For Boys Only: The Biggest, Baddest Book Ever

For Boys Only: The Biggest, Baddest Book Ever

4.3 26
by Marc Aronson, HP Newquist

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Hey, Boys!

Are you ready for some serious fun?

Maybe learn how to land an airplane in an emergency? Or fight off an alligator? Escape from being tied up? How about taking a ride on one of America’s scariest roller coasters? Learn how to make fake blood, or turn a real bone into a pretzel? What if you could find out how to identify some of the

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Hey, Boys!

Are you ready for some serious fun?

Maybe learn how to land an airplane in an emergency? Or fight off an alligator? Escape from being tied up? How about taking a ride on one of America’s scariest roller coasters? Learn how to make fake blood, or turn a real bone into a pretzel? What if you could find out how to identify some of the world’s most horrifying creatures? Or learn the secret to making a blockbuster movie? What about guessing the top 11 greatest moments in sports history? Find buried treasure? And once you’ve found the treasure, find out just how much it would cost you to buy one of the world’s most expensive cars.

From ancient wonders to extreme sports, you’ll find this—and much more—close to 200 pages of the biggest and baddest information on just about everything.

*Bonus Fun*

We dare you to solve four levels of mind-bending puzzles—created by a professional code-breaker—that are riddled throughout the book. Solve the puzzles and come visit us at the biggest, baddest For Boys Only website:

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Editorial Reviews

AGERANGE: Ages 11 to 14.

From mysteries, myths, and monsters to science, sports, and secret agents, this title contains a wealth of conventionally formatted, graphically illustrated, "bite-sized" informational commentaries bound to please trivia enthusiasts and attract reluctant readers. The authors occasionally use a conversational tone at the end of an article to address readers with personal insights and humorous asides. The content is diverse, genuinely of interest to most boys, and does not need to be read sequentially. A unique aspect of this book is that readers are challenged to solve four levels of secret codes disbursed throughout the text. They are also invited to visit a Web site where bonus fun facts are revealed. The title is misleading. It is not only boys who might find the book's eclectic content attention grabbing. It hardly qualifies as the "biggest" in terms of page count, and the only topics that would possibly qualify as being the "baddest" concern basic disgusting creatures and well-known natural disasters. Because of a confusing table of contents and the lack of an index, this book would not serve well as a reference tool and may be frustrating for readers to navigate. Some topics, however, are interesting and could prove to be catalysts for further investigation. Although books with a similar premise seem to be flooding the market, this one is engaging and entertaining and would be an acceptable choice to take on a trip or keep on the bedside table. Reviewer: Lynne Farrell Stover
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

School Library Journal

Gr 5-8- Aronson and Newquist add to the number of recent books targeted at boys with a pleasantly jumbled miscellanea of odd facts, sports stories, and forensic lore. There's a page of math tricks, information on how to create, or solve, a coded message, and maps that show the possible locations of hidden treasure. Plus! There are coded puzzles scattered across the bottoms of most pages, including a final "PUZZLE SUPREME." It's all appealing stuff. Unfortunately, the book falls flat when it comes to its design and illustrations. The latter are stiff, square, and about as much fun as a chart of road signs in a safety manual. One section is called "Fear Factor: Americ's Scariest Amusement Park Rides," but there are no pictures of any of them in action. Another is "Supercars," with descriptions of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and other dream vehicles-but only tiny outline drawings of them that will not satisfy boys interested in these kinds of cars. A book like this one cries out for cool photographs. Most boys will pick this book up, flip through it, and put it back down again.-Walter Minkel, New York Public Library

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Jon Scieszka

How could you not love a book with monsters, treasures, disasters, tricks, weapons, and Lamborghinis--a must have book for every boy adventurer.
Mike Lupica

Fun . . . if there's one thing that boys like more than having stuff, it's finding out about stuff.
Oklahoma Gazette

Kids who read For Boys Only won't realize it, but this treasure trove of information is a tribute to the joys of research. Like The Dangerous Book for Boys, this contains several how-to articles; unlike that best seller, it doesn't limit itself so narrowly in scope. That certainly helps it earn the 'baddest' of its subtitle . . . Designed with cool icons and laid out with an aim to be friendly for Internet-savvy eyes, For Boys Only is the book to get the 'XY-chromosomer' on your gift list. Get one for yourself, too, because you'll learn a lot from it, as well.

