An amazingly wide range of questions come across our library information desks, I’m sure every librarian has their favorites. My current favorite was from an earnest young man of around seven years of age who was interested in “tricky books.” I tried to show him magic books with no satisfaction. Of course there just isn’t a clear way to find those books full of sneaky tricks that little boys need to play on their friends and families…..or is there?
While I wasn’t able to find anything right away to help my young patron (much to his mother’s relief), later after poking around, I started finding some terrific books, targeted right at the adventuresome young man (or woman) in your life:
Handy Dad by Todd Davis (of HGTV’s Design Star) is the first in a series of books full of great projects to do with your dad-includes how to make your own fake skin and blood so you can greatly exaggerate the damage you sustained in that bear attack in your back yard. Also how to build your own zip-line, slip & slide, or angel wings among other things.
Geek Dad from Ken Denmead, editor of the popular blog by the same name is the first in a series. Did you want to extract your own DNA? Rig your smartphone into a videocam? Check this out and others in the series for you and your offspring.
Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things by Cy Tymony instructs one to make invisible ink, make a Wild Wild Vest (like the one Jonathan Ke Quan wears in Goombies) and more.
The Boy’s Book from Scholastic can help you with these chapter titles: Annoy Your Brothers and Sisters, Tie a Knot Without Letting Go of the Ends, and Rip a Phone Book in Half.
Gear Up! Marvelous Machine Projects by Keith Good is not really that tricky, but has easy to follow directions for any kid who likes to build moving things that can then be adapted to one’s own nefarious ends.
Robot Builder’s Bonanza by Gordon McComb is written for the older reader with a sneaky kid within. This book has everything you need to build and program your own small robots. Cool!
The Dangerous Book for Boys by Hal Iggulden is a catch-all chock full book of tons of interesting factoids with a good smattering of tricky activities as well. One can imagine a well-thumbed copy of it on a bookshelf at a summer camp in Maine.
50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do) by Gever Tulley and Julie Spiegler engagingly encourages the trial of many things adults are forever telling youth not to do: break glass, throw things from a moving car, put strange stuff in the microwave and so much more. Designed to encourage exploration and build experimental thinking skills, this is definitely a book to be used as a kid/adult team!
Happy tricks to you!