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Here are some recommendations from some guys we trust.
I like to learn how extraordinary/successful people approach life and this is a unique (just published) book about methods and ideals that Jim Tressell brings to his Ohio State football program.
Jeffrey Brown lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons. As a kid, he loved comics and dreamed of making them. With a long line of publications and art shows behind and in front of him, we'd say he's certainly living that dream. He's definitely a case of if you can dream it, with a lot of hard work, you can do it. Most lately he's the author of the New York Times bestselling Jedi Academy series.
photo credit: Jill Liebhaber
Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard
I only knew the Disney version of Winnie-The-Pooh until I had a son, and discovered I'd really been missing out. I was familiar with Shepard's excellent drawings, but had no idea just how funny and smart the original Pooh stories are.
There have been some notable Dahl adaptations - the original Willy Wonka film, Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox - but Dahl's books are more than just great source material for movies. They're endlessly entertaining, often laugh-out-loud funny, and great to read at any age, alone or with someone else also of any age.
Going in reverse, here's a novelization of film I loved, and read a ton all the way to my teenage years. Recently reprinted in a nice edition that includes some of Brian Froud's goblin sketches, it's a fairy tale informed by the imagination of Jim Henson and the humor of Monty Python's Terry Jones.
Fans of Harry Potter, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien should be sure to check out this fantasy series. The tone is earnest and sincere, and the adventure is full of wonder and mystery.
Jon Skovron is the author of Struts and Frets, Misfit, and most recently, Man Made Boy. His short stories have appeared in anthologies such as Defy the Dark, GRIM, and the forthcoming Apollo's Daughters.
The first three suggestions here are for younger readers, suggested by Jon's sons, Logan and Zane, aka the SkovBros.
The next three books are for somewhat older readers, suggested by Jon.
"It's a mystery with a lot of Star Wars jokes and funny pictures. And at the end of each book, it shows you how to make a different Star Wars character."
"It's about a super villain. And it's funny. There should be more books about funny super villains."
"It's about a vampire rabbit who sucks the juices of vegetables. My dad liked this book when he was a kid. It's still good."
"Swords, sorcery, spies, gods, adventure, and humor. I'm not sure what else you need. This is the first book in The Belgariad series, which hooked me on reading forever."
"Mafia gangsters with magic."
"The son of a serial killer catches serial killers. Not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach."
This was the first recent(ish) YA novel that got me excited to write about teens, because it made me think I was reading about, well . . . me.
is a Senior Librarian at the Hennepin County Library in Minneapolis, MN. This is what he says:
The Great Eight: great books (kind of) for guys. Also: Magazines. Anytime I’m asked for booklist, I ask, “What about magazines, don’t they count?” Well, it’s my list so they count. Read a magazine every month or week.
A trickster tale about a coyote, a blanket, and a rock. Hot times in the desert.
Or anything by Stine. The man's a genius. Don't believe me: this is about twin teen girls vampires one hot summer. Do the math.
This has it all: humor, adventure, smart mouth teen boys, stupid rules to rebel against, and fire.
When you don’t have time for chapters or even paragraphs, choose bullets. Bullet points that is.
Nothing wrong with the first two volumes, but this is "just delicious!" Don't read this during lunch or before or after.
A 10-year-old gets a chance to play with the big boys. Read this and you'll feel the sweat fly off the pages.
By the Rolling Stone editors. An earlier edition of this book was my Bible at age 17. Everything you need to know.