Boying Up: How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant

Boying Up: How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant

by Mayim Bialik


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Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory and author of the #1 bestseller Girling Up, puts her Ph.D. to work to talk to teen boys about the science and pressures of growing up male in today's world. A must-have book for all teenage boys!

Why does my voice crack like that? What should I eat to build muscle? How do I talk to someone I have a crush on? What do I do if someone calls me names or bullies me?

Growing from a boy to a man is no easy task. Bodies are changing, social circles are evolving, hair is appearing in places it never was before — and on top of it all, there's the ever-present pressure to conform to the typical idea of what it means to be "manly" and masculine. But it's easier to do if you're armed with facts.

Using personal anecdotes as an overly observant mother of two boys and plenty of scientific information from her life as a neuroscientist, Mayim Bialik, PhD, star of The Big Bang Theory, talks directly to teen boys about what it means to grow from a boy to a man biologically, psychologically, and sociologically. Using the same cool, fun, and friendly tone that she took in Girling Up, Mayim takes boys—and their parents!—through the challenges and triumphs of Boying Up today.

In six sections (How Boys Bodies Work; How Boys Grow; How Boys Learn; How Boys Cope; How Boys Love; and How Boys Make a Difference), she takes a look at what it means for boys to come of age in today's world, how can they take control of their paths, and what can they do to help shape the types of futures they want for themselves.

Praise for Boying Up:

"A matter-of-fact mirror that reflects reality and respect, not bewildered embarrassment." —Kirkus Reviews

"Boying Up hits all the hot spots and should be included in tween and teen library collections." —VOYA

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525515999
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 108,584
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Mayim Bialik is best known as Amy Farrah Fowler on America's #1 comedy, The Big Bang Theory, a role for which she has received four Emmy nominations and a Critics' Choice Award. She also starred in the early-1990s sitcom Blossom. Mayim earned a BS from UCLA in Neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish studies, and went on to earn a Ph.D. from UCLA in Neuroscience. She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Girling Up, as well as Beyond the Sling, and Mayim's Vegan Table.

Mayim founded in 2015 as a platform for sharing her writing on everything from religious observance and modesty to women's issues to parenting to politics. She seeks to present herself as a normal, imperfect mom trying to make everything run smoothly in a world that often feels out of her control. Mayim lives in Los Angeles with her brave, bold and brilliant sons.

You can visit Mayim Bialik at, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @MissMayim, and watch her videos at

Read an Excerpt

When I was given the green light to write Boying Up, I was thrilled and excited—for a few seconds. Then I completely panicked. How would I write this book!? While I am trained as a neuroscientist and spent 12 years of my life in school to get my degrees, my knowledge of the brain, nervous system and endocrine system seemed suddenly insufficient when I thought about the real-life nuts-and-bolts process by which boys become men.

As the mother of two sons—one of whom is entering the tween phase—I was reminded again and again as I wrote this book that, despite my degrees, helping my boys navigate this journey isn’t an easy task. Our culture’s expectations of what that journey should look like has long been insufficient to encompass all of the kinds of journeys boys will go on as they Boy Up. Especially now, when our society is recognizing the power inherent in being a boy and urging boys to use that power for good—to speak out for what’s right and help to empower girls and young women—things can feel even more complicated. This Boying Up stuff is hard!

Boying Up is a journey I can only observe from where I stand: as a scientist, as a mom and as a part of a culture that often gives conflicting directions about how to Boy Up. The challenges are myriad, and I don’t have all of the answers. What I hope you hav eseen in these pages is the kind of analysis I have chosen to participate in so that I can best support my boys as they enter manhood—and best support you, too, so that you grow into smart, thoughtful, bold, brave and brilliant men. I hope this book is a conversation starter for anyone who is a boy, was a boy or is helping love a boy into manhood.

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 How Boy Bodies Work 5

Chapter 2 How Boy Bodies Grow 36

Chapter 3 How Boys Learn 65

Chapter 4 How Boys Love 93

Chapter 5 How Boys Cope 131

Chapter 6 How Boys Matter 170

Afterthoughts 195

Customer Reviews

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Boying Up: How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
HowUsefulItIs More than 1 year ago
My Experience: This book is an excellent read! I love children’s nonfiction for the very reason that it’s written in an easy to read & easy to comprehend style. It dumbs down with the vocabularies of everyday words that we are familiar with. It has illustrations to give us a visual on what is being discussed. I like the organization of this book with illustrations, boxes, and pictures instead of it being all wordy. I like how the author relates herself and her family in this book. It makes the read more of a memoir rather than a self-help book. I like the author’s clear explanation regarding friends with bad influences versus good influences. This book’s audience is aim towards boys and young men. Boys will learn about how their body changes as they grow up and how to utilize the time they have. The author recommends that boys should be hands on and do more physical and mental activities instead of watching TV. She relates herself as being very active with musical instruments like playing the piano and the harp as well as being hands on in arts & crafts like learning how to sew from her mom. Readers will also learn to differentiate between good friends and not so good friends. This book will also cover how to be smart about dating, the feelings boys get when they like someone, and to understand about intimacy. Any parents who feel embarrassed about discussing with their sons about sex and pregnancy, this book has it cover too. There’s a chapter on dealing with stress that will be helpful to readers. Boying Up is very well written and presented. Reading this book reminds me to drink more water and eat better. It lists the consequences with drinking less water and it shocks me how many of them I’m currently suffering. I like the reminder about external influences. I like tips about eating and schooling. My son likes learning about the voice box. I like the fun chapter on dating and the explanation on how it feels to crush on someone. I like the author’s advices on education and men who made history. This book is very positive and it gears toward preparing boys to grow into a happy and successful life. I would highly recommend all teens to read this book! There are so many excellent advices I love learning and I just couldn’t list them all on my review. Pro: easy to read, useful tips, fast paced, page turner, illustrations, personal experiences, humor, Con: none I rate it 5 stars! ***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Penguin Young Readers for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest. xoxo, Jasmine at for more details
AngRI More than 1 year ago
A great light toned but information packed book to start conversations. My Review: I received Boying Up from the publisher, the below is my honest review. I have been a big fan of Mayim's Youtube channel for some time, I love the realistic parenting tips she gives, so when I was given the opportunity to read Boying Up I was thrilled. Right off the bat this book takes on a great conversational and light tone that really allows for her voice to come through. The tone of the book also makes it not seem like a nagging "you should do this, not this" that makes teens tune out. It has a lot of great information from body changes, to learning methods and emotional changes and coping methods. Munchkin is not too many years off from this phase of his life and this will definitely be a book that will be waiting for him to read. As a mom, it was a very helpful book to read, to get a little insight into what challenges he may face and how we can approach them together. I think what might be the best part of Boying Up is that it doesn't present a strict guys guy picture of becoming a man, there was a lot of representation and openness in the different ways boys might be as they grow into adulthood. My Rating: This is probably one of the best non-fiction books I have read in quite a while. I am so glad that this book will be out there for teen and pre-teen boys (and their moms) to refer to when needed. I give it a rating of Four Paws.