The Dangerous Book for Boys

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
The Dangerous Book for Boys Book Poster Image
Great set of skills, games, and info for kids of all ages.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Great "can-do" approach to being a well-rounded, self-sufficient person, but quite a bit of gender stereotyping. There's a page of advice about how to treat girls (with respect) and how boys should act (no vulgarity, play a sport, be clean, be helpful).

Positive Role Models & Representations

A big focus on lifelong learning and treating people with respect, but lots of stereotyping. 


A chapter on how to kill and skin a rabbit, another on how to make a bow and arrow. The battle stories can be graphic, mentioning wars, beatings, amputation, deaths by a variety of methods.


Specific candy and sports brands are mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Conn Iggulden's The Dangerous Book for Boys is a fun, informative collection of skills and knowledge for people (not just boys) of all ages. Written with a humorous touch, there's a ton of useful material here to help readers be safer (first aid), smarter (historical battles, science and engineering), and have fun outdoors (making a go-cart, fishing, and playing stickball). While the title states that this book is for boys and has lots of gender stereotyping, it's for anyone who wants to step away from their electronic world for a while and get outside, start building, take time to learn about the stars, and be adventurous.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byPhillip Andrew ... August 7, 2019

Great book.

This is a good book. It has instructions on doing cool things.
Written byAnonymous October 24, 2019
I think it gives great information and you can learn lots of new things from it. They say some things about girls that are pretty sexist and they make boys feel... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR BOYS is a collection of activities, information, skills, and trivia that brings readers into a world that often existed for kids before electronic devices and overscheduled weekends. For rainy indoor days, readers can learn about naval flag codes, Shakespeare, rules of cards, famous battles in world history, how to make crystals, and much more. When it's time to head outside, there's a guide to skipping stones, making a go-cart, studying the stars, fishing, and games of all kinds. Not just for boys or for kids, these topics are for anyone with curiosity or a sense of adventure.

Is it any good?

Try to get past the gender stereotyping right away, because this book is highly engaging, and can fill readers' weekends or unscheduled afternoons with all kinds of non-digital fun. The wide range of topics will interest readers who want to sit quietly and learn why ships sail against the wind or important moments in history, and those who want to get outside and be active can build a treehouse or a go-cart, perfect the paper airplane, and many more activities for curious minds. The brief section on girls offers good advice on how to treat people in general. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why some of the topics are less common today than decades ago. Did you know any pen-and-paper games before reading The Dangerous Book for Boys?

  • Which projects would you like to do first, and why?

  • Is there anything about this book that makes it just for boys?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love creating things

Themes & Topics

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