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The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden
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The Dangerous Book for Boys (2007)

by Conn Iggulden

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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
This is such an awesome collection of facts, projects, stories, poetry and more all designed meticulously for young boys to explore and have fun with. There is even a section on how to talk to and listen to girls. He's still got a ways to go but I hope some day Sebastian will have fun flipping through this. ( )
  BenjaminHahn | Sep 26, 2013 |
I stole this from my mom's bookshelf (don't worry, Mom--I'll get it back to you!). What an awesome book to own for boys! And girls too for that matter. I think the purpose of the authors was to encourage kids to get out and _do_ something with their time rather than sit around playing video games all day. I couldn't agree more!

It has everything in it: constellations, how to tie knots, how to build a tree house, how to skip rocks, info on the seven ancient & modern wonders of the world . . . I had a great time thumbing through it. More of a reference book than a sit-down-and-read book. Great for bathrooms, especially those belonging to teenage boys. :) ( )
1 vote jessibelle34 | Jul 14, 2013 |
I loved this book.... From learning how to tie knots to essential gear every boy should have to how to make the best paper airplane in the world and then on tofirst Aid, marbling paper, Navajo Code talking to writing a letter to a girlfriend and common help with writing proper English tosatisfy any teacher. My boys had this book and now my grandchildren and it is simply a wonderful to do and how to do with a lot of fun!!!! ( )
  denisa.howe | Mar 31, 2013 |
Fun, cute, interesting, literally dangerous. I love the fact that the authors took half a page to tell kids how fun role-playing games are, but they seem to rely on their memories from 25 years ago, without refreshing themselves on the material or researching what they're like today, or fact-checking themselves. "When we were children, we progressed from Basic to Advanced to Expert to Immortal levels, before moving on to battling at a national level and building an empire." It's hard to describe how the different editions of D&D developed or related to each other, but "Advanced" was not a section in between Basic and Expert. It was a separate set of rules.

This made me wonder how many other errors are in the book. Worst I've noticed so far is a section explaining how to do CPR, including the outdated "precordial thump" -- a stiff punch in the chest intended to shock the heart into restarting. I remember seeing that thump performed in an episode of MASH, and wondering why it wasn't taught in the CPR certification class I took in the late 80s. I thought it was the kind of out-dated first aid advice they used to teach in lifesaving courses. If you watch movies of a certain age, they'll show a person trying to revive a drowning victim by pumping their legs up and down, as if it makes them breathe or works out the water. Apparently doctors still do the precordial thump, but they found that laymen did more harm than good when they attempted it, so they stopped teaching it long ago. These days, they don't even recommend that everyone should give mouth-to-mouth breathing, but focus on only chest compressions.

When it comes to folding paper airplanes or coin tricks, the book is great. I would approach it skeptically when you get to the chapters explaining why the sky is blue or recounting famous historical battles though. ( )
  deidzoeb | May 20, 2012 |
Great idea for a book. My sons love all of the things in this book. From paper airplanes to go carts; from dinosaurs to the fifty states, there are all sorts of wonders to be found in this book. I have done many of the activities with my sons and we have had a great time together. The only glaring omission from the book may have been how to tie a necktie. The only other argument against the author was his list of must reads. J.K. Rowling and Stephen King are not on my list of must reads. ...moreGreat idea for a book. My sons love all of the things in this book. From paper airplanes to go carts; from dinosaurs to the fifty states, there are all sorts of wonders to be found in this book. I have done many of the activities with my sons and we have had a great time together. The only glaring omission from the book may have been how to tie a necktie. The only other argument against the author was his list of must reads. J.K. Rowling and Stephen King are not on my list of must reads. Very good information and great activities, especially for a father to share with his sons. ( )
  KR2 | Sep 27, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Like a bright lad with a chemistry set, “The Dangerous Book” generates a reaction with a smart mix: one part conservative polemic and one part simple-pleasures fable. It’s a rejection of the namby-pamby parenting of the 1970s. In its place, the authors evoke a peculiar, if fun, British Empire boyhood, one in which sturdy boys are expected to strive to “conquer worlds.” The book sells its thrills hard, and it certainly made this reader swoon at the idea of a son who recites “Ozymandias” and knows celestial navigation.
 
From the Publisher

The bestselling book for every boy from eight to eighty, covering essential boyhood skills such as building tree houses, learning how to fish, finding true north, and even answering the age old question of what the big deal with girls is.

In this digital age there is still a place for knots, skimming stones and stories of incredible courage. This book recaptures Sunday afternoons, stimulates curiosity, and makes for great father-son activities. The brothers Conn and Hal have put together a wonderful collection of all things that make being young or young at heart fun---building go-carts and electromagnets, identifying insects and spiders, and flying the world's best paper airplanes.