In a tone both light and humorous, Newquist and Aronson aim to please by assembling a tantalizing assortment of codes, puzzles, best lists, brief history and science facts, instructions for fake blood and the ultimate Frisbee, and even advice about facing up to a shark ("try not to bleed too much") . . . this offers lots of good fun, and with so much chick lit available, it's nice to see special attention being paid to boys. In fact, there's nothing here to keep girls away but the title.
Bookgasm (blog)

Marc Aronson and HP Newquist's For Boys Only: The Biggest, Baddest Book Ever, may be an even cooler treasure trove of knowledge--both useful and arcane--than the runaway hit The Dangerous Book for Boys. It downplays the studied nostalgia for a more Internet-savvy, here-and-now approach. With a cool, icon-driven design, its scattered, uncategorized contents touch on everything from great moments in video games to how to best survive a shark attack.
12 years old Walker Downs

This book was awesome and filled with amazing facts. I mean who knew that there was a wave of molasses 10 feet high! This book has neat info for everyone!

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For Boys Only

The Biggest, Baddest Book Ever

By Marc Aronson

Holtzbrinck Publishers

Copyright © 2007 Marc Aronson and HP Newquist
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-3703-0




252 miles per hour

Zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds

Made by Volkswagen—the same company that makes the "slug bug" Beetle—the Veyron costs $1.2 million. The Bugatti brand has been around since the late 1800s, and this particular one is the most powerful supercar ever made: 1,000 horsepower, equal to more than 200 lawn mower engines.


242 miles per hour Zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds

Made by Swedish carmaker Koenigsegg, the CCX costs $755,000. New owners are encouraged to visit the factory in order to take special driving lessons on how to handle this four-wheeled beast.


240 miles per hour

Zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds

Created by America's most famous racing team, McLaren, the F1 is the only American car on this list. It is no longer made, but whenever one is put up for sale by its owner (for a million dollars or more), McLaren Automotive rebuilds it for the new owner. There are only 64 of them in the world.


217 miles per hour

Zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds

Ferrari is Italy's most famous carmaker, and Enzo is the name of the company founder. The car costs $620,000, and buyers fly to Italy to have the car's interior custom fit to their bodies.



214 miles per hour

Zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds

Pagani is another Italian carmaker, and its convertible F costs $690,000. The designer, Horacio Pagani, designed his first supercar at age 12 out of modeling clay.

SUPERCARS ARE THE FASTEST, MOST EXPENSIVE cars that can be driven on American roads. (Racing cars can't be legally driven on because of speed, safety, and noise concerns.) Mainstream car companies like General Motors and Nissan make millions of cars a year; supercar manufacturers make only a few dozen or a few hundred, and each one costs more than most people's homes. They are usually hand-built and require an elite team of physicists to design them so they don't fly off the road or burn up from the heat of their engines and brakes. Some supercars can outrun regular sports cars by nearly 100 mph.

Getting picked up from school in one of these cars would probably make the other kids—as well as all your teachers—stop and stare. Maybe even drool. So start saving your pennies for the coolest cars to ever hit the road. This is the supercar list you might want to have when you get your driver's license.


207 miles per hour

Zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds

This is a car you might actually see driving around, as Mercedes is a popular brand in America and the price is only $455,000. This car was designed with the help of the same McLaren team that created the F1, above.


205 miles per hour

Zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds

Italy's Lamborghini makes supercars that can only be described as "wicked." This one costs $280,000. Murcielago means "bat" in Spanish and the first time this car was ever used in a movie was Batman Begins.


202 miles per hour

Zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds

This supercar sells for $285,000. A Ferrari was featured in the Disney movie Cars as the dream car that the owner of the tire store had waited his whole life for.


201 miles per hour

Zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds

Spyker is an old-time race car company in Holland, and it sells this supercar for $355,000. The car has no keys for the door or ignition; everything is controlled by a computer card. Each La Turbie has been sold before it was even finished.


201 miles per hour

Zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds

This is the fastest car to come out of England. Aston Martins are perhaps best known as the cars used in James Bond movies, and this one sells for $260,000. The Vanquish was called the Vanish in the movie Die Another Day because it could turn invisible. Unfortunately, the real car can't do that—yet.



People in Bhubaneswar, India, had always been respectful of the elephants wandering around their village. But in the summer of 1972, a severe drought left both man and elephants crazed from thirst. On July 10, elephants came rampaging out of the Chandka Forest and trampled the tiny village, killing 24 people.


On January 15, 1919, a huge tank of molasses burst open at Boston's Purity Distilling Company. The tank was 50 feet high, and it spewed more than two million gallons of molasses out into the street.

A wave more than 10 feet high rushed down the street at more than 30 mph, swallowing up people and knocking buildings off their foundations. Twenty-one people were killed and more than 150 injured. To this day, residents of Boston say that you can smell molasses in the streets during the summer.


