As soon as I read the title of this book I knew it would be just right for my 10-year-old reluctant reader. I toss him at least 3 different books a week – he’ll read a chapter (if even that) and quickly loses interest. A typical boy, he likes video games, playing outdoors, staring out the window, eating candy, and scheming secret plots to take over the household. Household today. Country tomorrow, and I’m sure world domination is in his long-term plans. There is tons to learn to become an evil genius, so if you’re in my boat and can’t get your young man interested in common literary titles that are recommended for his age group, than come aboard and lets let our budding masterminds read what they like. As long as what he’s reading doesn’t involve instructions on homemade nukes or how to whine like an expert, I’m in.
The Ultimate Top Secret Guide is just over 200 pages and in an entertaining, comedic style, the author reveals the ten (plus) easy steps one must know to conquer the planet. Things like how to come up with a cool super name, build your own underground lair, dress for success, and what to do with the billion dollars that will be made by being the ultimate ruler. I really liked that the author included little nuggets like how to memorize important sounding stuff. It took just a couple of minutes for me to memorize “PI”, and I was so thrilled with my new ability that I had everyone else in the family memorize it along with me. The first ten digits of PI is just one of those tidbits of knowledge that may someday prove handy to know.
Besides the incessant fun of the material, the illustrations (by Ethan Long) are frequent, bold, and add the flair needed to make this book that much more appealing. There’s also a section in the back for the aspiring masterminds to take notes. Now if my reluctant reader who is also averse to writing actually of his own free will pens a little something, I hope to convince Mr. Nesbitt to try publishing writing curriculum for middle-schoolers; as we parents and teaches of the distractible child can testify most of what’s available out there isn’t working for us.
I leave you with an explanation from the author as to why he himself isn’t ruler of the world:
Fine. I admit it. I’m too lazy. Happy now? I’d rather sleep in all morning and spend a couple of afternoons writing a book than lead battalions of nuclear destructobots in a quest for world domination. Which leaves the field wide open for you. All you have to do is read this book and carefully follow the instructions I’ve laid out, and in no time at all you will be laughing maniacally as the world cowers before you. Or something like that. So if you’re ready, let’s begin.