The Amazing Book Is Not on Fire: The World of Dan and Phil
By Andrea Beach,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Lively, engaging video how-to from popular YouTube stars.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Guide to being a YouTuber; how to make entertaining videos; insight into the creative process of making YouTube videos. Facts about caring for hamsters and a brief how-to guide to breeding hamsters. What it's like to do a major-network radio show.Travelogue of trip to Japan includes cultural insights, cuisine, and major tourist attractions.
Enjoy life. Treasure each moment, because each one is a possibility for new adventure. Say yes to opportunities for socializing in real life. Things will get better; circumstances do change. Keep the Internet nice. Be a positive influence. Negative consequences and pitfalls of exposing your life to the Internet are only briefly hinted at.
Positive Role Models
Dan Howell dropped out of college to pursue his YouTube passion and says a couple of times that he's not a good role model. But he's begun speaking out on keeping the Internet nice (stop trolling for trolling's sake) and participating in antibullying forums. Phil Lester has a master's degree and a more intellectual, serious approach to all the zaniness. He says he wants his vlog to cheer people up, give them something to smile about. Female alter egos performed in drag are vacuous and one-dimensional.
Violence & Scariness
A "fan fiction" short story about Dan and Phil as vampires mentions blood a few times and describes a vampire drinking blood. Both authors confess their fears. Dan describes waking up to find a spider crawling on his chest. Dan confesses to thinking about his capacity for murder but assures that he won't actually do it; later he jokingly says that if you touch his neck he'll kill you and that it's not difficult. Tongue-in-cheek mourning the death of pet triops and brine shrimp.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Playing a hentai (Japanese anime pornography) game. Kissing mentioned a couple of times. Past wondering how girls pee and speculating about periods. Past explanation of sex as a "special kiss between husband and wife" confused a young Phil. A couple of collages of phrases in different fonts mention nipples, "boobs," and making out. Alter-ego personas in drag mention encountering a pervert on the train.
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Infrequent. "Ass," "crapped," "OMFG," "bitch," "poop," "pee," "butts," "boobs." "C--k" and "stupid cow" as name-calling.
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Products & Purchases
YouTube frequently mentioned and extensively celebrated as a fun and funny place to be. Lots of food, music, movie, video games, and television products mentioned. The book is part of the expansion of popular YouTube personalities into more traditional media.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mention of past incident when a friend got drunk and got sick on Dad's coat, a drunk guy, and drinking red wine while giving advice. Collage of phrases in different fonts mentions getting high on Sharpie fumes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Amazing Book Is Not on Fire is an autobiographical how-to guide to making YouTube videos by popular British YouTubers danisnotonfire (Dan Howell) and AmazingPhil (Phil Lester). Make no mistake, these lads are serious about their creative process and offer helpful insights for teens wondering if they could be the next YouTube sensation. Downsides to exposing your life online are only vaguely hinted at, though, so if your kid shows interest in trying it for herself, she'll need cautionary advice from other sources. Strong language is infrequent and mostly about body parts, such as "ass" and "boob," although "c--k" and "stupid cow" are used in name-calling. A short story about vampires mentions blood and describes a vampire sucking blood. There's lots of insight into what it takes to make videos, the perks of becoming popular on YouTube, and traveling in Japan. Kids who don't already know all about these two YouTubers will no doubt want to check out their channel. It's a good starting place for talking about what's OK to do and say online, and both authors are great role models for keeping things positive and upbeat.
Where to Read
Based on 3 parent reviews
I LOVE THEMMMMM!!!
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What's the Story?
Successful YouTube phenomena danisnotonfire (Dan Howell) and AmazingPhil (Phil Lester) offer helpful advice on how to make successful videos. Using themselves as object lessons, they start with short but thorough autobiographies that provide insight into their childhood, teen, and early vlogging years. They then move into talking about their creative processes, a little bit about their setups, and a lot of helpful advice, including what not to do, to make entertaining videos.
Is It Any Good?
A lively, engaging, and surprisingly thoughtful and thorough look at what it takes to make successful YouTube videos. Dan Howell and Phil Lester's funny, quirky personalities shine through and make it easy to see how they became so popular. Teens will enjoy the colorful, vivid illustrations, mostly photo collages, and drink up the behind-the-scenes insider information on the two popular YouTube celebrities. The authors are refreshingly straightforward, telling tales on themselves in fun and funny ways that make them utterly relatable to teens while conveying their serious attitude toward their craft.
Kids and teens will need guidance about the pitfalls of putting your life online. But even if they don't want to become YouTube stars themselves, they'll enjoy this down-to-earth look at what it's really like.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about YouTube personalities. Why are they so popular? Why are they branching out into movies, TV, and books?
Dan and Phil offer explanations for why they wrote this book and talk about wanting to capture this time in their lives and preserve it for the future. Do you think that's really their strongest motive? Isn't something available forever once it goes online?
Before you read this book, how much work did you think it takes to make a successful YouTube video? Did the book change your ideas about that? What makes a YouTube video successful? Is it the number of views or something else?
- Authors: Dan Howell, Phil Lester
- Genre: Autobiography
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, High School
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Random House
- Publication date: October 13, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 18
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks
- Last updated: April 12, 2019
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