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Paul Cumbo '97 signs book deal with national publisher; his fifth title, "A Path to Manhood," due in 2025
Keith McShea

Longtime CHS English teacher Paul Cumbo '97 has secured a book deal with worldwide rights for his fifth title, "A Path to Manhood: Encouragement and Advice for Young Men."

Cumbo, represented by agent Sheryl Shade of Shade Global, Inc., has signed with Globe Pequot Press, the trade division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. "A Path to Manhood" will be released early in 2025, with preorders available later this year.

Cumbo's four previous works include "Blue Doors," the sesquicentennial history of Canisius High School. 

"My aim with the book is to be both challenging and affirming," Cumbo said in an announcement at paulcumbo.substack.com. "It calls young men to do some reflection and introspection in order that they might understand themselves a bit better. It encourages them to find their own path – a combination of following in the footsteps of others and having the courage to go in new directions.

"As the title suggests, it is about finding a path to manhood – not the path to manhood, because there’s no singular prescribed route."

From the Globe Peqout Press news release:

"The middle-aged husband and father of three draws on classical ethics, Jesuit spirituality, and personal experience to couple philosophical perspectives with practical advice on a broad range of topics from education, career, and personal finance to healthy habits, relationships, and faith.

"Cumbo’s conversational writing style, straightforward candor, and subtle humor combine to engage older teenage boys and young men by simultaneously challenging and encouraging them. The book also offers insights for parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors."

Advance praise for "A Path to Manhood:" 

Luke Russert, Emmy Award-winning journalist, author and son of the late Tim Russert '68:

“It’s no secret that boys are falling behind in today’s America, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 'A Path to Manhood' is a quick-paced, engaging read full of relatable vulnerability, critical thinking, and robust explanations of the universal values that truly matter. Paul Cumbo provides a masterful blueprint for raising and engaging the ‘emerging men’ of today for tomorrow.” 

Michael Gurian, a renowned family therapist and New York Times bestselling author of "Saving our Sons:"

“'A Path to Manhood' is a valuable guide for young men coming of age in a culture struggling to understand authentic masculinity. Cumbo masters the art and science of ‘tough love,’ blending wisdom and wit to challenge and encourage the reader. A go-to for young guys, as well as their parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors. I highly recommend it.”

Cumbo holds two postgraduate degrees, including an MS in educational leadership. He has become a respected voice on the topic of healthy masculinity, and has been invited to speak at several independent boys’ schools across the country.

His other books include two novels, a short story collection, and Blue DoorsWilderness Therapy won Writer’s Digest’s award for best self-published young adult novel of 2020. His work has garnered industry praise from Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly, as well as from experts in education, parenting and adolescent psychology.

After more than two decades of full-time work in Jesuit education – mostly at CHS – Cumbo shifted to part time teaching to grow a professional writing and editorial services company, PJC Editorial. He also – along with Adam Baber '01 – operates the Camino Institute, which offers retreat experiences in the Dominican Republic.

The author, 44, grew up in North Buffalo, and is one of five brothers, all alumni of CHS: Tom ’91, John ’93, Peter ’94 and David ’00. He lives in Western New York with his wife, Megan, and their three children.

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