Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guys Write for Guys Read

The Guys Read website ( "offers a list of books recommended by the webmaster, children's author Jon Sczieska..." Part of the site's funding comes from sales of this book, edited by Scieszka: Guys Write for Guys Read. It is filled with stories by guys who know what being a guy is like: Pinkwater, Paulsen, Paolini. And that's not even all of the "P" contributors. Matt Groening. Eoin Colfer. Anthony Horowitz, whose piece, "My French Teacher Tried to Kill Me," ends - "But if you ask me what it was like to be a guy... well, for me, doing badly at school was part of the answer.

"I hated school. But I still enjoy the dreams...

"Random Fact: Had a dog called Lucky but accidentally ran it over, so he changed the dog's name to Unlucky" There are so many great writers telling tales from their youth. I only picked it up yesterday, and have not finished it, but I know that I will, and felt I had to tell you about it. Reading "A Casualty of War," by Brian Jacques, after learning this morning that he died Saturday, moved me I must say. Guess it's time I read some of his Redwall stories, huh?

There are contributions from Jack Gantos, Dav Pilkey, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, fellow librarian Patrick Jones, David Lubar, John Marsden, Gordon Korman, Walter Dean Myers, Garth Nix, Richard Peck, Darren Shan, Jerry Spinelli, Chris Van Allsburg...

Jack Prelutsky has two entries - a story about tempting fate at the zoo as a young guy, and this:

"Boys are Big Experts"

Boys are big experts
At looking for trouble,
They climb over fences,
They tunnel through rubble.
Boys take their time
When they're called to the table,
Boys have to eat
Like they live in a stable.

Boys love to throw things
And get into tussles,
Make nasty noises,
And show off their muscles,
Lots of stuff leading
To bruises and bleeding,
Why don't they stop for a while...
And start READING.

Yeah, well... There are more writers than those I mentioned. Each piece includes a "random fact" about the writer. Here's David Macaulay's: "Was fifteen before he realized reading could be fun."

Your reviewer found reading fun much earlier than that. I still do.

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