Guys Read, edited by Jon Scieszka, 2005
I almost got to hear Jon Scieszka talk about this book in person in 2005 but the fire marshal closed the large auditorium at the San Antonio convention center and a huge number of librarians were left staring at the closed doors. The overflow attendance at his talk highlighted the level of concern there is about boys and reading (or their lack thereof) today.
Guys read is a jump-in-anywhere you-can't-go-wrong-read for guys. An A-list of authors and illustrators contributed to this book. As Scieszka explains in the forward, the book is NOT required reading.
"It is reading to find what you like. And I know you are gong to find something in here, because these things are funny, action-packed, sad, goofy, gross, touching, stupid, true and all very short."
The short length of each offering fits any attention span, read one, read five. I am still reading my copy. Jack Gantos and Gordon Kormon have made me laugh out loud. Matt Groening's "Any Questions, Class?" will strike a chord with every student on Earth.
Many of the articles center on what reading meant to the writers when they were kids, others celebrate "guyness."
The briefest bit of biography is offered at the end of each piece including where the writer grew up, where they live now and a random fact. A short bibliography of their other works also follows. (Hey, if you like this short bit, try one of their books.)
My sister told me my fifth grade nephew loves this book. I think most guys would too.