Nearby residents watched daily as smoke and ash from Mount Pelee filled the air on the Caribbean island of Martinique. On May 3, 1902, the ash was so thick that people started evacuating, but they found their way blocked. Hundreds of venomous fer-de-lance snakes, along with biting ants and foot-long centipedes, had filled the streets—driven up from the ground by volcanic rumbling. Fifty people and numerous horses were bitten and died before soldiers and feral cats killed the snakes. Two days later, the volcano erupted, killing some 30,000 people. Only two people in the town survived.


Texas City, Texas, was a bustling port town on April 16, 1947. That day, a ship full of fertilizer caught fire at the dock. Smoke from the fire attracted the attention of the townspeople, many of whom came to the water to watch. As the ship was being towed away, it exploded, killing more than 500 people. Windows in homes 40 miles away were blown out, and people felt the blast as far away as Louisiana. The explosion caused another ship in the port to erupt, and its explosion knocked a plane flying overhead out of the air. More than 5,000 people were injured in the disaster.


AMERICAN INDIANS WHO LIVE in what is now South Dakota tell tales of water monsters fighting thunder spirits. The ancient Greeks believed that the griffin (body of a lion, claws of an eagle) lived in Asia and guarded gold. But did these creatures ever really exist? In a way, yes. The South Dakota hills are filled with dinosaur-era bones, some from fins, others from wings. The Indians were just making sense of the bones around them. When scholar Adrienne Mayor went to the supposed homeland of the griffin, where people went gold prospecting in ancient times, she found bones of Protoceratops—a dinosaur that had a beak, like an eagle or a griffin.


The Eastland was a 269-foot-long cruise ship docked in the Chicago River on July 24, 1915. The boat was scheduled to take 2,500 passengers on a picnic ride from downtown Chicago across Lake Michigan. As the ship was getting ready to depart, passengers rushed to its upper deck to wave to friends. The ship was already top-heavy (it had added extra lifeboats for the trip) and the weight caused the Eastland to wobble. It started to lean to one side, and then suddenly tipped over into the water. Although it was still attached to the dock and lying in only 20 feet of water, 844 people died in the accident, many of them sucked underwater by the huge wave caused by the falling ship.


YOU'RE NOT LIKELY TO. ever get attacked by a shark, especially if you don't go in the ocean. Living in the desert will keep you 100% safe.

The fact is that only about four people in the entire world are killed by sharks in any year. (More than 600 people die in the United States every year from falling out of bed or a chair. Sleeping and sitting may be more dangerous to your health than a hungry shark.)

Out of the nearly 400 types of sharks, only five are considered man-eaters: the great white, tiger, hammerhead, bull, and mako sharks. But let's say you come face-to-face with one of these teeth-filled beasts while you're minding your own business out there in the ocean. What do you do?

Punch him. Just like shark hates to get punched. But you have to punch him in one of three places.

Start with the nose (Fig. A), out there in front of the teeth. Scientists think the tip of the shark contains extremely sensitive nerves that help it detect prey. So, punching it in the nose is like bashing its brain; it will get confused and wonder just what is happening.

If the shark is swimming by you, punch it in the eye (Fig. B) or up against its gill slits (Fig. C). Again, these are sensitive parts of the shark, and sharks don't like having these parts touched, let alone punched. Dolphins have been known to fight off sharks by ramming their snouts into the gill slits.

Above all, DO NOT thrash around. Sharks are attracted large fish and seals, animals that move around a lot, and the thrashing helps guide sharks to their dinner. Also, try not to bleed too much. Those nerve endings are designed to detect blood in the water, and blood to a shark is a huge sign that reads ...



ODDS AREN'T PREDICTIONS, they're estimates of the chance that something might happen. But reporters use "odds" as if they were stating a future fact. Odds are figured out using mathematical formulas that consider how often things have happened in the past, as well as where and when.

Odds that you are reading this right now: 1 in 1

Odds that your house has at least one container of ice cream in the freezer: 9 in 10

Odds of being born a twin in North America: 1 in 90

Odds of writing a New York Times best-selling book: 1 in 220

Odds of catching a ball at a major-league ball game: 1 in 563

Odds of fatally slipping in the bath or shower: 1 in 2,232

Odds that Earth will experience a catastrophic collision with an asteroid in the next 100 years: 1 in 5,560 Odds of finding a four-leaf clover on the first try: 1 in 10,000

Odds of winning an Academy Award: 1 in 11,500

Odds of becoming a pro athlete: 1 in 22,000

Odds of being stung by a bee, or bitten by a snake or other venomous creature: 1 in 83,930

Odds of experiencing an earthquake: 1 in 100,000

Odds of dying in an airplane accident: 1 in 354,319

Odds of being struck by lightning: 1 in 576,000

Odds of dying from a dog bite; 1 in 700,000

Odds of being killed by lightning: 1 in 2,320,000

Odds of spotting a UFO: 1 in 3,000,000

Odds of becoming president: 1 in 10,000,000

Odds of winning a state lottery jackpot: 1 in 14,000,000

Odds of becoming a saint: 1 in 20,000,000

Odds of dying from a shark attack: 1 in 300,000,000

Odds of a meteor landing on your house: 1 in 182, 138,880,000,000


Q:How can you hit a fair ball out of the park, and be called out?

