Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 1, 2019

Book Giveaway: A BOY LIKE YOU by Frank Murphy

Author Frank Murphy has a new picture book titled, A BOY LIKE YOU, illustrated by Kayla Harren. It is is hitting bookstores on July 15th.

Frank has agreed to share a book with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Frank and Kayla!


There’s more to being a boy than sports, feats of daring, and keeping a stiff upper lip. A Boy Like You encourages every boy to embrace all the things that make him unique, to be brave and ask for help, to tell his own story and listen to the stories of those around him. In an age when boys are expected to fit into a particular mold, this book celebrates all the wonderful ways to be a boy.


Even though I started drafting A Boy Like You in the Winter of 2018, its genesis occurred long before 2018. Teaching, coaching, and parenting over the past three decades all led to me writing A Boy Like You. But in 2018, there were a few things that sort of nudged me to write the text, imagining it as a picture book. One, sadly, was the onslaught of school shootings. Seeing tragedy after tragedy and noticing that a common denominator was the shooter almost always being a boy, in part, pushed me to write the text. Another factor was the culmination of seeing too many boys often feeling undervalued at recess, where sports usually dominate the choices for play and interaction. The third was the fact that I was seeing so many books written to empower girls (which I love!), but few for boys; I really wanted boys to have a picture book that addresses strength and masculinity – and the myriad ways to show it.

In late April of 2018, I submitted the manuscript to Heather Hughes at Sleeping Bear Press. (Heather acquired my first picture book, The Legend of the Teddy Bear, almost 20 years ago.) Heather got back to me pretty quickly and let me know that someone would get in touch after reviewing the manuscript. In June, Sarah Rockett emailed me to let me know that the editorial team was looking over the manuscript and that she’d get back to me soon. I was in Italy, while on vacation in July, when I received Sarah’s second email telling me that the editorial team thought I was “close to something great with this concept”. She asked if I was up for working on it a little more and re-submitting it. She gave me a little bit of direction from the editorial team; mostly, they thought it was too didactic and a bit too mature – they were right! Fortunately, I had paid an editor to critique the manuscript a few months earlier. I immediately went back to that editor’s notes. While touring Sorrento, Florence, and Ravenna, I squeezed in a lot of redrafting; the editor’s notes I had helped tremendously.

On July 24th, I re-submitted the manuscript (a few days after returning from Italy) with fingers crossed. Sarah really liked what I had done and because it had such a timely topic she pushed it through the acquisition process AND on July 27th she let me know that Sleeping Bear Press wanted to offer me a contract. I was thrilled! Sarah and her team wanted to get the book into readers’ hands as soon as possible, so summer 2019 was chosen as the earliest possible publication date. Sarah and I crammed in many, many revisions. Sarah was incredible; she collaborated on this text with me with expertise and creativity. When I found out Kayla Harren was chosen for the art, I immediately looked her up and I was thrilled. Kayla is a rising star in the KidLit world. Her ability to capture emotions with facial expressions is uncanny. The way she attaches light and shadow is stunning. I just love her art.

I’ve never had a book turn around so quickly. Some of my books have taken more than three years from acquisition to publication. So having a picture book come alive in less than a year is remarkable. I’m really happy it published so quickly because I think families and classrooms need a book like this, now more than ever – one that speaks to boys in the ways that it does.

For me, A Boy Like You is a culmination of teaching leadership all these years as a parent, coach, and educator. I hope A Boy Like You creates discussions for people who read it and share it. And I hope the discussions open up hearts and minds to create space for acceptance, patience, and kindness. If just one boy learns that he should always clean up after himself, that he should hold the door for the person behind him, or that choosing kindness is a way to be strong – then A Boy Like You will have made a difference. And if just one boy is inspired and validated by the message “Be the YOU that makes you feel most alive,” then A Boy Like You will have made an impact for a lifetime.


FRANK MURPHY is a teacher who writes and a writer who teaches. He has taught a wide variety of grades at the elementary for more than 26 years. A history buff, former basketball coach & Sixers fan, and popular speaker, Frank is the author of many fun historical fiction/biography books for young readers, including several popular Step into Reading History Readers – including the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2006 Best Book Award Winner Ben Franklin & the Magic Squares. Most of his children’s books are about iconic people from the past like Teddy Roosevelt, George Washington, Frederick Douglass, and Clara Barton.

His newest picture book is A Boy Like You (July 2019) illustrated by Kayla Harren and published by Sleeping Bear Press. A Boy Like You is a loving tribute to boys, celebrating all the wonderful ways to be a boy and encouraging readers to be the truest version of themselves–while embracing empathy and kindness. As a teacher and father, Frank is committed to helping expand the definition of what it means to be a boy and a man, this is an important and timely message for anyone who cares about today’s male youth.

Frank was born in California, but moved to Philadelphia, PA when he was 8 years old. He’s been in the Philly area ever since. He currently teaches 6th grade.

He has written more than 18 children’s books and A Boy Like You is his favorite. He currently lives in Bucks County, PA. Visit his website at


When I first read the manuscript for A Boy Like You I immediately saw my husband and brother reflected in the text. I was so excited to illustrate this book so I could honor the wonderful boys in my life.

