Summary and book reviews of The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden

The Dangerous Book for Boys

By Conn Iggulden, Hal Iggulden

The Dangerous Book for Boys
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  • Hardcover: May 2007,
    288 pages.

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Book Summary

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

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 ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

The Iggulden brothers open a window to an almost lost world where skinned knees are an acceptable risk in the pursuit of adventure; where tying devious knots, deciphering enemy code and making water bombs are more interesting than computer screens; where the rough-and-tumble of being a boy is not a health hazard but a necessary part of growing up; and where over-protectedness is a greater danger than a penknife.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

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Media Reviews
Daily Telegraph (UK)

The perfect handbook for boys and dads.

The Times (London)

An old-fashioned compendium of information on items such as making catapults and knot-tying…the end of the PlayStation may have been signalled.

The New York Post - Christina Hoff Sommers

The sad lesson of this book's success is how far our current education culture has drifted from the world of boys. The special art of teaching boys - once so well understood by educators everywhere - is at risk of being lost forever.

School Library Journal

Both premise and content should appeal to many boys, and might be even more successful when nostalgic dads join in.

Time Out (UK)

If you want to know how to make crystals, master NATO's phonetic alphabet...and build a workbench, look no further.

Daily Mail (UK)

Just William would be proud. A new book teaching boys old-fashioned risky pursuits...has become a surprise bestseller.

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Beyond the Book

Conn Iggulden was born in 1971. He read English at London University and then taught for seven years at a high school in London. His mother is Irish and from an early age told her children history as an exciting series of stories - with dates, and his great-grandfather was a Seannachie (Irish storyteller). His father flew in Bomber Command in WWII, then taught maths and science. Iggulden says, "Though it seems a dated idea now, I began teaching when boys were told only girls were good at English, despite the great names that must spring to mind after that statement. My father loved working with wood and equations, but he also recited Vitai Lampada* with a gleam in his eye and that matters, frankly."

*A poem by Henry ...

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