Waldon Pond Press, 2014. 978-0061963810
Synopsis: Dread going to the dentist? Pondered what you would do if you were shipwrecked on the edge of a desert? Dreamed about going down some of North America’s greatest ‘undiscovered’ rivers? Ever wondered what it would be like to spent the night in the jungle…with tarantulas? Read these ten 100% true, 100% amazing, 100% unbelievable stories and find out!
Why I picked it up: I totally love this series of books and I love the idea behind Guys Read.
Why I finished it: I’m not usually a huge fan of non-fiction, but this collection of stories totally grabbed me right from the beginning. Some of this stuff is pretty out there, and even as I sat reading, I was thinking things like ‘this can’t be real’ and ‘this is so fantastic’ and ‘what am I doing to get out there and explore the world?’ Non-fiction isn’t boring by any stretch of the imagination and this book proves that history and even the everyday adventures we have are totally amazing. My favorite stories were Nathan Hale’s ‘Hugh Glass: Dead Man Crawing’ (an explorer is attacked by a bear and somehow lives to tell about it) and Thanhha Lai’s ‘A Pack of Brothers’ (some stories about growing up with five older brothers in Vietnam). Hale’s comic really grabbed me because it somehow makes the tale taller; I mean, it’s already pretty unbelievable that a man could survive a bear attack in the age of Western Expansion, then crawl to get help even after he’s left for dead. There’s even little commentary from some more modern characters that gives the story a sort of humor that is likely not present in any of the source material. Lai’s stories about her siblings remind me a lot of my own childhood and the different predicaments my brother and I would get ourselves into. The reader can relate to their misadventures with pairs of scissors and the desire to go out with friends over spending time with family. It’s a worthy addition to the Guys Read library, and if you like the books, go check out the site: there’s even more fun that awaits you.
Other related materials: Guys Read: Funny Business edited by Jon Scieszka; Guys Read: Thriller edited by Jon Scieszka; Guys Read: The Sports Pages edited by Jon Scieszka; Guys Read: Other Worlds edited by Jon Scieszka; Guys Read: Terrifying Tales edited by Jon Scieszka; Guys Write for Guys Read edited by Jon Scieszka; Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales books by Nathan Hale; Which Way to the Wild West?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn’t Tell You About Westward Expansion by Steve Sheinkin, illustrated by Tim Robinson; King George: What Was His Problem?: The Whole Hilarious Story of the American Revolution by Steve Sheinkin, illustrated by Tim Robinson; Two Miserable Presidents: The Amazing, Terrible, and Totally True Story of the Civil War by Steve Sheinkin, illustrated by Tim Robinson; 13: Thirteen Stories That Capture the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen edited by James Howe; Read All About It!: Great Read-Aloud Stories, Poems, and Newspaper Pieces for Preteens and Teens edited by Jim Trelease; Guy-Write: What Every Guy Writer Needs to Know by Ralph Fletcher; 642 Things to Write About: Young Writers Edition by 826 Valencia