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April 29, 2007 - 3:45 am

I a href=”http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2007/02/boys-just-want-to-have-fun.html”did a post /arecently on a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061243582?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0061243582″emThe Dangerous Book for Boys/em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0061243582″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / but the book had not come out yet in the US, until now (I saw that my copy just shipped). I see that it is up to number 14 on Amazon and I really think its popularity has to do with a dearth of good books that celebrate the wonder of boyhood. Here is a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061243582/102-8084700-9641738″a bit of an interview /awith one of the authors, Conn Iggulden, at Amazon.com, who feels the same way:br /br /blockquoteAmazon.com: It’s difficult to describe what a phenomenon The Dangerous Book for Boys was in the UK last year. When I would check the bestseller list on our sister site, Amazon.co.uk, there would be, along with your book, which spent much of the year at the top of the list, a half-dozen apparent knockoff books of similar boy knowledge. Clearly, you tapped into something big. What do you think it was?br /br /Iggulden: In a word, fathers. I am one myself and I think we’ve become aware that the whole “health and safety” overprotective culture isn’t doing our sons any favors. Boys need to learn about risk. They need to fall off things occasionally, or–and this is the important bit–they’ll take worse risks on their own. strongIf we do away with challenging playgrounds and cancel school trips for fear of being sued, we don’t end up with safer boys–we end up with them walking on train tracks/strong [my emphasis]. In the long run, it’s not safe at all to keep our boys in the house with a Playstation. It’s not good for their health or their safety. br /br /You only have to push a boy on a swing to see how much enjoys the thrill of danger. It’s hard-wired. Remove any opportunity to test his courage and they’ll find ways to test themselves that will be seriously dangerous for everyone around them. I think of it like playing the lottery–someone has to say “Look, you won’t win–and your children won’t be hurt. Relax. It won’t be you.” br /br /I think that’s the core of the book’s success. It isn’t just a collection of things to do. The heroic stories alone are something we haven’t had for too long. It isn’t about climbing Everest, but it is an attitude, a philosophy for fathers and sons. Our institutions are too wrapped up in terror over being sued–so we have to do things with them ourselves. This book isn’t a bad place to start./blockquotebr /br /I look forward to getting my copy.

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