Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun

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Overview

Unbored is the guide and activity book every modern kid needs. Vibrantly designed, lavishly illustrated, brilliantly walking the line between cool and constructive, it's crammed with activities that are not only fun and doable but also designed to get kids engaged with the wider world.
With contributions from a diverse crowd of experts, the book provides kids with information to round out their world view and inspire them to learn more. From how-tos on using the library or ...

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Overview

Unbored is the guide and activity book every modern kid needs. Vibrantly designed, lavishly illustrated, brilliantly walking the line between cool and constructive, it's crammed with activities that are not only fun and doable but also designed to get kids engaged with the wider world.
With contributions from a diverse crowd of experts, the book provides kids with information to round out their world view and inspire them to learn more. From how-tos on using the library or writing your representative to a graphic history of video games, the book isn't shy about teaching. Yet the bulk of the 350-page mega-resource presents hands-on activities that further the mission in a fun way, featuring the best of the old as well as the best of the new: classic science experiments, crafts and upcycling, board game hacking, code-cracking, geocaching, skateboard repair, yarn-bombing, stop-action movie-making-plus tons of sidebars and extras, including trivia, best-of lists, and Q&As with leading thinkers whose culture-changing ideas are made accessible to kids for the first time.
Just as kids begin to disappear into their screens, here is a book that encourages them to use those tech skills to be creative, try new things, and change the world. And it encourages parents to participate. Unbored is exciting to read, easy to use, and appealing to young and old, girl and boy. Parents will be comforted by its anti-perfectionist spirit and humor. Kids will just think it's awesome.

Contributors include Mark Frauenfelder of MAKE magazine; Colin Beavan, the No Impact Man; Douglas Rushkoff, renowned media theorist; Geoff Manaugh, author of BLDGBLOG; John Edgar Park, a CG supervisor at DisneyToon Studios; and Jean Railla, founder of GetCrafty.com and Etsy consultant.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

This deliciously abundant child activity book was born to be popular. Any parent who has survived a school break or a summer vacation knows how difficult it is to keep their kids occupied, stimulated, and interactive. Unbored is a 350-page treasure chest of games, computer fun, creative projects, nature hunts, lists, quizzes, science experiments, and much, much more. One family and childcare book we can't praise enough.

From the Publisher

National Bestseller

"The first kids' book to truly encourage a hands-on approach to creating a personally meaningful life."--Mark Frauenfelder, editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, co-editor for BoingBoing

"This is what we've been waiting for! A playful and informative journey built on exhilarating activities and adventures. This is not just a book, it's a way of life for kids and parents alike."-- Anthony T. DeBenedet, M.D., coauthor of The Art of Roughhousing

"What a treasure trove Glenn and Larsen have created! Parents, teachers, and anyone else who wants kids to have fun—and wants to have fun with kids—will love, love, love this book. It’s an amazing resource. I can't recommend it more highly!" —Edward Hallowell, M.D., coauthor of national bestseller Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction

"This year’s hottest activity book for kids may well be Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen. Gathering contributions from the likes of media theorist David Rushkoff and GetCrafty.com founder Jean Railia, among many others, the 350-page book highlights science experiments, crafts and upcycling, board gam hacking, and geocaching, and is packed with q&as and trivia."—Publishers Weekly

"This is the ultimate craft and curiosity book...the coolest activity book for all ages I've seen in a long time." - Mom Must Read, Parents.com

"A parent-and-kids guide to doing things that are smart and quirky."--The Los Angeles Book Review blog, Jacket Copy

"That's what I love re: UNBORED - it's for ALL, not 'daring girls' or 'dangerous boys'..."--tweet from Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter

"If your kids ever give UNBORED back to you, you may want to do a whole lot of the great ideas yourself."--Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids

"Deliciously abundant...A 350 page treasure chest of games, computer fun, creative projects, nature hunts, lists, quizzes, science experiments, and much, much more. One family and childcare book we can't praise enough." --Barnes & Noble editorial review

"From yarn-bombing to stop-action moviemaking, from science experiments to skateboard repair, the ingenious projects contained herein will ensure that rainy weekends and school cancellations can be met with equanimity." --Barnes & Noble Review blog THE LONG LIST

