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Customer Review

119 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's too dangerous!, June 13, 2007
This review is from: The Dangerous Book for Boys (Hardcover)
And great for it!

It's dangerous because it brings back values from a time when personal responsibility was assumed, not assumed to be absent. Hunting with airguns is dangerous, but teaches that meat doesn't arrive on Earth wrapped in clear plastic. Anything to do with spies is dangerous, but codes and invisible inks are fun, can be used responsibly, and are an important part of history (n.b. the role of espionage in the American Revolution). Doing things with electricity like making batteries, electromagnets, and pocket lights is dangerous, but teaches some of fundements of the technologies that drive the modern world. Soccer is dangerous, I've seen kids break bones playing it, but it is good healthy fun, and the kids who broke bones openly and loudly resented having to sit out games while they recovered. Girls are dangerous in so many ways, but when treated with respect can make life better. Grammar is dangerous, especially in the hands of an attorney, but creates quite an advantage for those who master it.

All these things and more are discussed, and alternatives to XBox, Gameboy, PlayStation, etc are offered. This book is incredibly dangerous to proponents of a 'managed society' where everyone is protected from everything, and everyone is free and happy in exactly the proscribed fashion. And I'm OK with this. Because "the Dangerous Book for Boys" also encourages responsibility, manners, education, self-reliance, creativity, and a host of other values that receive lip-service but little actual support in mainstream America.

Several reviewers have expressed their displeasure with the phrase "for Boys". Get over it. Get some perspective; if this is the most important thing you can take a stand about, go visit a third world country and watch children walk half a mile for water every day. Who cares what it says on the cover? I bought it with a blond, blue-eyed, [...] girl in mind, and she loves it. If it is such a heartache to you, quit whining and write "The Dangerous Book for Girls" while my daughter reads this one.

For the rest of y'all, get this for any boy or girl of any age. This book is excellent and an investment in the future.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 15, 2007 8:23:22 PM PDT
lscollison says:
Well said!

In this ever-more-regulated world of airbags, seatbelts, helmets, vaccinations, waivers, warning labels, bottled water, nanny cams, padded playground surfaces, legislation and litigation, we must learn, or relearn, to take calculated risks, just for the joy of being alive. I believe adventure is hard-wired into our brains -- at least into many of our brains. I'm not saying the safety layers are bad; as a mother and grandmother I embrace them. But because of this, we need to take calculated risks. We need adventure. We need exploration. We need to live a little closer to the edge.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2007 3:37:40 PM PDT
Ms. Collison,
Thank you for your kind words! From someone who has accepted as much and as diverse risks as you've taken over the years, I consider this high praise. What jumped out at me is that some folks would consider so many of these things dangerous. I reserve the word "dangerous" for threats to life, limb, and eyesight, but I've heard the same word applied to teaching kids to read with phonics rather than whole word method. For folks who value security over liberty, I suspect that ideas like the ones in "The Dangerous Book for Boys" do pose a greater threat to what they value than a mere physical injury. Now I suppose I must run out and read "Star-Crossed". ;)

Posted on Jun 18, 2007 11:36:17 AM PDT
Gwen says:
Again, I don't think it's the name of the book that bothers some of us. It's the Q&As/review posted that seem to gear the book as a special club only for boys. I find that more irritating than any cover.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2015 5:28:08 AM PDT
Geezerguy says:
Ah yes! Let's go back to the good old days of polio, small pox and TB. My dad - an extremely adventurous rascal as a kid and now - grew up with the very real fear of polio. Every year during his youth there seemed to be another neighbor or classmate crippled or killed by polio. I grew up in the days before the common use of bicycle helmets. One of my best friend's little brother was killed when he hit a bump, flew off his bike, and bounced his head off a rock. (Actually he died in his sleep later that night.) I was a young man before the nanny-MADD state told us that it wasn't OK to get drunk and drive. Sure, it was against the law, but it really wasn't a priority of the cops. Within two years of graduation five of my classmates had died while drunk driving - taking a couple of innocents with them. One was killed when he was thrown from the car and the vehicle rolled over him. Funny thing... even in this nanny state of ours, my grandkids go fishing at the lake, they go mountain-biking in the foothills, they whittle their own Christmas ornaments, they start a fire in the fire pit with a magnifying glass, they play tackle football, they practice karate, and they have lots of adventures. I'm sorry that your world is so devoid of fun. Our's is pretty great.
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