Just in time for today’s book of the week, my brother Jared gave my son Ralph The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hall Iggulden. I had never heard of it before, but I was a believer based on the cover and heft of the volume alone. It’s a beautifully put together book.

And then, I looked inside and I wasn’t just sold, I was converted. It’s packed full of all the information that should fill your son’s head. Bits of Trivia about the world. Information on famous battles. Adventure stories of men who trekked to Antartica. The most important knots to know. Remember the Great Brain books? Well, the Great Brain, a real boy’s boy, would have known all this stuff.

Ralph sat down with it and just started eating it up. “Look Mom, all the different pirate flags. Wow, there’s way more than I thought. Look Mom, the 7 wonders of the world. Hey! We’ve seen one! Look Mom, check out this shot of the Great Wall of China. It’s awesome!” And it’s not just an afternoon read. It’s a big, thick book. I can imagine Ralph studying it all summer long and then some and then some.

There’s a really lovely interview with one of the authors on Amazon where he talks about why he wrote the book and his view that the world is hurting boys by sheltering them too much. If you have a son, a nephew, or a boy who lives nearby in the 8 or older range, do get them this book — it’s a treat just to have it in the house.

I would also suggest it as a perfect gift for any man about to become a father to a son. Even though he won’t be able to use the book with his son for many years, I can’t imagine a better way to get him excited to be a dad. This book will give him the vision of an ideal childhood that he had, wanted, or will want for his own son.

P.S. — More great book picks for kids.