How do you build a tree fort? Make a bow and arrow? Write in invisible ink? The Dangerous Book for Boys, a bestseller in Britain, explains traditionally boyish pursuits to 21st century children. AP reports:
Exuding the brisk breeziness of Boy Scout manuals and Boy’s Own annuals, “The Dangerous Book” is a childhood how-to guide that covers everything from paper airplanes to go-carts, skipping stones to skinning a rabbit.
The book by brothers Conn and Hal Iggulden won “book of the year” at the British Book Awards.
There’s an old-fashioned, improving tone to the book, with its chapters on famous battles and true tales of courage, its Latin phrases and rules of grammar, and “seven poems every boy should know.”
“I don’t think it is particularly old-fashioned,” (Conn) Iggulden said. “I think the reason people think it is old-fashioned is that it’s optimistic, and an awful lot of modern books tend to be fairly cynical in their outlook — postmodern, tongue-in-cheek.
“I thought, I want to write it straight and I want to write it optimistically, because that’s what childhood is about. You don’t have any doors shut in your face. You can be absolutely anything, you can be interested in anything.”
The U.S. edition — stickball replaces cricket — goes on sale May 1.
This sounds like the sort of book that boys who don’t enjoy reading fiction would enjoy reading.