Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guys Read: Funny Business edited by Jon Scieszka

Ten short stories geared toward middle school boys from ten fabulous authors such as Adam Rex, Eoin Cofler, Kate DiCamillo and Christopher Paul Curtis. The stories have a range of topics, from aliens to murderous turkeys, to ripping off your own wart with pliers and getting blood poisoning.

This is going to be a series, in a way. There's going to be a Guys Read: Nonfiction, and a Guys Read: Action/Adventure, and things like that. I think this is a great idea. Short stories are an excellent way to get kids (boys or girls) who might not love reading yet to try out different genres and also have a sense of completion. It can be overwhelming looking at a 200 page novel and thinking how long it's going to take to get all the way through it. Short stories are less intimidating, and can be lots of fun. Plus, if they really like one of the stories you can say, "You know, he's written these other books too, want to take a look at them?"

These were all stories that middle school boys are going to love. Since I am not a middle school boy, I did not love them as much but absolutely see how these are going to appeal to kids. There was lots of grossness and aliens and doing stupid things and parents not understanding and superheroes. My favorite story, of course, was the one were a kid has read Dear Mr. Henshaw in class and has to write to an author as an assignment. He hates the assignment and wants the author to hurry up and give him the answers so he can be done. She refuses and makes him keeps writing to her. It was really good. It will probably not be the middle school boy's favorite.

If you have a community that serves middle school boys, I would definitely recommend getting this collection and keeping an eye out for the other ones.

Guys Read: Funny Business came out on September 21st.

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