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Guys Read: Funny Business Paperback – September 21, 2010
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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.
*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 --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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I'll be honest, it's taken me awhile to get to this book, but I'm so so glad I did. When I initially spotted it almost a year ago when it was released I couldn't help but want to read it. I mean, look at that cover! Isn't it hilarious? Also, I'm a huge fan of humorous stories, huge. I especially enjoy humor for this age group most likely because of the lack of inhibitions, particularly in boys, but also because generally speaking, kids are incredibly funny. I can hardly count how many times a day my two kiddos say something that makes my eyes well up with tears from laughing so hard. It's great! So this was simply a must read and I now that I'm done...I wish it was longer!
One of the things that stood out to me when I was looking into information for our interview with Jon Scieszka was what he said about the Guys Read library of books he was working on. He mentioned that he was doing different themes for each book with different authors that were each the best at those types of writing. It absolutely shows in this volume. As far as I can tell it seems it would be quite difficult to write humor, I love reading it but couldn't imagine trying to write it. Each writer in this compilation was perfect for the book, though I'd have to say our family's favorite was the story by David Lubar, Kid Appeal. In nearly a single sitting I've read this entire story, about a kid who gets dressed up as a mummy for a school project, to the Turkeybird numerous times from beginning to end. Talk about amazing! It's nearly 30 pages long and that's quite a chunk for a four year old to sit through. Not only that he laughs all the way through, especially when words like "fart" are mentioned. It's hilarious!
If you are someone who isn't easily squeamish but also loves a good solid hilariously funny read, Guys Read: Funny Business is exactly the book you need to pick up next. I'd be overwhelmingly surprised to learn of someone who's read the entire book and not laughed hysterically at least once during their reading. And with the appeal of short stories to keep the book moving along or making it easy to pick up for a few minutes here & there you will no doubt find multiple stories to enjoy. Fans of popular authors like Eoin Colfer, David Lubar and Kat DiCamillo may be in for a surprise or two when they pick up a new story from one of their favorites. Incredibly funny, well written and edited, Guys Read: Funny Business is a book I'm eagerly waiting to hand off to the Turkeybird when he gets old enough to read it on his own.
Originally posted on my book review site: There's A Book [...]