Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dangerous Books

Wendy's comment on my post yesterday on cooperative games got me thinking about some of our favorite books. These four books not only were big hits with the kids (meaning they sat down and read them and used them) but they also were my texts for a co-op class I taught a while back.

They're "must haves" for every homeschooler.

This is simply a great book. In our co-op class of the same name, we made bows and arrows, go-carts, water bombs, secret inks, and lots more "boy stuff." And the girls liked it too, of course. That was the biggest class in the history of our co-op, if I'm not mistaken, and it was great fun.

Another simply great book. Along the same lines as Dangerous Book, this one has lots of similar - but different - projects, not all girly. We made cootie-catchers, friendship bracelets, and god's eyes; we played tag and jump rope; and we made bandanas and saris.

These two books are great too and are in the same vein as the Dangerous and Daring books.

There is a bit of overlap between the books, but not enough to worry about. The Best at Everything books are smaller and more portable, but the Dangerous and Daring books have great illustrations.

These days they have lots of other extensions of these books, but we've definitely gotten our money's worth out of these four.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like Lazy Dazy Summer.


  1. "The Dangerous Book for Boys" is on my shopping list now!

  2. It seems like an unfortunate name though. Many girls would also enjoy these activities (I know I did as a kid)! And I wish they'd not piegeon hole kids' interests so early into gender specific categories! I so believe that individual differences trump gender differences.

  3. I think the name came from the idea that kids no longer play in streams, fight with sticks, and play imagination games. Our society has turned into one where kids play through extracurricular activities, and parents are overly concerned with keeping kids safe. Hence "Dangerous" and "Daring," casting an eye toward bringing back the old-fashioned games that some of us older sorts did when we were kids. The authors weren't trying to be politically correct or appeal to girls (necessarily). They were simply writing the book they'd wished they had when they were kids (and they were boys). I don't think they ever intended to exclude girls. In fact, the girls I know aren't turned off by the title at all - they eagerly embraced the book as much as the boys did.

    From the foreword:
    "It was written by two men who would have given away the cat to get this book when they were young. It wasn’t a particularly nice cat. Why did we write it now? Because these things are important still and we wished we knew them better."