A: Jimmy Piersall was a good outfielder who did things his own odd way. In 1961, when he hit his 100th home run, he ran the bases in order—but turned backwards, his behind leading the way to each base.

As a result, Major League Baseball officials changed the rules. Now, you must run the bases facing forwards. If you copy Jimmy, you're out—and out of the game.

Q: How can an umpire call a batter out and not out on the same play?

A: Picture a batter up with runners on first and second and fewer than two outs. If the batter pops up the ball to the infield and the ump thinks a fielder would normally make the play, he can yell out, "Infield fly, batter is out!" The infield-fly rule prevents the fielder from deliberately letting the ball drop so he can make an easy double or triple play. But even if the ump calls the batter out, and the ball drifts foul and is not caught, it is just another foul ball, and the batter lives again.

Q: How can you score in football if you get the ball when there is no time left on the clock to run off a play?

A: When a player calls for and makes a fair catch on a punt, his team has the option to try a field goal from the place where he received the ball. His team will have the chance to run the play, even if the clock reads 0:00. Not only that, but they kick from where he received the ball, and the defense must start out ten yards away. The last team to score using this play was the Chicago Bears, in 1968.


JULY IS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH. Vanilla is the overwhelming favorite flavor, accounting for almost a full third of all the ice cream sold. (Chocolate is far behind, at 8.9 percent, and butter pecan at 5.3.) October is National Pizza Month—which makes it confusing that National Pizza With the Works Except Anchovies Day is November 12, followed the next day by National Indian Pudding Day—which shares time with Gingerbread House Day—all of which fall smack in the middle of National Split Pea Soup Week. None of which makes any sense, except that November 15 is National Clean Your Refrigerator Day—which, with all of that petrified ice cream, cold pizza, old pea soup, dry Indian pudding, and stale gingerbread lying around, is the only sensible choice.



an average of 160 bowls of cereal per year. That means we slurp down about 10 pounds of cereal apiece. Which cereals? Cheerios are the big winner, followed by Frosted Flakes, and Honey Bunches of Oats. How come we eat those cereals? For one thing, advertising—one third of the cost of every box of Cheerios is spent on making sure you keep picking it, and so does your kid sister.


1. fruit

2. potato chips

3. chewing gum

4. ice cream

5. candy


LEAVE A LONG CHICKEN BONE to soak in vinegar for a week. The vinegar dissolves the calcium in the bone and makes it rubbery. When you take the bone out, you should be able to tie it in a knot!


WHEN YOU SEE AN AIRPLANE emergency in the movies, there's always someone on the plane who can land it when the pilot gets injured. If this ever happens when you're on a flight, we think you should be that one passenger who saves the day. Here's how to land a Boeing 767, which seats about 300 passengers—all of whom are now depending on you to land.

Take the pilot's seat on the left side of the cockpit. In front of you is a steering wheel (known as a yoke). It turns left and right and pushes in and out. This controls your direction and whether you go up or down. The throttle, a lever or bar on your right, controls your speed.

Make sure you're even with the horizon ahead by looking out the front window. If the horizon is below the window, push the steering wheel in to nose the airplane down. If the horizon is above the window, pull back on the wheel to get level.

Turn the wheel to make sure the wings are flat and even with the horizon. Once you're flying level, the plane will fly just fine. Now, there's a button on the steering wheel called a push-to-talk button. Press it and say, "Mayday, mayday, mayday." This should put you in contact with an air-traffic controller.

Steer in the direction the controller gives you. When you get near the runway, make sure the plane faces it straight-on.

Put the landing gear down. Very important. The round knob to do this is located right next to your knee. Ease the wing flaps down a couple of notches; the flap lever is right beside the throttle. Make sure the speed brake, on the left of the throttle, is pulled back. This will turn on only when you touch down, so don't worry about anything happening right now.

When you get down to 500 feet, put the wing flaps down. Start reducing the speed by pulling back on the throttle. Keep the horizon as level as possible in front of you.


Excerpted from For Boys Only by Marc Aronson. Copyright © 2007 Marc Aronson and HP Newquist. Excerpted by permission of Holtzbrinck Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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