Friday, June 15, 2007

The Dangerous Book for Boys

When my grandpa was alive he referred to girls as "princesses" and to boys as "rusty nails." While little boys (and big ones) can sometimes be rusty nails, I think that boys are such a blessing in life! I can't put my finger on it, but there is something that is so special to me about little boys.

Maybe it is their sense of adventure or their willingness to get hurt or be dirty. Maybe since they aren't expected to be sweet, they just seem all the more so when they are...and in my experience they often are very sweet. Maybe because I was never a little boy, the ways they are different from girls fascinates me. I never really wanted to be a boy, but I have nonetheless always found boyhood intriguing.

Yesterday I bought this new book called The Dangerous Book for Boys, by Conn and Hal Iggulden. It is a modern day reference book for boys chalked full of information on everything in which they are likely to find an interest. At the 2007 British Book Awards it was named Book of the Year. It's a nostalgic how-to guide for everything from making secret ink to deciphering Morse code, from building a go-cart to growing your own crystals. "Even in this digital age there is still a place for knots, skimming stones and stories of incredible courage," say the authors.

I can't wait to give this book to my little boy some day (if I have one) so that he can learn things that I could never teach him and that he'll most likely only enjoy doing with his dad. Even though this is a book that I would have loved to have as a little girl, I can just imagine fathers and sons pouring over the valuable information inside a little more than I would have. I'll be the first to say that boys don't have a monopoly on imagination, having fun outside, possessing basic survival skills, or a love for adventure, but this book is a diamond in the rough. It is a great reminder of all the possibilities kids see in life and the make-believe worlds in which we used to live.

Some of the topics discussed include, but are not limited to: The Greatest Paper Airplane in the World, The Five Knots Every Boy Should Know, Slingshots, Fossils, Building a Treehouse, Making a Bow and Arrow, Seven Poems a Boy Should Know, Timers and Tripwires, Famous Battles-Including Lexington and Concord, The Alamo, and Gettysburg, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Spies-Codes and Ciphers, Navajo Code Talkers' Dictionary, Girls, Cloud Formations, The Declaration of Independence, the Golden Age of Piracy, and a Sampling of Shakespeare.


Amy and Andrew Daigle said...

Yes! I'm with you. Funny how it's called the "Dangerous" book for boys. A good insight into how society might perceive some good old fashioned imagination and dirt these days. What ever happened to tree houses, digging for worms, and getting your feelings hurt? As we recently said, we must work to preserve immune systems and some self-sufficiency!

Sarah said...

Girl, preach it! Kids need to be a little tougher than they are becoming! :)

I bet the the book seems more appealing to boys with that "Dangerous" title, since they might have grown to think books are "safe"... when in all actuality they have a very good chance of dangerously changing ones life!

Jakob said...

I saw an article on this book somewhere else and knew that someday my boys wont grow up without it. There is a chapter on making a bow and arrow and killing and cooking squirrels. After all, if you kill it you should eat it!
Yay for The Dangerous book!

The Lindahl News said...

Where, oh where, was this book for John when he was growing up...maybe I should get it for him now?

Sarah said...

I think it is a good gift for a boy of any age! Borders has it for 30% off right now... :)

Jefferson said...

Wish I would have had it as a boy.
For those boys that have grown up (chronologically) John Eldridge's book "Wild at Heart" speaks to the issue of how our society or perhaps our fathers may have neglected to allow us or teach us to be boys into men. Yes, scars and broken bones used to be a symbol of our boyhood or manhood and today they are a reason to find someone to sue. Let's bring back some real boys to our society who will become real men!

Anonymous said...

as a boy i broke many bones. i have many scars and have even cut off my own thumb. i once was a boy and now i am a man!

U Paul said...

I got this book At Sam's Club last week. I was walking by looking for print cartridges and I saw the title and it was mine! I remember learning some of that stuff in Boy Scouts and from my father. I got the book for my nephew, Matthew who does not have a dad and shows the affects of it. I have enjoyed looking through and I'll probable take my time getting the book to him. Thanks, Sarah, for your love and respect of men. U Paul