John Austin 2009
Henry just turned 12 and these books were the perfect birthday gift. Don't let the titles scare you away, they are full of clever and fun directions for building "weapons" out of household items. We gave them to Henry along with a shoe box filled with things he might need- tape, paperclips, balloons, string, binder clips, clothes pins. Right away he made a mini clothes pin gun that shoots toothpicks. Then he took the books to bed to read before going to sleep!
The next day he came home from school and in no time had the kitchen table covered in pieces of cork, paper towel rolls and masking tape. The writing is funny and the directions and pictures are easy to follow. And the supplies needed really can be just found around the house.
Not all the projects are weapons (if you're an anti-weapon family then this book is definitely not for you), there are instructions for secret boxes, targets, and spy equipment. Basically everything a 12 year old boy would love!
Henry is a picky reader so this set of books was right up his alley, encouraging him to be creative and resourceful and exercise his natural mechanical inclinations.