Gosh, now that I've seen the the fabulous website and the little commercial at Amazon.com I'm wondering if you'll bother with the arduous task of reading my post or just head over for some eye candy. Since when do books have trailers?! I guess I'm not shopping enough at Amazon, but that's a good thing because A) school tuition is due in a few weeks and B) we should try to buy through the venerable Chicago institution, the Women and Children First bookstore because they've let it be known that they're on financially shaky ground.
You're still reading? Good!
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) 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 the, "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 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 - 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.