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The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Know

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Overview

From girls to battles, from anthems to pirates to Shakespeare. The perfect pocket book of things to know for every boy from eight to eighty.

Includes Dangerous New Knowledge + Great Things to Know from The Dangerous Book for Boys

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Overview

From girls to battles, from anthems to pirates to Shakespeare. The perfect pocket book of things to know for every boy from eight to eighty.

Includes Dangerous New Knowledge + Great Things to Know from The Dangerous Book for Boys

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061649936
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Pages: 255
  • Sales rank: 225,122
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Conn Iggulden

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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Read an Excerpt

The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Know

Chapter One

Anthems

At any ballgame or large gathering it can be really annoying when the crowd starts to sing and you can't join in because you don't know the words. To save you from this embarrassment, here are some of the most important national and popular songs in North America. If you take the time to learn them, they will give you immense pleasure in the years to come.

The Star-Spangled Banner

The words to the national anthem of the United States were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. The War of 1812 saw the British burn the White House and the Capitol in Washington, D.C. On the night of September 12, 1814, Key watched the British attack Fort McHenry in the port of Baltimore, Maryland. Late at night on the 13th, the British suddenly stopped shelling the port, and as the sun began to rise Key was able to see clearly the huge flag of the United States, still proudly flying. The fort had survived the attack, and Key composed this poem, which described Key's pride and relief that the symbol of the United States had withstood the attack. The music to Key's poem may have been written by an English composer, Thomas Arne, who incidentally also composed the tune to "Rule Brittania." An act of Congress in 1931 officially designated "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem of the United States.

Oh, say, can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight;
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?


O Canada

The national anthem of Canada was composed in 1880 by Calixca Lavallée; the French lyrics were penned by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. In 1908 Robert S. Weir translated the French words, but not until 1980 did the song officially become Canada's national anthem.

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

America (My Country 'tis of Thee)

Samuel F. Smith wrote the words to this patriotic song in 1831 while studying theology at Andover Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. He and the famous organist Lowell Mason set the words to an existing tune, known variously as a national hymn of England, Germany, Denmark, and other countries. The first public performance of the anthem took place on July 4, 1831, in Boston.

My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our father's God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.

America, the Beautiful

In 1893 Katherine Lee Bates, a poet and professor, wrote these words to express her joy and wonder at the view from Pike's Peak in Colorado. The poem first appeared in a weekly journal, The Congregationalist, in 1895. Bates revised the words in 1904 and again in 1913. Legend has it that the poem was sung to almost any tune that would fit the words. The music we know today was written in 1882 by Samuel Ward, long before the poem itself was composed. The music and words were matched in 1910. Many Americans believe this song should be our national anthem.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Two other songs that express the American way of life are "This Land Is Your Land," words and music written in 1940 by Woody Guthrie, and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," written in 1908 by Jack Norworth (music by Albert von Tilzer) and sung during the seventh-inning stretch at every baseball game from major league contests to sandlot pickup games. This song originally had two verses and one chorus; these days everyone just sings the famous chorus.

This Land Is Your Land

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me.

I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While all around me a voice was sounding
Saying this land was made for you and me.

The sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
As the fog was lifting, a voice was chanting,
This land was made for you and me.

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Know. Copyright © by Conn Iggulden. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Highly recommended

    I purchased this for my son-in-law as a a gift for him and my grandson. From just a brief look, i thought it had some very interesting things in it. We have purchased the full size book in the past and found it to be a wealth of good things.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2009

    Great Bithday Gift

    I bought this for a birthday gift! The title intrigues the boys into reading! And they actually like doing it! Great for the 8-10 year olds! Good combo with the Dangerous Book for Boys kits.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2009

    I purchased this as a gift for my grandson.

    I remember that he smiled when he saw the title, and he had fun while I was there flipping through the pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    My 9 year old son LOVES this book!

    My 9 year old 3rd grader asks us numerous questions about how things work or how to make things. This was a great book to help him find answers to his questions and learn about new things. The things to do in the book are not truly "dangerous". Safety is explicit where applicable. I highly recomment for other curious boys.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2009

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