The completely revised American Edition includes:

The Greatest Paper Aiplane in the World
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The Five Knots Every Boy Should Know
Stickball
Slingshots
Fossils
Building a Treehouse
Making a Bow and Arrow
Fishing (revised with US Fish)
Timers and Tripwires
Baseball's "Most Valuable Players"
Famous Battles-Including Lexington and Concord, The Alamo, and Gettysburg
Spies-Codes and Ciphers
Making a Go-Cart
Navajo Code Talkers' Dictionary
Girls
Cloud Formations
The States of the U.S.
Mountains of the U.S.
Navigation
The Declaration of Independence
Skimming Stones
Making a Periscope
The Ten Commandments
Common US Trees
Timeline of American History
added by sriches | editPublisher's Review
 
Gr 4-8 - Intentionally old-fashioned and politically incorrect, this eclectic collection addresses the undeniable boy-appeal of certain facts and activities. Dozens of short chapters, in fairly random order, cover a wide range of topics in conversational prose. Simple instructions for coin tricks and paper airplanes alternate with excerpts from history such as "Famous Battles" and facts about ancient wonders of the world and astronomy. The "dangerous" aspect is more apparent in such chapters as "Making Cloth Fireproof," and "Hunting and Cooking a Rabbit," but also applies to the overall premise that action is fun and can be worth the risks. A section on stickball, for instance, includes advice to possibly "flee the vicinity" in the event of a broken window. The information is appropriately concise. The knot-tying section, for example, sticks to five basic varieties with clear instructions and useful diagrams. Occasional topics such as "Marbling Paper" and "Latin Phrases Every Boy Should Know" may not fit the stereotypical interests of young males, but support the general theme of cultivating curiosity. The authors refer to their own experiences as they tested the activities, lending an appealing personal tone. Tongue-in-cheek humor emerges throughout, notably in eight bits of advice offered in the chapter called "Girls." Already a best seller in England, this American edition features several adjustments, such as substituting "The Declaration of Independence" for "Patron Saints of Britain." Both premise and content should appeal to many boys, and might be even more successful when nostalgic dads join in.-Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR
Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

added by sriches | editLibrary Journal, Reed Business Information
 
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Epigraph
Don't worry about genius and don't worry about not being clever. Trust rather to hard work, perseverance, and determination. The best motto for a long march is "Don't grumble. Plug on."
You hold your future in your own hands. Never waver in this belief. Don't swagger. The boy who swaggers - like the man who swaggers - has little else that he can do. He is a cheap-Jack crying his own paltry wares. It is the empty tin that rattles most. Be honest. Be loyal. Be kind. Remember that the hardest thing to acquire is the faculty of being unselfish. As a quality it is one of the finest attributes of manliness.
Love the sea. the ringing beach and the open downs.
Keep clean, body and mind.
--Sir Frederick Treves...to HM the King...September 2, 1903
Dedication
To all of those people who said "You have to include..."
until we had to avoid telling anyone else about the book
for fear of the extra chapters. Particular thanks to Bernard
Cornwell, whose advice helped us through a difficult time and
Paul D'Urso, a good father and a good friend.
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In this age of video games and cell phones, there must still be a place for knots, tree houses, and stories of incredible courage.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please DO NOT combine with any of the Pocket versions of Dangerous Books for Boys.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061243582, Hardcover)

Equal parts droll and gorgeous nostalgia book and heartfelt plea for a renewed sense of adventure in the lives of boys and men, Conn and Hal Iggulden's The Dangerous Book for Boys became a mammoth bestseller in the United Kingdom in 2006. Adapted, in moderation, for American customs in this edition (cricket is gone, rugby remains; conkers are out, Navajo Code Talkers in), The Dangerous Book is a guide book for dads as well as their sons, as a reminder of lore and technique that have not yet been completely lost to the digital age. Recall the adventures of Scott of the Antarctic and the Battle of the Somme, relearn how to palm a coin, tan a skin, and, most charmingly, wrap a package in brown paper and string. The book's ambitions are both modest and winningly optimistic: you get the sense that by learning how to place a splint or write in invisible ink, a boy might be prepared for anything, even girls (which warrant a small but wise chapter of their own).

Inside The Dangerous Book for Boys


Figure 8 Knot
Sheet Bend Knot


The Battle of Waterloo

Questions for Conn Iggulden

Conn and Hal Iggulden are two brothers who have not forgotten what it was like to be boys. Conn taught for many years before becoming one of the most admired and popular young historical novelists with his Emperor series, based on the life of Julius Caesar, and his newly embarked series on Genghis Khan, while Hal is a theater director. We asked Conn about their collaboration.

Amazon.com: It's difficult to describe what a phenomenon The Dangerous Book for Boys was in the UK last year. When I would check the bestseller list on our sister site, Amazon.co.uk, there would be, along with your book, which spent much of the year at the top of the list, a half-dozen apparent knockoff books of similar boy knowledge. Clearly, you tapped into something big. What do you think it was?

