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What is a typical guy moment, anyhow? Daniel Pinkwater remembers thedisappointment of meeting his Lone Star Ranger hero up close and personal. Gordon Korman relishes the goofy ultra violence of the old Looney Tunes cartoons. Stephen King realizes that having your two hundred- pound babysitter fart on your five-year-old head prepares you for any literary criticism. And that's just a sampling from Guys Write for Guys Read, a fast-paced, high energy collection of short works: stories, essays, columns, cartoons, ...
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What is a typical guy moment, anyhow? Daniel Pinkwater remembers thedisappointment of meeting his Lone Star Ranger hero up close and personal. Gordon Korman relishes the goofy ultra violence of the old Looney Tunes cartoons. Stephen King realizes that having your two hundred- pound babysitter fart on your five-year-old head prepares you for any literary criticism. And that's just a sampling from Guys Write for Guys Read, a fast-paced, high energy collection of short works: stories, essays, columns, cartoons, anecdotes, and artwork by today's most popular writers and illustrators. Guys Write will feature work from Brian Jacques, Jerry Spinelli, Chris Crutcher, Mo Willems, Chris Van Allsburg, Matt Groening, Neil Gaiman, the editors and columnists from Sports Illustrated,The Onion and Esquire magazines, and more.
Selected by voters at the Guys Read Web site and compiled by Jon Scieszka, this wide-ranging collection of authors and illustrators shows that guys do read . . . and will read more if given things they enjoy reading.
Hey guys—now here is something for you to read. A bunch of pieces by a bunch of guys . . . all about being a guy. Some are memories. Some are stories. Some are just pieces of art these guys drew when they were your age.
So look around in here for something you like. You don’t have to read in any order. You don’t have to like everything you read. You don’t even have to read everything. But you do have to complete the quiz at the end of each section, and write an essay on each about—
That’s exactly what this collection is not. It is not required reading. It’s reading to find what you like. And I know you are going to find something in here, because these things are funny, action-packed, sad, goofy, gross, touching, stupid, true, and all very short.
Thanks to all of the guys who donated their thoughts about being a guy to this anthology. All the money from this work goes to support my nonprofit literacy program called Guys Read.
And it built the new Web site at www.guysread.com.
Check it out.
Find what you like.
Brooklyn, New York
The Day I Threw the Trivia Bowl
I have a confession to make: I threw the Trivia Bowl.
The year was 1988. The place, eleventh grade.
In 1988, as an academically advanced (read: geeky) sixteen-year-old, my primary objective in life was the maintenance of my low profile among classmates. I did not want to stick out in any way, especially for anything that had even the faintest whiff of dorkery.
Problem was, I happened to be the captain of a formidable four-man Trivia Bowl team that was to represent the school at the countywide Trivia Bowl competition. For a boy prone to nightmares of academic achievement–related mockery, this was not good.
The night before the Trivia Bowl, I was freaking. I imagined that if we won, they would proudly announce it over the intercom to the entire school during homeroom. This is what they did whenever someone did something notable. I imagined all the kids pointing and laughing at the trivia dork. This prospect terrified me beyond words.
And yet, another part of me desperately wanted to win the Trivia Bowl. I loved trivia and, even more, I loved winning at stuff. It was a terrible dilemma.
The day of the competition comes. We burst out of the gate strongly. What is the capital of Nepal? Kathmandu. What is the largest animal that has ever lived? The blue whale. By the end of the first round, we were in second place and, thanks to a furious late run, had momentum squarely on our side. I was excited, but all the while in the back of my mind, I was imagining that dreaded homeroom announcement.
Things go even better (or worse) in Round Two. We take the lead. As the competition heads toward the finish, it becomes clear that it’s a two-team race. Us versus our hated rivals from Massapequa. We go back and forth, trading blows like Foreman and Ali.
It all comes down to one question. If we get it right, we win; if we miss, they have the chance to answer for the win.
“Who shot Robert F. Kennedy?”
Uh-oh. I know it.
No one else on my team knows. They all look at me expectantly. I am well-known amongst them as the assassination expert. They assume I will blurt out the answer, which, of course, is Sirhan B. Sirhan. I hem and haw. What’s going on? they are clearly wondering. Rob doesn’t know? After what seems like an eternity, I give my answer:
“I’m sorry, that’s not correct.”
Massapequa pounces and gets it right. My teammates and I watch as they hold aloft the 1988 Trivia Bowl trophy in sweet victory.
