Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Dangerous Book for Boys, by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden

The Dangerous Book for Boys, by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden

This is a thoroughly entertaining book. It contains a wide variety of information from carpentry to crystals, science to soccer, grammar to girls, and magic to maps. There is little organization to the book, skipping from subject to subject without rhyme or reason. Of course, the lack of order is half the fun! As an example, the first five topics are Essential Gear, The Greatest Paper Airplane in the World, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, The Five Knots Every Boy Should Know, and Questions about the World. I found it hard to put down, even when reading the sections with which I was familiar!

Along with reams of interesting data (the descriptions of famous battles such as Thermopylae, the Alamo, and Hastings were fascinating) there is a fair amount of humor thrown in as well. Some of my favorite passages: “Astronomy is not astrology. Astrology is nonsense.” “As with most of the best games, [chess] is easy to play badly and hard to play well.” “Play a sport of some kind. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it replaces the corpse-like pallor of the computer programmer with a ruddy glow. Honestly, this is more important than you know.” Great stuff. If you have a boy, get him this book. If you ever were a boy, get it for yourself!

First Sentence:
In this age of video games and cell phones, there must still be a place for knots, tree houses, and stories of incredible courage.

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