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The American Boy’s Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It – Item of the Day — 6 Comments

  1. Got this book for my son when he was much younger, and am so happy that I did. If I had known there was one specifically for girls I probably would have gotten it, but my daughter, my son and I *all* enjoyed it.

    HIGHLY recommended (also for adults).

  2. Loved this book as a 11-15 year old!
    Had borrowed a friend’s copy at recess a couple times and liked it. Fast forward to summer vacation and a trip to Cabela’s in Owatonna, MN. Saw it on the rack and begged my mom to let me buy it with birthday money. By the time we made it out to the car I had worn her down enough that she let me go back in and buy it….but I had to hurry “because dad wants to leave!” One of the only times I ever had any luck wearing my mom down at anything.

    20 years later, I still have this book and still look through it from time to time. Some of the projects are a bit dated due to technological advances in the last 100+ years (I bought all my aquariums as a kid rather than using the plans in this book to make one) but some of the principles can still be applied today.

    And while I don’t support/endorse the “tea-cupping” of our children, I’ll point out this book may include some hazardous activities…like building a log raft and cruising down the river with a friend, which works out great til you get to the first Corp of Engineers dam and you realize it takes a couple miles to steer yourself back to the shore.
    If nothing else it can be used as a good history lesson regarding how kids spent their free time before video games.

    I thoroughly recommend getting a copy for any kid whether they’re physically young or still young at heart.

  3. Great choice…any of Dan Beard’s books are well-worth reading, even if only to see what was possible in an age of self-reliance. “Shelters, Shacks and Shanties” is another I have on my shelf. In fact, any of the Dover Publication reprints are worth looking at if you want books on the basics referred to in the saying “getting back to basics”!

  4. I got the book and reviewed it by skimming through.

    I found the projects in this book somewhat archaic and it seems to me my boy scout book from 1983 would habe more useful projects for my son’s. I appreciate the history of it, but unless my son (He’s 7) picks it up in a few years and can appreciate it, for me, it was a wastes purchase.

    This is the only product you have reviewed that I don’t like. Keep up the good work Jack.

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