The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls

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 Okay, these books are just plain FUN (for boys and girls of all ages).

The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden was published in the UK in June 2006 and was an immediate success.  It is a guidebook covering about 80 topics including making a go-cart, basic first aid, making secret inks, coin tricks and how to play chess.  Also included are famous quotes, battles, sports statistics and answers to basic science questions that every boy should know.

Not long after, Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz wrote a similar volume for girls entitled The Daring Book for Girls.  The girls’ version includes instructions on friendship bracelets, making a willow whistle, how to paddle a canoe and negotiating a salary.  It also includes information about influential females throughout history and addresses basic math, science and grammar questions.

Some reviewers have criticized these books for encouraging dangerous activities (for example, there’s a section devoted to hunting and cooking a rabbit in the boys’ book and instructions on making a lemon-powered clock in the girls’ book) but others praise them for countering the “Playstation Culture.”  Grown-up boys and girls will enjoy these books just as much as the younger ones by reminding them of things from their own childhoods.  They are pretty good refreshers on grammar and history, too.

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