I was just served up a Facebook ad for a most unexpected book-to-screen adaption: the Dangerous Book for Boys (affiliate link here and below) has been crafted into a series that will run on Amazon Prime. It might be interesting. It could inspire some exciting maker fun, but honestly, I’m still scratching my head over this odd news. The book is almost always better than the movie. I suspect that will be the case here, too.
A thousand internet years, or nearly 11 real-people Earth years ago, I received a shiny new copy of The Dangerous Book for Boys* to review on my blog. The gilt-covered letters on the book’s cover were a siren song to my adventurous, energetic little boys. I can’t say for certain whether my review boosted sales, but it did go on to be a best seller.
Side note: I was super proud of my early momblogger friends for scoring a contract for a companion book, The Daring Book for Girls. But hey, it’s 2018. If you want to move beyond constrictive gender boundaries check out one of my parenting faves, 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Kids Do). (Spoiler alert: although I knew boys who did it when I was young, I could never bring myself to smoosh pennies on the railroad tracks with my kids. Dangerous! Also, illegal.)
The Dangerous Book for Boys
Like the kids in the show**, I blew the dust off of my old review, just for you. Let’s begin.
I found Conn Iggulden’s Dangerous Book for Boys on my doorstep one night shortly before the boys’ (ages 7 and 9***) bedtime. I made a big show of opening it (even though I know I should not) (2018 note: click the link to see and read what “mommy blogs” of yore were like.) and the boys were immediately transfixed by the golden lettering on the cover. I added intrigue by pretending to shield them from the book, cautioning, “No, it’s too dangerous!” And then I sent them to bed. And as I write this I realize this post will someday be presented as proof of my emotional cruelty.
Ah well, good thing I sent them away because I didn’t see the book much after that first night.
I loved the opening quote. No, not the liability disclaimer, the other page.
The quote comes from Sir Frederick Treves (who has several titles after his name whose meaning I think only the Brits understand):
Don’t worry about genius and don’t worry about not being clever. Trust rather hard work, perseverance, and determination…..Don’t grumble. Plug on.
Ugh! We say that kind of thing to the boys all the time. Do they seem to listen? Maybe seeing it in print will make a stronger impression.
As I said, I never got too far beyond that first page because when I woke up the next morning the book was gone. And it was difficult to track down for many days after because every boy in my house (including the one who’s almost 40*** years old) was compelled to read it. They could not keep their hands off the book!
This is not a book one simply reads from beginning to end, it’s one of those delightful treasures you can open to any page and find something interesting to read or, better yet, do. I’ll demonstrate now (totally random page-flipping****):
- p 141 – how to build a workbench
- p 144 – pen and paper games (Hangman and others that are new to me)
- p 195 – key Latin phrases (like carpe diem and such)
- p 68 – learn Morse code
- p 2- how to create the best paper airplane in the world
It’s all in there! The only thing this book is missing***** is an index.
The Dangerous Book for Boys makes a great gift for the 8-10 year old set and an equally thoughtful gift for parents of boys.
My boys have a month between the end of camp and the beginning of school (!!!) and I predict this book will be a handy companion for those days.
*I only watched about five seconds of the trailer. I think their mom actually gives the book to them. Whatever.
**Now almost 18 and almost 20!!
*****perhaps they took my advice and added one? No wait, the most recent edition is 2012? They haven’t put out a new edition to go with the show. What is this country coming to? No, wait, not a time to ask that. Nevermind.