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.

October 2014

Play Me Backwards

Adam Selzer

In grade school Leon was a part of the “gifted kids” group, a haven for all the weirdos and eccentrics who didn’t really fit into (or want to fit into) other groups at school. They would make “art films,” stage protests, outsmart teachers, and in general cause minor chaos on a regular basis. Also part of the group was Anna, who made Leon want to be a smarter, better person. He was basically in love with her. Then her family moved to London.

It’s four years later. When he hears that Anna might be moving back to Iowa, it not only drives him nuts wondering what could have been and maybe could still be, it makes him take a dead-on look at who he’s become. And he doesn’t like what he sees. He’s become a complete underachiever. It just kind of happened. One day you’re hanging out in the back room of your easy-as-pie job, with your friends talking all manner of crude and rude things - the next thing you know, you’ve been doing that for years, and had just kind of figured you’d continue doing it. A senior, Leon hasn’t thought much about college, let alone take the SATs or anything - he just figured he’d maybe go to community college, or not, whatever.

His best friend, Stan, who somewhat convincingly has claimed to be Satan since grade school, gives Leon a series of tasks and pieces of advice to help him maybe find some direction in life again. Above all else, he is to listen to the Moby Dick audiobook in his car, and find the elusive White Grape Slushee.

Unbelievably, these offbeat cues seem to work in an askance kind of way. After learning that Anna probably won’t be moving back, Leon finds himself dating the kind of girl he never thought he’d be into - a girl who orbits but doesn’t exactly fit in the popular crowd, kind of like he orbits the freak crowd but isn’t exactly one himself. Before he knows it, he’s in a full-blown relationship with her. And that’s when things get really real, and really weird.

Selzer has one of the most authentic suburban Midwest confused everyman voices. This book is real, honest, and hilarious.

Definitely for 14 & up.

Go to the Book of the Month

Your Neighborhood Gives Me the Creeps

True Tales of an Accidental Ghost Hunter

Adam Selzer

One of the things that makes Adam Selzer one of our favorites over here at Guys Read is that besides being a celebrated author he is also…a ghost hunter. A real deal, honest-to-goodness hunter of ghosts. And this book tells you all about that part of his life. Drawing on all of his multi-faceted experiences as a ghost tour guide, as well as a historian (check out his GREAT Smart Aleck book and ebooks for a humorous and lively look at history), and enthusiast and collector of ghost stories for years, he brings us this honest, humorous, and accessible look at all things spooky. And, if YOU YOURSELF are interested in being a ghost hunter, the book is full of some guide rules and tips.
Here’s a link to the book’s website that has excerpts, more information, and even pictures from some of the ghost hunts!: http://neighborhoodcreeps.blogspot.com

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