Its here: Volume One of the official Guys Read Library. Jon Scieszkas Guys Read initiative was founded on a simple premise: that young guys enjoy reading most when they have reading they can enjoy. And out of this comes a series that aims to give them just that. Ten books, arranged by theme, featuring the best of the best where writing for kids is concerned. Each book is a collection of original short stories, but these arent your typical anthologies—each book is edgy, inventive, visual, and one-of-a-kind, featuring a different theme for guys to get excited about.
Funny Business is based around the theme of—what else?—humor, and if youre familiar with Jon and Guys Read, you already know what youre in store for: ten hilarious stories from some of the funniest writers around. Before youre through, youll meet a teenage mummy; a kid desperate to take a dip in the worlds largest pool of chocolate milk; a homicidal turkey; parents who hand over their sons room to a biker; the only kid in his middle school who hasnt turned into a vampire, wizard, or superhero; and more. And the contributor list includes bestselling author, award winners, and fresh new talent alike: Mac Barnett, Eoin Colfer, Christopher Paul Curtis, Kate DiCamillo (writing with Jon Scieszka), Paul Feig, Jack Gantos, Jeff Kinney, David Lubar, Adam Rex, and David Yoo.
Guys Read is all about turning young readers into lifelong ones—and with this book, and each subsequent installment in the series, we aim to leave no guy unturned.
Jeff Kinney, Jon Scieszka, David Lubar, and many other popular authors come together to create this anthology of stories about boys getting in trouble, torturing their siblings, and learning about their capacity for bravery (or stupidity). Meet Will in Adam Rex's tale, the only normal boy in a school full of kid superheroes and young gods, who is forced to take down an armored super villain on his own. There is the autobiographical story of Eoin Colfer's brother who could get any kid out of trouble (even if he had to injure them in the process). And then there is Jack Gantos' story of a self-professed stupidity addict who nearly kills himself after trying to rip out a wart with a pair of rusty pliers. All are hilarious vignettes of coming-of-age eventsor stomach-churning examples of irredeemable immaturity. It all depends on your point of view, for while some librarians and teachers will praise the stories for being the kind of tales a reluctant reader can sink his teeth into; others will shake their heads at the way some of the tales seemingly celebrate their protagonists' capacity for cruelty and ignorance. To the anthology's credit, the boys in the stories vary greatly (particularly the hero in David Yoo's "A Fistful of Feathers" who is the total opposite of the stereotypical "macho" boy). Some tales also show examples of genuine maturity and growth, like Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka's sensitive "Your Question for Author Here," which bears similarities to Beverly Cleary's Newberry Award winning book Dear Mr. Henshaw. Even so, Guys Read: Funny Business (like most anthologies) is a mixed bagwhich is why every reader will inevitably find a favorite story in its pages. Reviewer: Michael Jung, PhD