"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. Rosen describes the three types of exploring: urbex (the clandestine investigation of off-limit spaces); urban adventure (everything from parkour to 'pro hoboing' to 'extreme ironing,' which is exactly what it sounds like); and infiltration (sneaking into events and sites using fake credentials). The subculture has proliferated on the Net, courtesy of thousands of incredible photos of abandoned asylums, old subway tunnels, and so forth, and Rosen, with a personable and frank voice, ably transfers the thrill to print. Though cautions are littered throughout, the tone is fairly permissive and, to a certain degree, displays admiration for these explorers―often anti-authority types out to inspire others to share in their awe of hidden spaces, frequently with an eco-friendly edge. High-interest stuff that appeals to both the intellect and the adrenaline." ―Booklist
In this attractive addition, Rosen delves into the concept of place hacking, or the exploration of spaces that are off-limits. Vivid photographs throughout take readers to obscure locations: an abandoned prison in Pennsylvania, the catacombs of Paris, and the sewers of Russia. Rosen explains the subject in accessible language that will hook even reluctant readers. He acknowledges that this activity is often dangerous, even illegal (methods of "urban infiltration" covered include bolt cutting and lock picking), and in an author's note he makes it clear that this book is not a how-to guide. However, Rosen states that the risks may be worth it for these adventurers. An appended interview with archaeologist Bradley Garrett adds a philosophical layer to the subject, as he emphasizes that the desire to explore is a deep-seated, primal urge that makes us human. Garrett touches, too, upon the ethics of place hacking: "It's about making difficult decisions about rules: Are they there for sound reasons or for reasons that don't—or no longer—make sense?"  —School Library Journal
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