The whole ride home, I wrestled with my decision to blow the Trivia Bowl. I felt terrible about what I did, but at least I would avoid homeroom humiliation. Right?
Wrong. The next morning in homeroom:
“Congratulations to eleventh-graders Robert Siegel, Mark Roth, Adam Frankel, and Dan Eckert for their valiant effort yesterday in the countywide Trivia Bowl competition, in which they placed second.”
Not only was I a dork, I was a losing dork.
The moral of the story is, if you’re ever in a Trivia Bowl, don’t throw it. Either way, they’re gonna announce it in homeroom, so you might as well win.
Grew up: Merrick, New York (Long Island)
Now lives: Manhattan
Random fact: Has never burped
Occupation: Former Editor in Chief of The Onion
Our Dumb Century: “The Onion” Presents 100 Years of Head-lines from American’s
Finest News Source with The Onion, Inc.
Dispatches from the Tenth Circle: The Best of “The Onion” with The Onion, Inc.
“The Onion” Ad Nauseam news archives with The Onion, Inc.
Posted October 2, 2014
This book was very wonderful. It showed a lot of similarities to my childhood right now since I am a guy. I have had a fair share of these issues in my childhood from long time ago until now. This book showed so many things to me about how I am not facing my own unique problems but somewhere out there more than 5 authors face similar issues just like me. This book is very unique and I loved this book, I love how each and every author has their own perspective and their own problem. This book is also pretty funny and I like how they switch authors and how they came up with a brilliant idea to choose these specific authors. Some of these authors I know and some I don't know. The authors that I do know tell some problems that I can relate a lot to their other stories. So I would rate this book a 5/5 and I really like this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 28, 2013
Guys Read by Jon Scieszka is about multiple authors retelling their childhood memories. These collections of memoirs are funny and also suspenseful. For example, one character was about to hit a ramp, and the reader has to going to imagine what happens next. I enjoyed this book because the plot changes constantly. It also teaches us lessons, but you have to find out what the lessons are. I would recommend this book to teenage boys eleven and up because there are small swear words that don’t really affect the story. Famous authors are in this book include: Stephen King, Gary Paulsen, Gordon Korman, Andy Griffiths, and Rich Wallace. Famous Illustrators are in this book also include Matt Groening who created the Simpsons and Futurama, Dave and Liam McKean.
Posted May 23, 2013
Stories, stories, and even more stories of guys just being guys. Either young or old, short or tall, skinny or fat, guys do similar things in life. There are 69 authors in the book Guys Write for Guys Read. This book is about author’s lives when they were young. This book mostly talks about an event that happened to them to change their perspective on life. The stories in the book share a similar tone making the book, overall, humorous. Guys Write for Guys read is the book for young guys who just want to be guys. I enjoyed this book because it was a funny and entertaining book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 6, 2010
I purchased this book for my 12 year old son for Christmas. After reading so many favorable reviews, I knew I had to give it a try in order to motivate my son in reading. It worked!!!! After reading each story, he shares the tales with my husband and I with such enthusiasm. I wish there was a 2nd book to continue.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 15, 2009
Scieszka founded the Guys Read initiative (www.guysread.com)to encourage boys to read and to help them find good books. This compilation of vignettes introduces the reader to nearly 100 authors and illustrators - it's like a book catalog with samples. The contributors share stories from their youth that are relate-able,touching, and often laugh-out-loud funny. Stephen King, Mo Willems, Jerry Spinelli, Gary Paulson, Dav Pilkey, David Shannon, and Scieszka himself are just a few of the excellent authors/illustrators included here. They write about being a 'guys' guy', and about discovering it's OK to not be a 'guys' guy"; the relationship between father and son; how childhood doodling led to careers as illustrators; the stupid, dangerous, irresistible things kids do; and much more.
Working in an elementary school library, this book is - and will continue to be - an excellent tool for me in finding and recommending authors to my male students (and female, as many of these authors appeal to both).
Posted May 19, 2006
Posted May 22, 2005
Boys don't get encouraged to read funny, gross, imaginitive content in school. Maybe that's why boys don't read. It was fun to hear descriptions of a boy's life. My boys 'ate it up'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 22, 2005
I love to read anyway. Come on guys, we can't just have the girls reading and not us. They have all this stuff for girls and nothing for guys! So u should take advantage of this book and read it now. Before they come out with another stupid book about girls.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 29, 2010
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Posted February 26, 2009
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