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

Brown Girl Dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson

This week we celebrate the 2014 National Book Award winner and finalists in the catergory of Young People’s Literature.


We’re thrilled for all the authors of these phenomenal books, each and every title (as well as the authors’ other works) are truly some of the best in the world, books that open minds.


And we are proud that both the winner, Jacqueline Woodson, and finalist Steve Sheinkin are both contributors to the Guys Read library, Woodson in Volume 3: The Sports Page, and Sheinkin in the most recent Volume 5: True Stories.


The winner:

Brown Girl Dreaming

In her author’s note for her masterpiece—a must for any child who dreams, regardless of gender—Woodson writes, “I am often asked if I had a hard life growing up. I think my life was very complicated and very rich. Looking back on it, I think my life was at once ordinary and amazing.” Woodson certainly captures both the ordinary and the amazing in this memoir in verse that pulls you right into it’s pages, into the moods of a room in a childhood home, or riding on the handlebars of a bicycle, or riding the bus with her grandmother in the very-fresh post Jim Crow South, observing the riders who still ride the back, and the ones who stake their claim at any open seat.


Through her Jehovah’s Witness Grandmother, her Grandfather who believes in a God less harsh, and her Uncle who converts to being a Muslim after time in prison, she tries to make sense of how all these different beliefs can add up. Through history unfolding before her eyes, and Angela Davis, the Black Panthers, and others who see how the world can be, her social conscience awakens. Through these experiences and many others both far-reaching and intimate, beautifully rendered in this memoir-in-verse, young Woodson finds and feeds the writer she knows she is, and it is a stunning example and reminder of all the words and worlds in each of us.


And the finalists:

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer (for a list of some of Schrefer’s favorite books, click here.)

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

(for our entries of these books, click on the titles)

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