My son got The Dangerous Book for Boys (Hal Iggulden) on his 8th birthday. Fabulous. I as mother (and non-boy) love this book. And that is not only because I agree with what he says at the start: “In this age of video games and cell phones, there must still be a place for knots, tree houses and stories of incredible courage”. It is just such an informative book in a very friendly and boy way, it gives you as mother some insight in how boys operate. Oh yes and it actually does give a chapter on ‘the five knots every boy should know’.
The book discusses famous battles, coin tricks, dog tricks, the solar system, cloud formation, morse code, first aid, chess, rules of rugby and soccer, hunting and cooking rabbit, the seven wonders of the world – old and new …. and even some literary information about books every boy should read!
This book list includes the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton (also the Secret Seven series) but also Grimm’s Fairy Tales, the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and CS Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Most of these books have universal appeal, because my daughters have read most of them as well.
Yes the author says every boy should be able to climb trees, grow crystals and tie a decent bowline knot but eventually a boy will grow into a man and no man should be completely ignorant of some wonderful poems. To hear this is food for the soul, men and women alike. He includes The Road Not Taken (Robert Frost), Kipling’s very famous If, Whitman’s Song of Myself and off course Invictus by William Ernest Henley. As a child Henley suffered the amputation of his left leg below the knee and he was ill for most of his life. So for him to write a poem like Invictus is extraordinary!
The stories of courage in this book is an inspiration – extraordinary acts by ordinary people. The title makes girls want to grab the book (shhh) and my one daughter did indeed use the book to teach our dog tricks! That had to happen in secret though, because the sisters are not allowed to touch this book. I as mother am above all rules like that, although I have to ask…..