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The Dangerous Book for Boys
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there is much here that you may find objectionable, beginning with the premise of the book. Boys are encouraged to hunt and gamble, and some of the stories are very violent, though not graphically so. Most of the activities require lots of adult supervision.
What's the story?
Is it any good?
Tearing boys away from the screen to get out and do things and learn things in the real world is a laudable goal, but this has been done, and oh so much better, before. Go back a hundred years or more to books such as The American Boy's Handy Book and The Official Handbook for Boys by the Boy Scouts of America (both still available). THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR BOYS shows all the signs of being slapped together quickly -- lots of typos and mistakes; inaccurate information; half-baked opinions presented as fact; plodding, muddy prose; and impenetrable, inadequate instructions from authors who clearly are not experts.
So how to explain its jaw-dropping success? Brilliant marketing, with a great title and a cool, retro cover. It's more appealing to dads than kids -- dads who are nostalgic for the childhood they never actually had, and want to believe they can provide for their own kids. Bad news: They can't -- at least not by using this book.