THE USEFUL BOOK by David Bowers and Sharon Bowers

Click to purchase

Click to purchase

201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop



I am of the age where I had to take Home Ec when I was in junior high. (FYI, spell correct is not liking the “Ec”!) And it was called junior high, not middle school, but that may be more a geographic difference than a generational one.

I was also the type of girl who would have much preferred to take Shop, but girls were not allowed and boys could not take Home Ec. I grew up in a single mom household, so learning to cook wasn’t an issue (providing I wanted to boil or broil everything to death) but learning how to use tools would have been welcome. So when I heard about this book, I was excited to give it a good look.

It is exactly as described, with lots of pictures and great information. As I perused it I thought this would have been great to have when my kids were in elementary school, there are terrific projects to share with kids here.

When I mentioned this book to a co-worker who is in her early thirties, she looked at me and said that she “has a useful book, it’s called YouTube.” That really gave me pause, was she right? Are books like this obsolete? I’m afraid to say at least for young adults, yes. And as much as I’m a book person, I admit that it is much easier to learn most skills by watching a good YouTube video than trying to follow directions in a book, illustrated or not. Which makes me a bit sad.

All that said, I think it’s a great book for kids. It will inspire them to try new things, learn new skills. And parents who aren’t sure how to do the thing that their kid wants to do in this book, you always have the YouTube option.

Note to publisher: you ought to do a web series to go along with this book!

11/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE USEFUL BOOK by David Bowers and Sharon Bowers. Workman Publishing Company (June 14, 2016). ISBN 978-0761171737. 416p.

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