Walden Pond Press, 2010. 978-0061963735
Synopsis: Ten funny stories to amuse the reader and may or may not result in excessive smiling, laughing, and possible spitting of milk in your friend’s face. Includes stories by Eoin Colfer, Christopher Paul Curtis, Paul Feig, Jeff Kinney, and David Yoo.
Why I picked it up: Well, I have this thing about buying books in the airport when I travel so I have something to read on the plane, and this one caught my eye not only because I love Jon Scieszka, but because I ought read more “boy books”, if you will.
Why I finished it: I like books that make me laugh and I was in stitches for most of this book. I think my favorites were “Your Question for Author Here” and “My Parents Give My Bedroom to a Biker” because they have a sort of unreal element to them while still maintaining the middle schooler voice. I was also strongly reminded of how my brother and I interacted with each other when we were younger – name calling, fighting, running, jumping, climbing trees, causing general mischief that wore on our parents’ last nerve…those were the days. The stories are designed to appeal to guys and to reluctant readers as a whole: the stories each have a male main character and the plots run the gammit from realism to off-the-wall that kept me reading and wanting more. The nice thing about short stories is that they can create a sort of snapshot as opposed to a longer novel-length book and permits the reader to put it down and move on to something else (if they choose) before picking it up again without having to remember what was going on with the story. I was impressed with the offerings in the first volume of Guys Read and I’ll definitely be looking for other volumes in the future.
Other related materials: Guys Read website; Guys Read: Thriller edited by Jon Scieszka; Guys Read: The Sports Page edited by Jon Scieszka; Guys Write about Guys Read: Boys’ Favorite Authors Write About Being Boys edited by Jon Sciezka; Time Warp Trio series by Jon Scieszka; Knots in my Yo-Yo String by Jerry Spinelli; Half Magic by Edward Eager; Guy-Write: What Every Guy Writer Needs to Know by Ralph Fletcher; Spaceheadz books by Jon Scieszka; The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tome Angleberger; Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger; The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee by Tom Angleberger