One of the things I often hear at writer’s conferences for kid’s books is that boys don’t read. As someone who at one time was both a boy and a voracious reader, I’ve always felt that this has a lot more to do with how books are presented (and marketed) to most boys than with any gaping deficiency in boys themselves.
Then I found the Guys Read website. They group books into boy(ish) categories: at least one explosion, animals, dragons, robots, etc. How about we get all of them into one dang book? That would be awesome. It’s fantastic to see some of the books that first got me reading featured, like Where the Wild Things Are which I learned by heart before I could read and Childhood’s End which totally blew my mind in the 5th grade.
The organization is the brainchild of Jon Scieszka who I’ve been fortunate enough to hear speak at two writer’s conferences. He’s the author of The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Fairy Tales, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and other books with a wickedly boyish slant. He also served as the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and, all around, is a spectacularly funny guy.
Guys Read releases its first anthology, titled Guys Read: Funny Business, this September. If the book trailer is any indication, it’s a must read for boys everywhere.