Posted in Non-Fiction, Teen, Tween Reads, Uncategorized

Place Hacking: A Don’t Try This At Home guide to urban exploration

place hackingPlace Hacking: Venturing Off Limits, by Michael J. Rosen (Feb. 2015, Twenty-First Century Books), $33.32 ISBN: 9781467725156

Recommended for ages 12-16

Activities like urban exploration and BASE jumping have become hugely popular over the last decade. Is it because we live in such a disposable society, that people have a need to preserve a moment in time? Is it the chance to find something new in a world that has been exhaustively explored and catalogued? There are many reasons and theories behind “place hacking”, as these kinds of activities have come to be known, and Michael J. Rosen explores the reasons, as well as the different types, of hacks. From urban explorers, seeking out abandoned and underground structures, to BASE jumpers, who look for the next (literal) high, to urban infiltrators – folks who get a kick out of showing up and gaining access to places they shouldn’t be, this is a great guide for anyone fascinated by the phenomenon.

Rosen does make sure to tell his audience that this is NOT a place hacking handbook, and emphasizes the dangers and hazards these explorers take on themselves, not the least of which is the risk of arrest and incarceration. Armchair urban explorer like myself will love this vicarious trip, and history fans can pair this with a favorite episode of the old History Channel show, Cities of the Underworld, and enjoy. Classrooms and libraries can use this in a history feature or an urban adventure feature (but PLEASE warn your audience not to try this at home!).

You can find Mr. Rosen’s author page here; he features information about his other works, links to social media, and information about school visits.



I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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