"The coauthors of this book believe that young people are capable of much more than grownups usually think possible. And they are right! It's a guide to life - if you want an exciting and unbored life!" --Emma Kristjanson-Gural, age 12, in the magazine New Moon

"This mixture of step-by-step how-tos, inspirational articles, comics, experts from literature puts a priority on having fun and learning new skills, all while becoming more independent."--School Library Journal

"UNBORED is the ZOOM! Catalog for the 21st Century, and it couldn't have arrived at a better time." "My 7-year old 'got inspiration' from this book. I didn't even know he knew the word inspiration! Highly recommended."--Amazon.com reviews

"In the same view as The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Great Big Glorious Book for Girls. Except without all of the vomit-inducing gender stereotyping."--from the momblog Coffee With Julie

"Some of these projects are messy and a few are thrilling and just a little nutty, such as the you-build-it remote-control water blaster."--Any Goetzman, MinnPost

"Sure to bring a new generation and new kind of maker into the world."--Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program Or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age

"This is the awesome family book we didn't know we were waiting for!"--tweet from Homa Sabet Tavangar, author of the parenting guide Growing Up Global

"This 352-page book is filled - no, jam-packed! - with so many awesome ideas of things to do, make, think about, puzzle over, experiment with, play, and wonder about."--Kids Outdoors, an Appalachian Mountain Club blog

"An uncommonly brainy kids' activity book that encourages youngsters to invent, grow and melt stuff."--Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines

"A lively new manual brimming with suggestions of ways that parents can be vitally connected with their children as they are making those sometimes complicated transitions into becoming more independent and self-reliant."--Middletown Journal (Ohio)

"I want my daughter to read this book with a flashlight after bedtime and plot to take over the world with her friends."--Children's book author Jenny Offill

"Clearly, the editors know what kids are into, and I can already tell it's going to lead my son into some awesome adventures."--Reading Comics author Douglas Wolk

"From apps to hip hop songs, from geocaching (the world's biggest treasure hunt) to farting games, there is something here for everyone."--MummyAteMe.com

From The Critics
"The first kids' book to truly encourage a hands-on approach to creating a personally meaningful life."—Mark Frauenfelder, editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, co-editor for BoingBoing

"This is what we've been waiting for! A playful and informative journey built on exhilarating activities and adventures. This is not just a book, it's a way of life for kids and parents alike."— Anthony T. DeBenedet, M.D., coauthor of The Art of Roughhousing

"What a treasure trove Glenn and Larsen have created! Parents, teachers, and anyone else who wants kids to have fun—and wants to have fun with kids—will love, love, love this book. It’s an amazing resource. I can't recommend it more highly!" —Edward Hallowell, M.D., coauthor of national bestseller Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction

"This year’s hottest activity book for kids may well be Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen. Gathering contributions from the likes of media theorist David Rushkoff and GetCrafty.com founder Jean Railia, among many others, the 350-page book highlights science experiments, crafts and upcycling, board gam hacking, and geocaching, and is packed with q&as and trivia."—Publishers Weekly

"This is the ultimate craft and curiosity book...the coolest activity book for all ages I've seen in a long time." - Mom Must Read, Parents.com

"A parent-and-kids guide to doing things that are smart and quirky."—The Los Angeles Book Review blog, Jacket Copy

"That's what I love re: UNBORED - it's for ALL, not 'daring girls' or 'dangerous boys'..."—tweet from Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter

"If your kids ever give UNBORED back to you, you may want to do a whole lot of the great ideas yourself."—Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids

"Deliciously abundant...A 350 page treasure chest of games, computer fun, creative projects, nature hunts, lists, quizzes, science experiments, and much, much more. One family and childcare book we can't praise enough." —Barnes & Noble editorial review

"From yarn-bombing to stop-action moviemaking, from science experiments to skateboard repair, the ingenious projects contained herein will ensure that rainy weekends and school cancellations can be met with equanimity." —Barnes & Noble Review blog THE LONG LIST

"The coauthors of this book believe that young people are capable of much more than grownups usually think possible. And they are right! It's a guide to life - if you want an exciting and unbored life!" —Emma Kristjanson-Gural, age 12, in the magazine New Moon

"This mixture of step-by-step how-tos, inspirational articles, comics, experts from literature puts a priority on having fun and learning new skills, all while becoming more independent."—School Library Journal

