Skieszka, Jon. (2005). Guys Write for Guys Read. New York: Viking. Print.
In order to raise money for his website, Skieszka contacted several high-interest authors and asked them to contribute a short story to his book. Full of all the emotions experienced by teenage boys, this book will keep you reading just to see what comes next. From the hazing in Chris Crutcher’s “’O’ Foods” to the James Howe’s struggle to relate to all things manly, this book will appeal to any and every boy. The levity and brevity of the stories will hook the most reluctant reader leaving them wanting to read more from the authors. The stories cover a range of real-life experiences to which boys will easily relate. This book is a wonderful compilation of stories that will keep the reader laughing all the way to the end.
Never has there been a more suitable book for young adult boys to read. Stereotyped as non-voracious readers, boys often struggle finding the right book to read. However, this book will hook even the most reluctant reader with its stories of unbelievable life-experiences. Guys Write for Guys Read is full of “one day we’ll look back on this and laugh” stories written by popular authors. Teenage boys will not only be able to relate to the experiences penned in this book, but possibly could have endured the same torture, hazing or embarrassment the authors have written about. The brief stories deliver their punch lines in two or three pages, keeping a distracted reader engaged for the perfect amount of time. The only downfall of the book is that the stories are arranged in no particular order. However, this lack of organization seems to mirror the life of a seventh grade boy and will not seem one bit out of place to its target reader. A modern day classic, dads will be able to read through these short stories with their sons, getting a story full of life lessons in just a few pages. Parents should be aware that there is a bit of explicit content under the umbrella of hazing and a mention of sex (and the desire for it) as seen through a teenage boys’ mind.
Activity Related to the Book: Our Guys/Girls Write
Students will submit a short story (true or fictional) about their lives to a contest. Boys will write about their boy experiences. And girls will write about their girl experiences. Stories should be no longer that 2 pages typed, include a typical plot and be infused with emotion (humor, empathy, anger, etc.) Stories will be judged by a panel of teachers and administrators for quality of writing, flow of the storytelling and appeal to young adult boys or girls. Once the finalists have been selected, the stories will be published on the school website. Students will vote for the winner of the Our Guys/Girls Write contest. The winner of the contest will receive a prize provided by the library. The librarian will also help the student submit the story to a magazine that publishes student work.
Resources Related to the THEME of the book:
Resource 1:Guys Read Website
Scieszka, Jon. (n.d.) Guys Read. Retrieved on July 26, 2015 from http://www.guysread.com/.
This website was the inspiration for the book. It contains many more stories that will appeal to boys. The goal of this website is to hook reluctant boy readers. Spending some time looking through the contents of the site will indeed do so.
Resource 2: A Mighty Girl Website
Danckaert, Carolyn and Aaron Smith. (2015). A Mighty Girl. Retrieved on July 26, 2015 from http://www.amightygirl.com/books.
This website highlight books that feature strong girls as the main characters. Appealing to all ages and reading levels, this website will help encourage all female reluctant readers.
Hastings, Jeffrey. (n.d.) Editorial Reviews: School Library Journal. Retrieved on July 26, 2015 from: http://www.amazon.com/Guys-Write-Read-Favorite-Authors/dp/0670011444