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Guys Read: Funny Business Hardcover – September 21, 2010

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
  • Series: Guys Read (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Walden Pond Press (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061963747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061963742
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8–Building on the success of Guys Write for Guys Read (Viking, 2005), Scieszka continues his mission to take the “reluctant” out of readers with this first volume of the “Guys Read Library.” For this title, Scieszka invited some of today's top writers of children's fiction to contribute a humorous short story. Not surprisingly, the resulting compilation has something for everyone. Looking for a story heavy on the ick-factor? Suggest Jack Gantos's “The Bloody Souvenir,” in which the Pagoda brothers return to wreak more havoc. David Yoo's “A Fistful of Feathers” features a bloodthirsty turkey intent on destroying the narrator's life. Eoin Colfer offers an autobiographical piece that shares how his younger brother was his real-life inspiration for Artemis Fowl. Kate DiCamillo and Scieszka team up to offer a hilarious correspondence between Joe and an author who knows how to hold her own with unmotivated students. While these shorter stories may not have the liveliness of the authors' full novels, each one is solid, and more importantly, it offers an introduction to that author's style and voice. Don't be surprised if students come seeking longer works by David Lubar, Christopher Paul Curtis, and other contributors after sampling them in this collection. Scieszka promises future volumes featuring other genres, among them nonfiction, sports, and action/adventure.Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The funny fellow (Jon Scieszka) with the impressive title (Emeritus National Ambassador for Children’s Literature) presents a collection of 10 humorous (you were expecting tragedy?) stories by some leading lights in literature for young readers. This is the first volume of the promised official Guys Read library, which is named for Scieszka’s well-known Web site, designed, like this book, to encourage boys to read. And what better way to start than with this collection of howlers by the likes of Eoin Colfer, David Lubar, Christopher Paul Curtis, and other yuk-inducing luminaries. Standouts include Kate DiCamillo (the lone female among the authors) and editor Scieszka’s charmer of a story in letters between a famous author named Maureen O’Toople and a boy named Joe; David Yoo’s wacky, laugh-out-loud story about a disappointed father and an evil turkey; and from the diabolical imagination of Jack Gantos, a cautionary tale about dangerous friends and rusty pliers. A must-have collection for the boys in your library—and while you’re at it, get a copy for the girls, too! Grades 4-7. --Michael Cart

Customer Reviews

Nice short stories, very funny.
Moving Momma
This volume of ten short stories is a fun mix of silly and humorous writing from some of today's most popular children's and young adult authors and illustrators.
C. Nunez
Most of the boys in the stories are in 4th grade and older, and I think that's a good recommended age to begin enjoying this book.
Jennifer Donovan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Heather on April 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I won this book in just a random Twitter follow a few months ago from Walden Pond Press. I don't read short stories very often but this one pulls you in and you can't help but read this one. First of all, it's got a plethora of funny kid authors. Then, they are writing funny stories. What more could you ask for? The stories range from chuckle funny to so funny I was wiping my eyes trying to read. Some of my favorites were the ones by Eoin Colfer with "Artemis Begins" and "Your Questions for Author Here" by Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka.

In Artemis Begins, Eoin Colfer tells an apparently autobiographical story of growing up with four brothers and how one of his brothers lived a charmed life able to sweet talk his way out of anything. An unlikely role for the middle child, Donal was something of a hero in the neighborhood giving out and later trading his "favors, tricks, con jobs, and sob stories" for candy and what have you. Now, if you've ever read the Artemis Fowl series, you can appreciate the Artemis in Donal or the Donal in Artemis. The story has an ultimate piece de resistance that is a must read and had me laughing throughout thinking, "That is so Artemis!"

But, even if you haven't read Artemis, you can appreciate the story for the sheer genuis of Donal.

The other story that I found so amusing was "Your Question for Author Here" by Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka. It's the story of a boy with a school assignment to write to an author and he wants the author to do all the work. Instead, she ends up making him do the work and then some. Joe sends a Perfunctory letter, though he is supposed to send a Friendly letter and gets a Perfunctory letter back.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Cup VINE VOICE on October 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Let me start by saying we love Jon Scieszka, and are big fans of his brand of humor. "Math Curse" is one of my son's favorite books (I reviewed this for Amazon), and I have a great deal of respect for him as an author and as an ambassador for children's literature. And I think that is what makes me all the more disappointed in the stories he chose as the editor for "Guys Read: Funny Business". The majority of the stories were not very funny, and some were down right disturbing with the violence and choice of material that was portrayed. The back flap of the book says, "Jon founded Guys Read 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", and to me that is an excellent mission statement for a series. However, I do not instill many of the values in my children that were written about in these stories, and I am not going to give this book to my 10 year old to read. Here is a sampling of the short stories Scieszka hopes will tickle the funny bone of your 8-12 year old boy:

1. In the story "Will" by Adam Rex, the author has the hero of the story refer to teachers as "...a bunch of stupid, brainless, blouse-apes" and tells of a story recounting a time in the past, when Will's brother was in the fifth grade and he and a couple of other friends discovered a magic tree house that could travel through time and had taken all kinds of funny adventures. "But in high school they lost interest in time travel and it mostly became a magical place to smoke...". Very nice indeed. A fine lesson to teach 10 year old boys! Smoking in a tree house.

