The Dangerous Book for Boys

The Dangerous Book for Boys

4.2 65
by Conn Iggulden, Hal Iggulden
     
 

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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

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Overview

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 Airplane 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

* For more information on building treehouses, visit www.treehouse-books.com and www.stilesdesigns.com or see "Treehouses You Can Actually Build" by David Stiles

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This abbreviated version of the bestselling book from across the pond ambitiously tries to live up to its billing as "the perfect book for every boy from eight to eighty." Though younger boys will find much to ponder in such "Questions About the World" as "How far away are the stars?" and "Why is the sky blue?," as well as profiles of super-courageous people, they may find denser passages on famous battles of the world (Hastings, Crécy, Lexington and Concord) a bit slower going. Wyman is a game tour guide to all things boy, infusing his narration with a 'did you know...?' enthusiasm that will hook a broad listenership. Sections on girls and first aid (including CPR and setting breaks) are also meant for a slightly older crowd, but lots of boys of varying ages (and their dads) will find this enlightened nonfiction compendium of essential guy stuff hard to resist. In addition to the wealth of information provided, Conn Iggulden reminds listeners in a brief afterword that being a man ultimately means being honest, loyal, kind and unselfish-oh, and "keeping clean, body and mind." Ages 10-up. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062208972
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/24/2012
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
12,665
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 9.86(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Dangerous Book for Boys

Chapter One

Essential Gear

It isn't that easy these days to get hold of an old tobacco tin—but they are just the right size for this sort of collection. One of the authors once took a white mouse into school, though considering what happened when he sat on it, that is not to be recommended. We think pockets are for cramming full of useful things.

1. Swiss Army Knife.

Still the best small penknife. It can be carried in luggage on planes, though not in hand luggage. It is worth saving up for a high-end model, with as many blades and attachments as you can get. That said, there are good ones to be had for about $30. They are useful for jobs requiring a screwdriver, removing splinters and opening bottles of beer and wine, though this may not be a prime consideration at this time.

Leather holders can also be purchased and the best ones come with a few extras, like a compass, matches, pencil, paper, and Band-Aid.

2. Compass.

These are satisfying to own. Small ones can be bought from any camping or outdoor store and they last forever. You really should know where north is, wherever you are.

3. Handkerchief.

There are many uses for a piece of cloth, from preventing smoke inhalation or helping with a nosebleed to offering one to a girl when she cries. Big ones can even be made into slings. They're worth having.

4. Box of Matches.

It goes without saying that you must be responsible. Matches kept in a dry tin or inside a plastic bag can be very useful on a cold night when you are forced to sleep in afield. Dipping the tips in wax makes them waterproof. Scrape the wax off with a fingernail when you want to light them.

5. A Shooter.

Your favorite big marble.

6. Needle and Thread.

Again, there are a number of useful things you can do with these, from sewing up a wound on an unconscious dog to repairing a torn shirt. Make sure the thread is strong and then it can be used for fishing.

7. Pencil and Paper.

If you see a crime and want to write down a license plate number or a description, you are going to need one. Alternatively, it works for shopping lists or practically anything.

8. Small Flashlight

There are ones available for key rings that are small and light. If you are ever in darkness and trying to read a map, a flashlight of any kind will be useful.

9. Magnifying Glass.

For general interest. Can also be used to start a fire.

10. Band-Aids.

Just one or two, or better still, a piece from a cloth bandage roll that can be cut with penknife scissors. They probably won't be used, but you never know.

11. Fishhooks.

If you have strong thread and a tiny hook, you only need a stick and a worm to have some chance of catching something. Put the hook tip into a piece of cork, or you'll snag yourself on it.

The Greatest Paper Airplane in the World

In the 1950s, an elementary school principal found a boy throwing paper airplanes from a high window. The head was considering punishments when he noticed the plane was still in the air, flying across the playground below. The boy escaped a detention, but he did have to pass on the design to the principal—who passed it on to his own children. You will find more complicated designs. You may be sold the idea that the best planes require scissors and lessons in origami. This is nonsense.

The plane on the right—the Harrier—is simple, fast and can be made from a letter-size sheet of paper. It is the best long-distance glider you'll ever see—and with a tweak or two, the best stunt plane. It has even won competitions. One was to clear the entire road from a hotel balcony next to Windsor Castle in London on New Year's Eve. Four other planes hit the tarmac—this one sailed clear across. The one on the left—the Bulldog Dart—is a simple dart, a warm-up plane, if you like. It's a competent glider.

The Bulldog Dart

1. Fold a letter-size sheet of paper lengthways to get a center line.
2. Fold two corners into the center line, as in the picture.
3. Turn the paper over and fold those corners in half, as shown.
4. Fold the pointy nose back on itself to form the snub nose. You might try folding the nose underneath, but both ways work well.
5. Fold the whole plane lengthways, as shown.
6. Finally, fold the wings in half to complete the Bulldog Dart.

Good—now you know a design that really works. You may have noticed the insectlike plane in the middle of the first picture. It does have complicated "floats" and inverse folds. However, it just doesn't fly very well and neither do most of the overcomplicated designs. We think that matters. Yes, it looks like a locust, but if it nose-dives, what exactly is the point?

Here, then, is the gold standard. It flies.

The Harrier

1. Begin in the same way as the Bulldog Dart. Fold in half lengthways to find your center line and then fold two corners into that line, as shown.
2. Fold that top triangle down, as you see in the picture. It should look like an envelope.
3. Fold in the second set of corners. You should be able to leave a triangular point sticking out.
4. Fold the triangle over the corners to hold them down.
5. Fold in half along the spine, leaving the triangle on the outside, as shown.
6. Finally, fold the wings back on themselves, finding your halfway line carefully. The more care you take to be accurate with these folds, the better the plane will fly.

This plane does well at slower launch speeds. It can stall at high speed, but if you lift one of the flaps slightly at the back, it will swoop and return to your hand or fly in a great spiral. Fiddle with your plane until you are happy with it. Each one will be slightly different and have a character of its own.

The Dangerous Book for Boys. Copyright © by Conn Iggulden. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Meet the Author

Despite finding time to write historical novels and The Dangerous Book for Boys, Conn Iggulden is in some ways better known as a trainer of Tollins. His Tollin troupe, Small and Mighty, are famous in Tasmania, where they often play to packed houses. Tragically, he lost his two best-known performers earlier this year. "The thing about transporting Tollins in shoe boxes," he says, "the really important thing, is to remember to put the airholes in."

Lizzy Duncan, with her trademark blue glasses, was a founding member of the Tollins in Art program, where inner-city schoolchildren are taken to the countryside by bus and encouraged to paint and observe Tollins in their natural habitats. Tollins: Explosive Tales for Children was her first illustrated book.

Lizzy's abstract paintings of Tollins are much sought after whenever they appear at Sotheby's auction house, and she is very active in promoting Tollin rights and registering them as a protected wetland species—or as a dryland species, if the weather's been good.

Conn and Lizzy's first book together, Tollins: Explosive Tales for Children, was published in 2009 to great critical acclaim—and has ensured that no one will ever mistake a Tollin for a fairy again.

Hal Iggulden is the artistic director of the Holdfast Theatre Company in Leicester, England.

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