Praise for ‘The Dangerous Book for Boys'
‘The perfect handbook for boys and dads.' Daily Telegraph
'Full of tips on how to annoy your parents'. Evening Standard
'An old-fashioned compendium of information on items such as making catapults and knot-tying…the end of the PlayStation may have been signalled.' The Times
'Just William would be proud. A new book teaching boys old-fashioned risky pursuits…has become a surprise bestseller.' Daily Mail
'If you want to know how to make crystals, master NATO's phonetic alphabet…and build a workbench, look no further.' Time Out
From the Author
With any luck, a Yearbook isn't just a way to plan a year, it's a way to record it. We really like the idea of stuffing news clippings and recipes into this one, and perhaps writing how proud you were to leave money under a child's pillow for his first tooth - remembering, of course, the cautionary tale of the child who slept with his head under the pillow, only to wake with a pile of coins and no teeth at all.
Without apology, it's a very British book. Given that the history of this island officially started with the arrival of Julius Caesar in 55 BC, you'll find Roman festivals in here, as well as hundreds of the characters and events that make this island such an odd place. Somehow, it only makes sense here that people go `flounder tramping' in Scotland, or that the world conker championship takes place in Kent. It is sometimes astounding how many of these activities still survive. Many have died out, of course, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Sparrow Mumbling, or the game of trying to bite the head off sparrows tied with thread, is no longer popular. In addition, the practice of wife-selling has now fallen from its heyday. Yet there are new ones being invented, such as the Mad Maldon Mud Race, which began with a pub bet in the 1970s. Perhaps it's something in the water that brings these things into existence and then maintains them through centuries.
We've always loved history and facts. It's difficult to say why we like knowing when blackberries are ripe for picking, or that the man who collected dismembered pieces of Captain Cook in Hawaii was William Bligh, later captain of the Bounty. Perhaps it's a sense of controlling the world around us, or being part of it instead of just observers.
We hope you'll find something interesting in here for every day of the year to come - and we hope you'll add more from your own family. Births, deaths and marriages are worth putting in, of course, but you might also write a line or two about the people you meet, the parties or friendships you enjoyed, and perhaps the day you saw six magpies and could not remember the old rhyme. In that way, it will be your book as much as anyone's.
Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden