Venturing Off Limits
Leaping from the Eiffel Tower in a wingsuit. Scaling Shanghai Tower, one of the world’s tallest buildings. Camping on the roof of Philadelphia’s abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary. These scenarios are real examples of explorations, adventures, and infiltrations of the built environment. Thousands of people around the globe engage in the recreational activity of place hacking: climbing, wading, jumping, or even ironing their way into prohibited or obscure spaces.
Why do they do it? Is it the exhilaration of trespassing? Is it discovering a new perspective? Is it roving through surroundings in an unpredictable manner? Place hackers say it’s all these things—and more. They’re pushing the boundaries of exploration in much the same way that Neil Armstrong, Jacques Cousteau, and James Cook travelled into the frontiers of Earth and outer space.
Modern-day place hackers investigate storm sewers, subway tunnels, abandoned power plants, derelict hospitals, deserted towns, high-security skyscrapers, and temporary, obsolete, or even active spaces. They go solo or in groups. They plot their safety and success or intentionally throw caution to the wind. They plan entrance and exit strategies and provision with gear, or they just go for it—without any planning. For some, the experience is about flying under the radar, being in the moment. For others, it’s about capturing stunning images and posting them on blogs and Instagram.
In Place Hacking: Venturing Off Limits, Michael J. Rosen takes readers across the globe to witness the challenging exploits of place hacking. The journey includes a conversation with archaeologist Bradley L. Garrett, a world-renowned urban explorer, as well as encounters with infiltrators, builderers, subway runners, rooftoppers, vertical campers, drainers, and “human flies.” They’re all participants in a world of investigation, where whatever is standing can be turned on its head for a second look.
|Interest Level||Grade 8 - Grade 12|
|Reading Level||Grade 8|
|Genre||Nonfiction, Social Studies, Young Adult|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Twenty-First Century Books ™|
|Number of Pages||72|
|Reading Counts! Level||10.5|
- ACL Distinguished Book
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“This brief but lively introduction to the joy of urban trespass is the stuff reluctant reader dreams are made of.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
School Library Journal
“Rosen explains the subject in accessible language that will hook even reluctant readers….An engaging look at an intriguing topic.”―School Library Journal
“This look at the controversial but endlessly fascinating pastime of urban exploring should have readers scanning their skylines, checking out dilapidated buildings, and even eyeing manhole covers in a new light…. High-interest stuff that appeals to both the intellect and the adrenaline.” —Booklist
“Rosen emphasizes the pleasure of discovery and the joy of participating in a sport with style and a goal of mastery. From the cockamamie (extreme ironing) to daredevilry (rooftopping) to a fine day out (catacomb rambling), a taste of unbridled adventure for everyone.” —Kirkus Reviews
Author: Michael J. Rosen
Michael J. Rosen is the acclaimed author of some three dozen books for children of all ages (and even more for grown-ups!), including The Cuckoo’s Haiku and Other Poems for Birders; Our Farm: Four Seasons with Five Kids on One Famiy’s Farm (which he both wrote and illustrated with some 400 photographs); A Drive in the Country; Don’t Shoot!; A School for Pompey Walker; and Elijah’s Angel. For over 35 years, ever since working as a counselor, water-safety instructor, and art teacher at local community centers, Michael has been engaged with young children, their parents, and teachers. As a visiting author, in-service speaker, and workshop leader, he frequently travels to schools and conferences around the nation, sharing his stories, poems, creativity, and humor. As a talented editor and illustrator, Michael has enlisted hundreds of other authors and artists to create 15 philanthropic books that aid in the fight to end childhood hunger through Share Our Strength’s national efforts, or that offer care to less fortunate companion animals through The Company of Animals Fund, a granting program he began in 1990. For the last four years, working with the Ohio Children’s Foundation, Michael created a early literacy activity book, particularly designed for kids who are likely to start school without knowing the alphabet: You, Me, and the ABCs: 100 Ready-for-Reading Activities for Kids and Their Favorite Grown-ups.