Indiana Jones HandbookI’m a big fan of the Indiana Jones movies (I have the first three on DVD), and I was waiting for the new one, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. While waiting, I received a copy of a new book that came out alongside the film, The Indiana Jones Handbook by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese, from Quirk Books (distributed by Chronicle Books), and I wanted to recommend it for YA collections. (ISBN: 978-1594742217)

The Indiana Jones Handbook is, basically, a manual of how to be like Indiana Jones, the adventurous archaeologist. Want to learn how to deal with a tarantula bite? (Remember the tarantulas at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark?) Care to know how to avoid being poisoned? (Recall when Dr. Jones gets poisoned at the beginning of Temple of Doom and has to get that antidote?) Want to know the best way to get across a rope bridge? This guide tells you, with its tongue edging into its teeth, how to deal with these situations and lots more.

The Handbook also has several color photos from the first three films (but none from the new one, unfortunately), which I’ll bet that plenty of your fifth-through-twelfth-graders have seen on a small screen. There are lots of step-by-step diagrams, too. And I have a feeling that the teens and preteens you serve will get a big kick from reading about how to deal with motorcycle sidecars, or with quicksand (which plays a critical role in a scene in the new film).

Did you see the new film, by the way? I really enjoyed it. It’s not quite as good as the first and third Indy films, but it was still lots of fun. And when it comes out on DVD, I’ll get a copy, too.