The Dangerous Book for Boys

June 28, 2007

The author writes on the how and why of this marvelous book. We bought a copy for our son. He’s still a bit on the small side for some of the projects, but won’t be for much longer.

In Praise of Skinned Knees and Grubby Faces

I expected a backlash. If you put the word “boys” on something, someone will always complain. One blog even promoted the idea of removing the words “For Boys” from the cover with an Exacto knife so that people’s sons wouldn’t be introduced to any unpleasantly masculine notions such as duty, honor, courage and competence.

The dark side of masculinity may involve gangs and aggression, but there’s another side — self-discipline, wry humor and quiet determination. I really thought I was the only one who cared about it, but I’ve found many thousands who care just as much.

I know there are women who can lift heavier weights than I can, but on the whole, boys are more interested in the use of urine as secret ink than girls are. We wanted to write a book that celebrated boys — with all their differences and geeky love of knowledge, skills and stories. There just isn’t anything wrong with trying to do that.

Some interesting (and depressing) statistics that relate.

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