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The Boy Mechanic: 200 Classic Things to Build Turtleback – Mar 28 2006

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 18 reviews
75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
Kids used to do this stuff?! July 1 2006
By L. F. Smith - Published on
Format: Turtleback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful look back into the pages of Popular Mechanics Magazine as it was in the early 1900s. It consists of reprints of how-to articles for boys. (Back then, girls just didn't read Popular Mechanics or get their hands dirty building furniture.)

The striking thing is the difference between what was considered appropriate and realistic entertainment for kids then and what is now. For example, today a kid who wants to build a model train layout has an enormous range of often enormously expensive equipment from which to choose. Then, a kid would literally build the train layout; that is, he would wind the motor, machine the track, etc.

I have have mixed feelings about whether that was a better day for kids, but it sure was a different day, and this book is a look back to it.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Good building ideas book Jan. 11 2009
By R. Haeckler - Published on
Format: Turtleback Verified Purchase
I almost didn't get this book because of the negative reviews but then I saw it at the library and found it is a very good book for kids who like to build things. Sure it doesn't always give detailed plans (buy 5 #3 screws...) but they assume a kid who gets this book likes to tinker and try things and work some stuff out for himself.

There are two kinds of pride in building things - one kind you get by following instructions to the letter and getting an exact replica of what the instructor has, the other is from using your ingenuity a bit and adding your own personal touch - figuring out how somebody else did something and making one of your own. That second is what users of this book will have if they do the projects in this book. It tells enough to get you started - an idea for a cool gadget like a hidden lock, so you can play around with that new idea and use it when you have a need.

Personally I think the ideas in this book are wonderful and creative - from homemade boats to all the different types of camping shelters to the writing desks and secret hiding places. Lots of kids (and adults) would love this book!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great reference July 12 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Turtleback Verified Purchase
I found a lot of interesting things in this book. I think it is a great reference for any parent that has boys and enjoys spending time with them with projects that capture their attention and curiosity.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
a 12-years-and-older resource Aug. 9 2010
By Bradford P. Findley - Published on
Format: Turtleback Verified Purchase
4 stars: b/c the projects are fun, involved, and challenging
not 5 stars: b/c the projects are a bit too challenging for most, and many of the materials are not readily available
parents: be prepared to participate (wood cutting, glueing, etc.)
i ordered this for my oldest son (10 years of age) who is quite crafty, and, though he is capable of some of the projects, the majority are beyond his skill level (read: age)
i ordered the girl's version for my 6 & 8 year-old girls: mistake. the projects are too involved for them. they grew disinterested quickly.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Gift for Dad Oct. 24 2008
By M. Province - Published on
Format: Turtleback Verified Purchase
Bought as a holiday gift for my dad, interesting and informative. I read it when I visit.