Monday, September 30, 2013

Guys Read- Other Worlds edited by Jon Scieszka

It's Middle Grade Monday and I have a great book to share. It is an anthology of short Sci-fi/fantasy stories edited by Jon Scieszka. The book, Guys Read- Other Worlds, just hit shelves on Sept. 17th from Harper Collins Children's.

First, a little about the book: Guys Read is actually a series of books that Scieszka is sponsoring in an attempt to "encourage a passion for reading among young boys, with the philosophy that boys love to read most when they are reading things they love." The three previous releases include: Guys Read- Funny Business, Thriller, and The Sports Pages.

This book includes great stories by both well-known Sci-fi authors and up-and-coming authors, including Rick Riordan, Kenneth Oppel, Ray Bradbury, Neal Shusterman, Shannon Hale and many more.

I want to mention several of the stories, but I will not be necessarily critiquing them, just talking about them. The book as a whole I will critique.

The Stories-

We start out with a hum-dinger! an original Percy Jackson short by Rick Riordan called "Percy Jackson and The Singer of Apollo". Oh boy, this one cracked me up. The humor is very in your face and I feel like Riordan just had a lot of fun writing the story. The short revolves around Percy and Grover in NYC. They are celebrating Grover's birthday when Apollo appears and "asks" them for a favor. He want them to find his missing golden singing robot before his big concert up on Mt. Olympus. The poor boys! Let's just say Percy ends up hanging off the Times Square billboard without his pants on.

Another short is "Rise of The RoboShoes" by Tom Angleberger. This is a story of just a few pages, but the humor is very quirky. Humans became lazy and created shoes that could tie their own laces with TurboBrains so they could follow directions, and TruVoices so they could talk back. Our story begins after the RoboShoes have risen in revolt against humanity. A pair of bunny slippers is leading the revolt and encouraging RoboShoe freedom. The clencher- the RoboShoes find out they aren't alone in the RoboUniverse.

Also included is a small story with pictures, almost like a picture book, but with deep thoughts. The short, "A Day in the Life" by Shaun Tan, is about a boy who lives in a snow globe. It is an odd story, but will appeal to boys. We also have "The Klack Bros. Museum" by Kenneth Oppel. This story includes a twisted museum owner who keeps the ashes of a dead boy on display. Our main character Luke, connects with the boy's ghost that haunts the ashes, and he learns how the boy died and his desire to be free. This one is perfect for kids who like a little bit of dark in their stories, but is not too scary.

Overall, a great collection of stories. I think boys and girls will love the collection. In fact, as soon as my daughter found out their was a Percy Jackson short, she claimed the book next. There is a wide variety of stories, some long, others medium, and some only a couple pages. For kids who feel overwhelmed by reading an entire book, this anthology does a great job keeping the reading quick. For book loving kids, they'll want to read it just for the fun and quirky stories, so both type of readers win.

I really hope this book is successful in drawing in some new boy readers. As a fantasy lover myself, a whole new generation loving the genre would be great. But, if your reluctant readers like sports, not fantasy, try the other anthology, "The Sports Pages". I think that when all the books are written there will be something for all.


  1. hey nice post meh, I love your style of blogging here. this post reminds me of an equally interesting post that I read some time ago on Daniel Uyi's blog: How Guys Date Girls .
    keep up the good work friend. I will be back to read more of your posts.