiased in their parenting methods.

A frustrating read and just another mother's perspective on parenting and how she thinks she is doing it the "right way"


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  • Lisa Beyer
  • 2019-04-12

This book positively changed how I parent.

In one week, this book has changed how I parent my young boys. I expect to refer to it often as they grow older and we encounter the situations described.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-02-27

mind-blowing

although this is probably one of the most important books that I've ever read in my life I'm a father of four boys and I've often wondered what I could do to get through them and have a true connection. this book provided the key to that answer

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  • Hi
  • 2018-08-07

A must for anyone with tween boys

I have a 12 year old boy who has just gone through his first year of middle school. Ouch. Middle school can be so rough. Most of the time you hear about how mean girls can be, but in my experience boys can be just as terrible. This book gave me so much information to help my son navigate his way through middle and high school. It is exactly what I was looking for. If you read Wiseman's book Queen Bee's and Wannabe's and found it helpful, you will absolutely love this book.

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  • deurloo
  • 2018-05-01

A must read/listen!

If you have boys this is a must read/listen. I would recommend this for anyone with kids.

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  • Jenn S.
  • 2018-04-16

This is a GREAT books for parents of Boys!

If you could sum up Masterminds and Wingmen in three words, what would they be?

Mind-opening, informative, awesome

What was one of the most memorable moments of Masterminds and Wingmen?

Realizing that electronics/gaming is more integrated with our sons' lives than I thought.

Have you listened to any of Kathe Mazur’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not. But I would again.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

I can't wait to listen to it again!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-04-13

Great Guide Book

This book is excellent for dropping in whenever you need it as it is set up as a guide. Helpful if reading in its entirety or picking up when you need it.