"UNBORED is the ZOOM! Catalog for the 21st Century, and it couldn't have arrived at a better time." "My 7-year old 'got inspiration' from this book. I didn't even know he knew the word inspiration! Highly recommended."—Amazon.com reviews

"In the same view as The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Great Big Glorious Book for Girls. Except without all of the vomit-inducing gender stereotyping."—from the momblog Coffee With Julie

"Some of these projects are messy and a few are thrilling and just a little nutty, such as the you-build-it remote-control water blaster."—Any Goetzman, MinnPost

"Sure to bring a new generation and new kind of maker into the world."—Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program Or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age

"This is the awesome family book we didn't know we were waiting for!"—tweet from Homa Sabet Tavangar, author of the parenting guide Growing Up Global

"This 352-page book is filled - no, jam-packed! - with so many awesome ideas of things to do, make, think about, puzzle over, experiment with, play, and wonder about."—Kids Outdoors, an Appalachian Mountain Club blog

"An uncommonly brainy kids' activity book that encourages youngsters to invent, grow and melt stuff."—Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines

"A lively new manual brimming with suggestions of ways that parents can be vitally connected with their children as they are making those sometimes complicated transitions into becoming more independent and self-reliant."—Middletown Journal (Ohio)

"I want my daughter to read this book with a flashlight after bedtime and plot to take over the world with her friends."—Children's book author Jenny Offill

"Clearly, the editors know what kids are into, and I can already tell it's going to lead my son into some awesome adventures."—Reading Comics author Douglas Wolk

"From apps to hip hop songs, from geocaching (the world's biggest treasure hunt) to farting games, there is something here for everyone."—MummyAteMe.com

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—This mixture of step-by-step how-tos, inspirational articles, comics, and excerpts from literature puts a priority on having fun and learning new skills, all while becoming more independent. An introduction by the editor of Make magazine and an opening interview with Tim Hodgkinson, editor of Idle magazine, make this intent clear. Four chapters loosely define the sections of the book and build from "You" to "Home," "Society," and finally "Adventure." Each section is subdivided further. "Society," for example, includes "Get Social," "Your School," "Save the Planet," "Make Your Own Media," and "Getting Around." Each subsection begins with an introductory article by a leader in the field. Additional articles, activities, experiments and games, lists of movies, time lines, how-tos, comics, secret messages, and section resources round-out the chapters. Activities range from traditional ideas such as knot tying to more current projects such as making "LED graffiti" or a "remote-controlled water blaster." They vary from sedentary to active and from indoor to outdoor with something for every inclination. Cartoon drawings appear on most pages, and photos are sprinkled throughout the two-column text. Many how-tos include illustrations. The book opens with a cautionary disclaimer, and additional safety and etiquette advice is included where needed. This resource will be referred to time and time again for ideas and inspiration for those unprogrammed days.—Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608196418
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 178,946
  • Product dimensions: 7.84 (w) x 10.06 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Joshua Glenn is cofounder of the websites Significant Objects, Hilobrow, and Semionaut, and has authored and edited a number of books. Together with Elizabeth Foy Larsen, he writes a parenting column based on Unbored for Slate. He lives in Boston and has two sons, ten and thirteen.

Elizabeth Foy Larsen was a member of the team that launched Sassy, a magazine for teen girls. Her writing on families has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, the Daily Beast, and elsewhere. She lives in Minneapolis and has two sons and a daughter, ages seven to twelve.

Tony Leone is a principal of Leone Design. His work has been honored by the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Brand Design Association, and has been featured in Communication Arts, Print, Graphis, and elsewhere. He has a son in kindergarten and a newborn daughter.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    This is the book every active, curious, fun-loving kid needs. Re

    This is the book every active, curious, fun-loving kid needs. Reminiscent of Highlights for Children, with a splash of Boy/Girl Scouts plus a Maker-DIY-crafty esthetic, Unbored rocks. As an Auntie, I love the social commentary designed to encourage kids to be independent, creative, and brave. Plus I really enjoy the lack of gender stereotyping because it shows girls having as much fun wrestling and building things as their boy counterparts. The kids I gave the book to, on the other hand, immediately loved the clapping and farting games so it's not an entirely grown-up enterprise. In short, this book is super cool and will enter my ranks of frequently-given gifts for kids in their early-late tweens.

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