The Double Dangerous Book for Boys

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
The Double Dangerous Book for Boys Book Poster Image
Fun info, skills, projects, and more for kids of any age.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Almost every category imaginable is covered here, from history to circuitry, ultimate frisbee to legal studies, how to make a cup of coffee or a stink bomb, and much more.

Positive Messages

Learning is an endless journey, with no limits on knowledge, and, as shown here, it can be extremely fun. The title’s announcement that these are topics for boys is likely great for marketing but seems outdated.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mentions of notable people throughout history, including Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Euclid, Shakespeare, Sir Francis Drake, Charles Darwin, and more.


Some brands mentioned in the "how to" chapters.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Double Dangerous Book for Boys, by Conn Iggulden with his sons Arthur and Cameron, is packed full of fun and useful information for all ages. Like its predecessor, The Dangerous Book for Boys, the Igguldens have put together much more than a standard encyclopedia or how-to book. The topics are dense and more appropriate for advanced readers, though the illustrations help make it a great read-aloud book for the younger set. It’s a little odd to be titled as something for boys when the book is obviously for everyone, so as long as readers ignore that part, they’re likely to be entertained for hours, months, and years.

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What's the story?

THE DOUBLE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR BOYS is for boys and girls of all ages, covering a wide variety of interests, life skills, games, folklore, history, and just about anything else under the sun. Written like an encyclopedia covering topics such as history, poetry, law, sign language, and navigation, this fun-loving book also teaches readers how to pick locks, make a cup of coffee, write a thank-you letter, and play chess. It’s packed with colorful charts, maps, and illustrations, so those wanting to learn how to start a fire with a battery, for example, have a visual aid to help them along.

Is it any good?

It's too bad the title is so gender specific, because this book has something for everyone. Hopefully most readers and parents will grab it for the content inside and not avoid it because of the words on the cover. It’s tough for an encyclopedia to present information in an engaging way, and The Double Dangerous Book for Boys succeeds by varying the topics quickly. By switching from questions about the law right into how to make a rubber band gun, readers can skim or dig deep throughout the book. The illustrations and graphics help keep readers’ attention through the denser topics, and fun skills like card games, solving the Rubik’s cube, making a stink bomb or a pencil catapult, and much more will have readers marking pages and running to grab supplies. While not an easy read for elementary school readers, it has loads of topics that will grab middle schoolers, and the reading level is a better fit for them, too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their favorite chapters in The Double Dangerous Book for Boys. What was the most unexpected topic?

  • Which “practical” topic was most interesting to you?

  • Which building project would you most like to try, and why?

Book details

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Themes & Topics

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