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. 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.)

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 features ten of the very best writers in different genres, and one illustrator, to serve as an introduction to their work guys will want to know better.

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

For more details, click on each volume, including THE LATEST (September ‘15):

Funny Business


Sports Pages

Other Worlds

True Stories

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.

July 2016


Michael Buckley

A race of sea-creatures come to Brooklyn in this blockbuster of a book that’s as smart as it is awesome. Three years ago, 30,000 Alpha came out of the ocean and onto the beach of Coney Island. Was it an attempt at invasion, or a seeking of refuge? That’s still undecided, and the Alphas mostly stay to their encampment on the boardwalks. The novel opens on the first day of the Alphas being assimilated into the public school system. A lot of parents don’t want their students going to school with these creatures. A lot of students don’t want to be. A lot of the Alpha’s don’t feel too hot about it either. And a whole lot of people don’t want to see any mixing of the humans and the Alphas at all. Lyric, Bex, and Shadow, three high school students, are among the many entering the school. Amidst huge swarms of protesters. Guided by military escorts. The Alphas aren’t a people to be pushed around, either—they come from a culture of honor and battle. A force to be reckoned with. Doesn’t stop many humans from wanting to reckon. Lyric is assigned to be a tutor to Fathom, an Alpha prince. They don’t take to each other. But a lot of things are changing, mostly by force, and quickly.

Buckley looks beyond the monster-movie epic battles (while the book indeed has those, too) to the heart of human nature and the messy social and political complications that arise when one race is faced with the challenge to co-exist with another. He creates a whole complex world. What happens to each culture when faced with assimilation? What fears are conjured up? And, oh yeah, how epic will the battles be? Very.


And for those of you who love a good series, the second book in the trilogy is out and a third is coming early next year.

Go to the Book of the Month

Ghosts of War

The True Story of a 19-Year-Old GI

Ryan Smithson

A great account for anyone interesting in knowing more about how the US military works, a great voice for others with similiar experience yearning for acknowledgement, and a primer for anyone thinking of enlisting, this memoir puts you in the boots of a young guy who within a couple years went from being a high-school wrestler to and on-the-ground “GI Joe Schmo” (in his words) in Iraq. Smithson writes with great simplicity that serves his honesty. He’s not pro or anti war. He has opinions, but acknowledges others, always striving to reamin impartial and to just share this story, a side of things not frequently presented this way. Every soldier has a story. This is one. And a great one, at that.