HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Boy, It’s A Circus
Author: Ray Warfel Jr.
Publisher: Guardian of Truth Foundation, 2008
Related website(s): http://www.truthbooks.net (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Boys ages 10-19
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Warfel, Ray Jr. Boy, It’s A Circus (published in 2008 by Guardian of Truth Foundation, then at P. O. Box 9670, Bowling Green, KY 42101). My good friend and fellow gospel preacher Ray Warfel Jr., whose sisters, parents, and even grandparents all I have known, wrote the following in his preface to this book. “I am concerned for my son. I am concerned for my brother, and his son. I am concerned for the vast number of boys who will set their eyes on manhood in the next decade. Our society mocks manliness. It encourages Bart Simpson to become his father Homer. Adding to this is the natural difficulty of growing up, going from boyhood to manhood. This change can be chaotic, crazy, a circus—thus the title. Parents who are eager to help their sons navigate these years are sometimes at a loss to know where to start. Boy, It’s a Circus is a tool for these parents and their sons. This book is designed to give fathers a place to start a dialog with their sons about manhood.”
The thirteen chapters deal with these subjects: Making Men; Becoming a Christian; How to Treat Other People; Friends; Anger; The Tongue; Work and Money; Sexuality; Sex, Drugs and Drink; Being a Mate Worth Choosing; Choosing a Mate; Leadership; and Making the Most of What You Have. The subjects are arranged in a logical progression-from a general to a specific. Lesson one is about manhood in general. Each lesson which follows is on some specific facet of being a man. Since Christ ought to be first in our lives, becoming a Christian is discussed as the first specific subject of being a man. Some lessons go together, and these also follow the general to specific formula. Lessons three and four go together, about how to treat other people and then specifically friends. Lessons five and six likewise go together dealing with anger and use (or misuse) of the tongue.
Questions at the end of each lesson reiterate the points made in the reading, and can be a good place to start talking. Many Christians today have expressed concerns over the problems facing our young people. Especially is this true regarding young men, who are deemed “at risk” by some sociologists and those who claim expertise in studying this subject. These observations are commonplace, and by simply looking around we can discern ample reason for such concerns. This workbook for young men would be suitable for a teen boys’ study in a congregational Bible class or for a teenage boy in a homeschool setting, especially when combined with study books by two other gospel preachers, Jeff Hamilton’s Growing Up in the Lord: A Study for Teenage Boys, which also contains instruction in various practical subjects such as health and grooming, and Jason Hardin’s Hard Core: Defeating Sexual Temptation with a Superior Satisfaction, which deals more specifically with sexual matters.