Double Dangerous Book for Boys

Double Dangerous Book for Boys

by Conn Iggulden, Hal Iggulden
Publisher: HarperCollins
Library Binding, 213 pages
Price: $22.99

This book will make you cool. How many boys these days know the difference between the pirate flags of Blackbeard and Jack Rackam? How many boys even know that Blackbeard was a real pirate? Can most boys identify the major constellations? or make a periscope? hunt and cook a rabbit? quote Sea-Fever by John Masefield? Can most men do these things?

Obviously the answer to all these questions is "no," but The Dangerous Book for Boys can change that....if you're man enough to get your hands dirty, scrape your knees and maybe get in trouble a few times. Not that the Iggulden brothers encourage delinquency—but in our increasingly sterile society the things that boys used to do (things that were considered essential steps on the road to manhood) are more likely to be met with consternation than approval from parents and sundry other adults.

Until your dad gets his hands on a copy, that is. Let's face it, learning terms from the Navajo Code Talkers' Dictionary is just plain awesome, whether you're fourteen or forty-four (or 104, for that matter). And what male can resist reading about famous battles, especially really important ones most people have never even heard about? Or making a go-cart you can actually ride?! And unlike other books with a similar premise, boys will actually be able to make this go-cart and use it.

Conn and Hal Iggulden actually did the things described in this book. The accounts of their own attempts lend a personal element to the text and help identify possible problems you may run into and how to avoid them. They're also really funny, which makes any book more appealing. Originally published in England (the Igguldens are British), this American edition substitutes United States-specific information from the Declaration of Independence instead of a list of England's patron saints to North American as opposed to English fish in the angling section.

Whether you're a boy chronologically or just a boy in your heart, you need this book. Unless, of course, you're some kind of sportsman/scholar/astronomer/mechanic who has women all figured out, in which case you should probably write your own book. But for the rest of us, this accessible guide to boyness (with full-color illustrations!) is a great starting place.

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 Battle—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

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.


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