The greatest leaders and geniuses in history were mischief makers. They were the brave women who looked at how unfair the world was and said, “I can do better than that.” They were the stalwart men who saw stupidity and asked, “Why do we have to do it that way?” And they were the delightful children who ganged up on the neighborhood bully and hit him with wet noodles until he said, “Uncle!” Yes, history's mischief makers had the courage to point out that things like slavery, global warming, and turtleneck sweaters are bad. And they also pulled off some of the greatest hoaxes and practical jokes of all time. Their achievements include the Boston Tea Party, the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast of 1938, and the Cheese Whiz Disaster of 2008. In honor of them, we introduce The Pocket Guide to Mischief, the perfect addition to any prankster's collection, as well as a fun-filled how-to for the budding troublemaker in all of us.
What kid could resist this title?The Pocket Guide to MischiefBart King, illus. by Brenda Brown. Gibbs Smith, paper (272p) Sized for handy stashing in the inside pocket of a jacket, this primer for merry-prankster wannabes starts out with the obligatory request that readers play safe, and not damage property nor hurt anyone, neither psychically nor physically. After this, King takes off the brakes. From the smorgasbord of tricks: instead of TP'ing someone's house at night, sprinkle the lawn with instant potato flakes (the dew will puff them up). And a tip: a pencil or pen clamped between the teeth effectively disguises one's voice. From the historical record: forced into a duel, Abraham Lincoln named, as the choice of arms, cow manure. From the sports ledger: the mascots of Ohio's Bryan & Stratton College are the Lemmings. Kids will also go for the Oxford Dictionary insults e.g., "cockalorum" recommended as replacements for "cuss words"; the detailed guide to shooting rubber bands; and the many scatological jokes. Ages 8-up.