Iggulden: In a word, fathers. I am one myself and I think we've become aware that the whole "health and safety" overprotective culture isn't doing our sons any favors. Boys need to learn about risk. They need to fall off things occasionally, or--and this is the important bit--they'll take worse risks on their own. If we do away with challenging playgrounds and cancel school trips for fear of being sued, we don't end up with safer boys--we end up with them walking on train tracks. In the long run, it's not safe at all to keep our boys in the house with a Playstation. It's not good for their health or their safety.

You only have to push a boy on a swing to see how much enjoys the thrill of danger. It's hard-wired. Remove any opportunity to test his courage and they'll find ways to test themselves that will be seriously dangerous for everyone around them. I think of it like playing the lottery--someone has to say "Look, you won't win--and your children won't be hurt. Relax. It won't be you."

I think that's the core of the book's success. It isn't just a collection of things to do. The heroic stories alone are something we haven't had for too long. It isn't about climbing Everest, but it is an attitude, a philosophy for fathers and sons. Our institutions are too wrapped up in terror over being sued--so we have to do things with them ourselves. This book isn't a bad place to start.

As for knockoff books--great. They'll give my son something to read that doesn't involve him learning a dull moral lesson of some kind--just enjoying an adventure or learning skills and crafts so that he has a feeling of competence and confidence--just as we have.

Amazon.com: You made some changes for the U.S. edition, and I for one am sorry that you have removed the section on conkers, if only because it's such a lovely and mysterious word. What are (or what is) conkers?

Iggulden: Horse chestnuts strung on a shoelace and knocked against one another until they shatter. In the entire history of the world, no one has ever been hurt by a conker, but it's still been banned by some British schools, just in case. Another school banned paper airplanes. Honestly, it's enough to make you weep, if I did that sort of thing, which I try not to. Reading Jane Austen is still allowed, however.

Amazon.com: What knowledge did you decide was important to add for American boys? I notice in both editions you have an excellent and useful section on table football, as played with coins. Is paper football strictly an American pastime? I'm not sure I could have gotten through the fourth grade without it.

Iggulden: I like knowing the details of battles, so Gettysburg and the Alamo had to go in, along with the Gettysburg address, stickball, state capitals, U.S. mountains, American trees, insects, U.S. historical timelines, and a lot of others. Navajo code talkers of WWII is a great chapter. It probably helps that I am a huge fan of America. It was only while rewriting for the U.S. that I realized how many positive references there already are. You have NASA and NASA trumps almost anything.

As for paper football, ever since I thought of putting the book together, people keep saying things like "You have rockets in there, yes? Everyone loves rockets!" Paper football is the first American one, but there will be many others. No book in the world is long enough to put them all in--unless we do a sequel, of course.

Amazon.com: Do you think The Dangerous Book for Boys is being read by actual boys, or only by nostalgic adults? Have you seen boys getting up from their Xboxes to go outside and perform first aid or tan animal skins or build go-carts?

Iggulden: I've had a lot of emails and letters from boys who loved the book--as well as fathers. I've had responses from kids as young as ten and an old man of 87, who pointed out a problem with the shadow stick that we've since changed. The thing to remember is that we may be older and more cynical every year, but boys simply aren't. If they are given the chance to make a go-cart with their dad, they jump at it. Mine did. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to know the book is being used with fathers and sons together, trying things out. Nothing is more valuable to a boy than time with his dad, learning something fun--or something difficult. That's part of the attitude too. If it's hard, you don't make it easy, you grab it by the throat and hang on for as long as it takes.

The book is often bought by fathers, of course. Their sons don't know Scott of the Antarctic is a great adventure story. How could they if it isn't taught any more? Good, heroic stories don't appear much in modern school curriculums--and then we wonder why boys don't seem interested.

Amazon.com: And finally, on to the important questions: Should Pluto still be a planet? And what was the best dinosaur?

Iggulden: Pluto is a planet. I know there are scientists who say it isn't, but it's big enough to be round and it has a moon, for crying out loud. Of course it's a planet. Give it ten years and they'll be agreeing with me again.

As for the best dinosaur, it depends what you mean by best. For sheer perfection, it probably has to be the shark and the crocodile. Modern ones are smaller but their record for sheer survival is pretty impressive. I only hope humanity can do as well. The only thing that will stop us is worrying too much.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:23 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

For every boy from eight to eighty, covers essential boyhood skills such as building tree houses, learning how to fish, finding true north, and even answering the age-old question of what the big deal with girls is. In this digital age there is still a place for knots, skimming stones and stories of incredible courage. This book recaptures Sunday afternoons, stimulates curiosity, and makes for great father-son activities. The brothers Conn and Hal have put together a collection of all things that make being young, or young at heart, fun--building go-carts and electromagnets, identifying insects and spiders, and flying the world's best paper airplanes.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 8 descriptions

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