Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the book, The American Boy’s Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It. This book was published first in 1882 and of course that is long before the days of every kid getting a trophy and wrapping a child in bubble wrap before he could ride on a swing.
In other words it is about the real world and the real things that real boys like to do especially in the outdoors. Translation the Politically Correct and the Safety Police will loose their minds over it, that alone means it should be on your bookshelf and in your kids hands.
I first leaned about this book many years ago, I would say about 1997 from my late friend named Kurt Knothnagle whom I worked at Lockheed with. He actually had a very worn but quite readable original copy. I was fascinated by it and tried to buy it off him but he had no interest in selling it.
Later I learned that this book had become a public domain book no longer protected by copyright it was released as a reprint. I of course picked up a copy as soon as I learned it was available.
This book is both cool for the things it explains how to do like making a sling bow with a sapling and shooting it more like a spear gun than say a typical bow. What is more interesting to me is the attitude people had at the time. We are talking about a book that teaches kids to make hot air balloons using real fire for instance or how to trap an animal, kill it and mount it with taxidermy and apparently everyone was okay with it.
I really recommend this book to read with your boys and frankly your girls too, though there is also a book called, “The American Girls Handy Book” which I haven’t read but will be getting a copy for my granddaughter as she grows up.
So if you have kids in your life be they your own children, your grand kids, nephews, nieces etc, consider getting The American Boys Handy Book and spending time reading it and helping them actually pull off a few of the projects in it.
Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com
P.S. – DO NOT BUY THE KINDLE VERSION OF THIS BOOK. It apparently has horrible formatting problems. If you read the negative reviews you will see they all focus on this issue rather than the content of the book.