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. 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 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.
Guys Read is also multi-volume book set, each volume featuring ten of the best writers in different genres, hoping to serve as an introduction to writers and illustrators guys will want to know better. There are five so far, from HarperCollins: Funny Business, Thriller, The Sports Pages, Other Worlds, and True Stories.
Guys Read is also all of the clubs that keep the GR mission alive in libraries, classrooms, and living rooms from coast-to-coast and around the globe! (Here’s a map of all the field offices.)
Here’s one of the more recent books, among the many, that incorporate’s Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird into its narrative. We really like this one. It stands out from the rest. Funny, smart, and real, it’s about that ongoing question all of us gathered here could discuss and think about indefinitely: why does the allure of reading catch in some people but not others, and how can you spread it?
You don’t need to be a book lover to love this book about book lovers.
Lucy, Elana, and Michael head into their last summer before high school after quite a year: one of their favorite teachers died of a heart-attack while in line for french-fries, Lucy’s Peeps-loving Mom almost died from cancer, and life is starting to get really complicated even in the day to day. Elana knows Michael like-likes Lucy, and Lucy like-likes Michael, but both are afraid to risk hurting their lifelong friendship.
They want to spend summer doing what they do best: hanging out, making jokes, watching Michael kill it at baseball (and for Micheal, killing it at baseball), and…reading books.
They are those kids. Who don’t dread summer reading lists, who read what’s required and keep going.
Their classmates aren’t interested in reading in the summer, though. So Lucy, Elana, and Michael decide to see if they can help change that. Everybody wants to do a forbidden thing, right? So, they start ikillthemockingbird.com, and slip fliers for it in bookstore and library shelves where the book should be found, but is hidden by them elsewhere in the store or library, presumably gone and unable to be gotten. What starts as a cute, impulsive idea spreads over the summer into a beast they can’t control, thanks to the internet. Copies of To Kill a Mockingbird are soon disappearing from bookstores and libraries all over the country! People are stealing some, too, which is the opposite of their intention. The three friends have become “radicals, rebels, and literary terrorists.”
Is there a way they can regain control over what they started? And will Lucy’s Mom be alright, now that she’s survived cancer and has a second chance at life? And will Lucy and Michael be able to admit they like-like each other before high school changes all of their lives? This is a great book about people who care for each other and drive each other crazy figuring out how to go with the flow as life changes how it looks while it changes them in ways they are just starting to know.
Book lovers will get a special treat as the tale unfolds in bookstores and libraries with a slew of characters who think and breathe books.
The vibrant art leaps right off these page and stirs up and energizes the creative spirit in readers young and old. The art is truly that—art. And the story is timeless and perfect for an at-home or school or library storytime. You might want to have some paint or markers nearby, the book’s creativity is infectious!