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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Crystal Caudill on November 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am a 5th grade teacher and purchased this and another through Scholastic book orders in hopes of getting some of my reluctant readers to read. When they arrived I skimmed through the title pages and then read the last story "A Bloody Souvenir". I was horrified and disgusted in a way that I never have been with a book, especially a book from the book order list. This story was not funny, and although it may be on a 5.1 reading level, it is not 5th grade appropriate. I can't even think of an age in which it would be appropriate. Definitely not before high school. I would return them to Scholastic but I would have to pay shipping and handling which is more than what the books cost in the first place. I would definitely not recommend the books to anyone. I certainly cannot put them in my classroom library. If the "funny" one was that bad, I can't stand to read the thriller version (which I skimmed through as well). You can use your judgement, but here are just a couple quotes from the last story:

"I actually heard the sound of ripping flesh..."
"blood came squirting right out of the hole in the bottom of my foot" (caused by him taking a rusty pair of pliers and ripping it out himself.
"Right in the middle was the rusty pair of pliers, and right at the tip of the pliers was that bug hunk of bloody, yellow, warty flesh."

It goes on and on. Not age appropriate and definitely not school appropriate.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By N. Bilmes VINE VOICE on August 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have been teaching grades 2-4 for the past 15 years, and can confirm that boys simply don't take to reading like girls do. Most boys are a little more impulsive than their female classmates, and simply seem to have a harder time staying focused on the printed page. I've gotten boys to read via Captain Underpants, Horrible Harry, Magic Tree House, Sideways Stories, and The Time Warp Trio, but some boys are simply resistant to reading. This collection of stories is geared toward getting those reluctant readers to read. Most of the stories are funny, and all are well-written. My only issue with the book is that a few more illustrations would make it even more palatable to the boys who the collection is targeted toward.
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More About the Author


Jon Scieszka was born in Flint, Michigan on September 8th, 1954. He grew up with five brothers, has the same birthday as Peter Sellers and the Virgin Mary, and a sneaking suspicion that the characters in his Dick and Jane reader were not of this world. Those plain facts, plus his elementary school principal dad, Louis, his registered nurse mom, Shirley (who once took Jon's Cub Scout den on a field trip to the prenatal ward), Mad Magazine, four years of pre-med undergrad, "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show", an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia University, Robert Benchley, five years of painting apartments in New York City, his lovely wife Jeri Hansen who introduced him to Molly Leach and Lane Smith, Green Eggs and Ham, his teenage daughter Casey and almost teenage son Jake, ten years of teaching a little bit of everything from first grade to eighth grade, and the last twenty years of living in Brooklyn...are just some of Jon's answers to the questions, "Where do you get your ideas?" and/or "How did you become a writer?" I don't know, just because, none of your beeswax, and flapdoodle poppycock and balderdash are some more of Jon's answers to questions you can imagine on your own. Jon met up with Lane Smith around 1986 or so, and nothing has been the same since. Their first book, the wiseguy fairy tale retelling, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! was initially rejected by most publishers as "too weird" and "too sophisticated". Published by Viking in 1989, The True Story has now sold over a million copies, been translated into ten languages, and been called a "classic picture book for all ages". Jon and Lane's The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (1992) took the world of the picture book a few steps further. Goofing with the conventions of fairy tales and even being a book, The Stinky Cheese Man became a household word, sold another mess of copies in multiple languages, offended a few purists, and still managed to win a Caldecott Honor medal. Math Curse (1995) further stretched the notion of what subjects make good picture books, selling more books faster than either 3 Little Pigs or Stinky Cheese, and winning a whole slew of awards --all for a book full of mathematics.More recently, Jon and Lane have resurrected fables (in the smart, funny, and a little bit wicked way Aesop would have wanted them) in their latest collaboration, Squids Will Be Squids (1998). No telling where they might take the picture book next. Someone once wrote, "Jon Scieszka has forever changed the face of children's literature." And while there is still some confusion over exactly who that someone was, and whether children's literature does, in fact, have a face, most would agree-from The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! to Squids Will Be Squids, since Scieszka put pen to paper, children's literature sure has been...different.

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