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The American Boy's Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It, Centennial Edition Paperback – July 16, 2010


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The American Boy's Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It, Centennial Edition + The Dangerous Book for Boys
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: David R Godine; Centennial edition (July 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879234490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879234492
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

If Huckleberry Finn were to settle down, somewhere out there in the territory, and decide to become an author, he might very well come up with a book like this one . . . evoking the kind of boyhood that nearly every American man would like to have had himself, and hope that his son (or daughter) might still enjoy. --Washington Post Book World<br /><br />Today you can be privy to all these splendid secrets . . . printed on acid-free paper and sewn in signatures, it will last to be handed down to you great-grandboys. --Henry Kisor, The Chicago Sun-Times<br /><br />Today you can be privy to all these splendid secrets . . . printed on acid-free paper and sewn in signatures, it will last to be handed down to you great-grandboys. --Henry Kisor, The Chicago Sun-Times

Today you can be privy to all these splendid secrets . . . printed on acid-free paper and sewn in signatures, it will last to be handed down to you great-grandboys. --Henry Kisor, The Chicago Sun-Times

About the Author

<DIV>Daniel Beard was born in 1850 and lived most of his life in Kentucky. From an early age Beard decided to devote his life to American boyhood. He was a prolific writer and illustrator and the founder of two different societies for boys, as well as one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America. Before his death in 1941, Beard received the only Golden Eagle badge ever awarded by the Boy Scouts of America, and the mountain peak adjoining Mount McKinley in Alaska was named in his honor.</div>

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Customer Reviews

Cannot wait to do some of the projects with my grandchildren, I really am enjoying this Boy's Handy Book. !!!!
Carole K.
Help your students travel back in time by engaging in some of the wonderful projects in The American Boy's Handy Book by Daniel Carter Beard.
Donna Johns
If you want to get your kids out from in front of the TV or computer and foster their creativity, buy this book and open it!
Kelly E. Rodriguez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 87 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I had a copy of this as a kid and read and re-read it to the point that the cover was more tape than original material. A wonderful guide to doing things yourself, and a welcome antidote to today's passive consumer paradigm of childhood. A fair number of the materials called for are hard if not impossible to find today, but the spirit of adaptation and improvisation that imbues this book will inspire the reader to find substitutes. Some parents may suspect the fair number of projectile- launching devices described, but the book is infinitely less violent than most child-oriented television shows and never fails to stress safety. My friends and I learned a lot of practical mechanics and crafting skills, developed our hand-eye coordination, and never shot anything more fragile than a plastic figure. We did a heck of a lot more damage to each other and our environment playing soccer and broomstick polo. My own future children will unquestionably have a copy of _The American Boy's Handy Book_ when they're old enough.
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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
Filled with black & white illustrations and schematics, this guide for American boys, originally published in 1882, is organized by season and is chock-full of instructions, suggestions and advice about kites, fishing, knots, telescopes, tents, soap bubbles, animals, snowball warfare, puppets, kaleidoscopes, whirligigs, costumes, decoys--even fireworks!! The emphasis is on building things yourself, and to that end it is an extremely valuable handbook for our increasingly passive society. There are definitely things here that will give you pause or that are culturally dated -- like making a blow gun, trapping and raising wild animals and taxidermy at home -- but that is where parenting comes in, and all-in-all I would say this is a valuable and exciting book for kids, filled with pragmatic insights and a fun historical document as well. Snowball war, anyone?
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J.T. Ashby (jta@home.com) on October 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
In 1949, I was given a 1890 hard bound addition of this book. Ican not begin to tell you how many of the projects in this book gaveme so much fun and a sense of achievement to complete.
To this day, I'll thumb through the pages and remember a time when life was a lot easier and childredn were allowed to be children.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Robin Oldham on November 13, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book for my own pleasure (as an adult) and refer to it for activities for my own sons (ages 3 and 7) and for my den of Wolf Cub Scouts (2nd graders). It's excellent and fun and useful!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ida H. Lively on June 9, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not much has changed in the 110 years since this book was first published. Children still love the outdoors and to make crafts.
Return to the simple life and learn to build all kinds of kites. How about a "fisherman's friend" that alerts you when you have a nibble?
Hundreds of simple projects that, if done as individuals, or as families will bring a smile to your face ... and you won't even miss the television
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By aa-Pam TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm divided as to how to review this book. Part of me wants to address the parents of the children this book seems to be directed to. And part of me wants to treat this book as a historical reference.

To take the easier path first, let me talk about the American Boy's Handy Book's place in history. The book was written by Daniel Carter Beard. Carter was an artist, naturalist and early founder of the Boy Scouts of America. His love of the outdoors and empathy for youth is evident right from the start of the first chapter: he writes, "[I]t is a pleasant sensation to sit in the first spring sunshine and feel the steady pull of a good kite upon the string, and watch it's graceful movements as it sways from side to side, ever mounting higher and higher, as if impatient to free itself and soar away amid the clouds."

And it was his concern with the lack of structure and supervision of city kids that caused him write this book. His own childhood was in antebellum Ohio. When his life took him to the city of New York he despaired at seeing the news boys sleeping on the wet streets and he began writing all sorts of articles for children's magazines of the time.

Eventually, he was urged to collect these pieces and to put them in a single volume. The American Boy's Handy Book is the result.

Chapter Headings, under the major seasonal divisions

Spring
1. Kite Time
2. War Kites
3. Novel Modes of Fishing
4. Hand-Made Fishing Tackle
5. How to Stock, Make, and Keep a Fresh-Water Aquarium
6. How to Keep Aquatic Plants in the House or Flower-Garden
7. How to Stock and Keep a Marine Aquarium
8. How to Collect for Marine Aquarium

Summer
9. Knots, Bends, and Hitches
10. The Water-Telescope
11.
Read more ›
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kelly E. Rodriguez on January 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this for my urban, "not-into-reading" nephews when they were 11 and 9 years old, thinking that they might not ever crack the cover, yet today (they are now 17 and 15) I found it in their bookcase well-worn. They say they've really enjoyed it, and tried several of the projects. Although its style is antique, and not quite as easy to follow as the "...for Dummies" type of how-to books, and some of the topics may no longer be of interest, I highly recommend it for all kids (boys and girls). I am buying it for my young daughters (and myself), expecting our family will enjoy it for many years to come.
Topics include "Snowball Warfare" and a whole section on Winter, "Home-Made Boats," "Novelties in Soap Bubbles," "How to Camp Out without a Tent," "Dogs," "How to Make Puppets and a Puppet Show," and "How to Make Various and Divers Whirligigs."
If you want to get your kids out from in front of the TV or computer and foster their creativity, buy this book and open it!
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