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FAB FIVE: Books for daring boys & adventurous girls

By Jackie Burrell
Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 at 9:08 am in Books, Fab Five.

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Looking for literary holiday treats for adventuresome kids and teens? May we suggest…
1) “Howtoons” – by Saul Griffith and Nick Dragotta. Griffith, a scientist and inventor – and winner of a 2007 MacArthur “Genius Award” – first began hosting project parties for kids at MIT. Now he does it via “Howtoons,” a comic book-style guide to finding adventure in your own garage, atop the dusty shelves of hardware stores and, um, in your trash can. The result? How-tos for 15 practical, build-it-yourself projects including a marshmallow shooter (pictured above), turkey baster flute and freezer-less ice cream. Very, very fun.

2) “The Dangerous Book for Boys” by Conn and Hal Iggulden. Essential instructions for building treehouses, making water bombs and speaking Navajo, just like those World War II spies. Just the thing to lure boys away from “Halo 3.” Plus, who can resist the book’s YouTube trailer?

3) And, of course, “The Daring Book for Girls” by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. Adventuresome girls will get a kick out of the dangerous boys book, but here’s one just for them that includes karate moves, slumber party games and all manner of adventure.

4) “211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do” by Tom Cutler – Apparently the Igguldens spawned a whole new, retro boys handbook genre. This one’s fun too, although it’s definitely geared toward an older teen or college boy … or husband. And it’s got lessons for things the Igguldens never touched. What, you doubt us? OK, you try removing your boxers without doffing your pants. Yeah, page 176.

5) “Tintin” – Herge’s irrepressible reporter and his adorable dog Snowy are as cool a read now as back in 1930 when the graphic novels first came out. They’re a vocabulary-expanding read for the grade school crowd, a guilty pleasure for teens – and, because they’ve been translated into virtually every language, save Klingon, the translations make a great gift for any kid studying Spanish, German, French, Norwegian or any of the 47 other foreign language versions available. Plus, with Steven Spielberg and “Lord of the Rings’ Peter Jackson at the helm of an upcoming Tintin trilogy, you’ll be ahead of the pop culture game.

Other suggestions? Click “comments” and have at it!

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