I love seeing the influx of “girl power” books in stores. I am so happy girls are getting a wide variety of books about strength, leadership, perseverance, and speaking up.

However, boys face challenges regarding gender stereotypes, too. I am lucky to know some amazingly sweet and sensitive men, but I know their journey growing up was not always easy. They were taught that boys couldn’t show emotion or be sensitive.

I was so happy to read Frank Murphy’s words encouraging kindness and empathy. I knew instantly that I wanted to help present this message to boys and to the parents of boys. Strength is not just a physical trait, before bravery comes fear, and kindness is always the best option.

When illustrating this book I tried to include as many different boys as I could. As Frank says, there are many ways to be a boy, and I wanted that to be evident in the illustrations. My hope is that every boy can connect with this book in some way. Maybe they resemble one of the characters, maybe they identify with an emotion, or maybe they recognize a familiar situation depicted in the book.  I hope this book helps guide each boy to be their best self.


Kayla Harren graduated from the School of Visual Arts in NYC with a BFA in Illustration. She illustrated the picture books Juma the Giraffe and Our Elephant Neighbors for Wild Nature Institute and PAMS Foundation.  Mary Had a Little Lizard, published by Sky Pony Press, was her debut picture book as an author/illustrator. Her artwork has been featured in Communication Arts, 3×3 Magazine, and the Society of Illustrators Illustration Annuals.  She won the June 2017 Highlights for Children Pewter Plate Award for her illustration.

Kayla’s books include Hannah’s Tall Order: An A to Z Sandwich and Mary Had a Little Lizard. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more about her at Kayla was recently featured on Illustrator Saturday.

Thank you Frank and Kayla for sharing your book and Journey with us. This is a loving tirbute to all the wonderful ways to be a boy and the most true version of yourself. As usual Kayla did a fantastic job with the illustrations. Kayla was featured on Illustrator Saturday. Here is the link.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. What an amazingly beautiful, touching, and timely book. Thank you Kathy, Frank, and Kayla for your wonderful interview and insights (behind the scenes looks). I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. Congratulations to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Frank, This is amazing. Can’t wait to buy it. Hopefully you will sign it at a NJSCBWI event.


  3. Awesome book concept ! Congratulations!!!


  4. As a mother of two boys, one being five with many interests outside of sports, I look forward to reading him this book. Congratulations!


  5. Congratulations! This sounds amazing! Good luck.
    I’ve posted on Facebook and Twitter.


  6. Really looking forward to reading this and hopefully winning a copy to share with others. I love hearing that this was a direct submit to a publishing company! Hearing of different publishing paths gives me hope for my own.

    Retweeting on Twitter 🙂


    • Thanks, Alicia! Sleeping Bear Press is a great place!!!


  7. A truly timely picture book!


  8. Great interview! Yes, more books for boys who don’t fit the sports norm! Congratulations!


    • YES! This is why I sort of “set the table” with the second spread being all sports…and then open up to the many other great things a boy can do! Thank you, Angie!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This looks and sounds like one of those perfect pairings of words and pictures with Kayla’s fabulous illustrations emerging directly from Frank’s vision. This is an important perspective to share with all children, and I’m eager to get my hands on a copy of the book. Kudos to both of you! ❤ (also tweeted)


  10. Such an important book! LOVE the art, too! Congrats to all!


  11. As the mom of 2 young boys, I can’t wait to read this with them. Thank you for giving them such an empowering and insightful book!


  12. Oooo! I’m so excited for this book! I’m going to buy a copy at the Newtown Bookshop but if I win a copy, I’ll donate it to the library at the school where I work. Thank you!


  13. Congratulations on this wonderful new book. It sounds like a must read!


  14. This sounds like a wonderful new book, I’d love to have a copy!
    I tweeted a link to this post:, and pinned an image on Pinterest as well:
    Thanks for the chance to win it, have a great week everyone!!


  15. Immediately shared this on Twitter! So excited for Frank! Nice to meet Kayla here. 🙂 Thanks for sharing it, and the giveaway.


  16. Thank you for this, Kathy! I loved reading this! Even more…I love the comments so much!!!! I’ll be sure to send the winner some extra book swag along with the book!


    • Frank,

      I loved working on the feature. The book is wonderful. And thak you for leaving your comments, too.


  17. Congrats Frank & Kayla! I can’t wait to read this & to read it to my 4 boys (including my husband) & 2 girls! I’ve re-tweeted about the book giveaway & hope lots of fans read your new book!


  18. As a mother of boys who prefer science to sports, I’m especially looking forward to this book! Congratulations and thank you to Frank and Kayla.


  19. This is a great concept and love the illustrations. Congrats!


    • I love them, too!! Thank you, tinamcho!!!!!!!!


  20. Lovely story. Thank you for sharing!


  21. As a teacher for first and second graders I love this book to empower all types of boys. Can’t wait to add to my book shelf. Also posting on Facebook.


  22. Tweeted, but I’m going to have to get this book for my grandson, an adopted, sensitive POC. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Theresa!!!!! Your grandson will see himself – I hope!


  23. Love this boy power book! I’d love to win one for my class.


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