Welcome to Guys Read

Welcome to Guys Read, a web-based literacy program for boys founded by author and First National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature Jon Scieszka..  Our mission is to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers.

Research shows that boys are having trouble reading, and that boys are getting worse at reading. No one is quite sure why. Some of the reasons are biological.  Some of the reasons are sociological.

But the good news is that research also shows that boys will read — if they are given reading that interests them.

So the biggest part of this site is the collection of book titles below. These are books that guys have told us they like.

Our idea is to help guys become readers by helping them find texts they want to read.

Get in there and start looking around. There is a little something for everyone.

And please help guys out by recommending more of your guy-favorites.

The GUYS READ LIBRARY OF GREAT READING is a multi-volume set of original short stories and illustrations that will inspire boys to want to keep reading.

Each volume will feature ten of the very best writers in different genres. Each volume will serve as an introduction to writers and illustrators guys will want to know better.

The entire collection will be the answer to the question, “What will help get my guy reading?”

Check out the books in the Library.

Listening to books is reading too.

Audiobooks let readers explore stories they might not otherwise try to read.

Audiobooks help readers pronounce words and feel the pace of storytelling.

Audiobooks offer a way to enjoy a story in a different way.

Go to Guys Listen to find (and recommend) audiobooks guys like.

November 2014

When I Was the Greatest

Jason Reynolds

Here’s the Brooklyn you don’t see as much in stories: the tight-knit community, the people with dreams all shapes and sizes, this is the Bed-Stuy Jason Reynolds writes about. Ali is a quiet, unassuming guy who mostly keeps to himself, loves his little sister Jazz, and has a complex friendship with his next-door neighbors, two brothers Jazz nicknamed Noodles and Needles. It’s getting harder and harder for Ali to balance alliances with them both as Noodles gives himself over more and more to his anger at everything, and Needles - who got his nickname from how he compulsively knits to keep his Tourettes somewhat in check - clashes with the outside world the more he tries to interact with it. Reynolds has a fresh, crisp voice, and maybe the most engaging internal POV in a fist-fight that we’ve ever read.

We also highly recommend Jason’s first book, a collaboration with his friend, Jason, who provided the art while Jason provided the poetry. It’s one of a kind.

And here‘s a list Jason made of some of his favorite books.

Go to the Book of the Month

The Zero Degree Zombie Zone

Patrick Henry Bass

Baraki Katari Johnson is having a bad day—his best and only friend, the positive and encouraging Wardell signed him up for the class hall monitor election, and there’s only one other candidate: golden boy Tariq Thomas, the kid everybody loves, who’s been the class hall monitor, unchallenged, for years. Baraki doesn’t even think most of the class knows he exists. Except for Keisha: Tariq’s best friend and Baraki’s new nemesis. She immediately begins her behind-the-teacher’s-back campaign to trash talk Baraki until he steps out of the race. But he can’t. Because that would mean doing something, and he has trouble taking a stand, either way – Baraki prefers to let things just pass and happen and resolve themselves.


That’s not an option when while on the way to the bathroom he’s yanked through a portal out of this dimension and into the Zero Degree Zombie Zone, where Ice Zombie Lord Zenon towers over Baraki and informs him he’d better get his ring back by the end of the day, or he’ll have to unleash an army of zombies onto the school to take it back!


Baraki doesn’t even know what this ring is, let alone how to get it and hand it over. But he’s going to have to figure that out, and also maybe find a way to team up him and Wardell with Keisha and Tariq if they’re going to have a chance at stopping Zenon from unleashing the ice zombie invasion on their school!


Journalist and sought after public speaker and expert on public culture and the arts Patrick Henry Bass’s middle grade novel debut is a playful action-packed adventure filled with characters that feel straight from a real-life classroom.

Children’s Book Week New Content

Hello everybody! Just in time for Children’s Book Week (which you can find more info about here, for events in your area) we’re updating the site with new content, and you can expect a steady stream of it from now on. We’ve been working to come up with a new strategy, and this is the start of it. Today we’ve got a new Book of the Month and Book on the Pile, as well as the first of many exciting new personalized favorite reading lists from some of your favorite authors, starting out with Eliot Schrefer, acclaimed author of Endangered and Threatened!

And we’re expanding our social media—we’d love it if you’d join us on facebook and twitter to keep up with our regular content updates, help spread the word about great books for guys, and maybe even share your favorites!

Posted by Jon on Tuesday, May 13, 2014