7. Guys Write for Guys Read

July 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm 4 comments

guys readRetell: Jon Scieszka edits this fabulous collection of stories, comics, essays, illustrations and vignettes contributed by prominent male authors and illustrators.  Contributors include:  Stephen King, Matt Groening, Jerry Spinelli, Seymour Simon, James Howe, Neil Gaiman, Gary Paulsen and many more.  Royalties from the book are used to support Scieszka’s Guys Read Program.

Topics: boys, family, growing up, reading, writing, art

Units of Study: Personal Narrative, Launching the Reading and Writing Workshop, Character, Personal Essay, Content-Area Reading and Writing, Nonfiction, Memoir, Social Issues, Fantasy, Preparing for the ELA

Tribes: Mutual Respect, Personal Best, Appreciations/No Putdowns, Right to Pass

Reading Skills: inference, making connections, interpretation

Writing Skills: writing with voice, zooming in on a small moment, observing the world for stories

My Thoughts: This book is teacher gold!  Guys Write for Guys Read has a plethora of short stories that can be used for mentor texts in almost every Reading and Writing unit.  One of the stories, “Reading Can Be Dangerous” by Tedd Arnold was featured on the 5th grade ELA test last year.  James Howe, author of Bunnicula, writes a personal narrative about getting help from a friend on how to be a boy–a great text for personal essay or discussing gender issues.  Many authors write about how they came to love reading and writing.  Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon, writes about how he fell in love with fantasy–great to read when you launch a unit on Fantasy reading and writing.  Patrick Jones, a librarian, writes about how being interested in wrestling inspired him to become a voracious reader.  Many entries include samples of famous authors childhood work alongside their adult work.  For example, Dav Pilkey, author/illustrator of the infamous Captain Underpants series, writes about a comic strip he started when he was 11.  I will probably use this book for almost every unit I teach this year.

If you don’t pick up a copy of this book you must go to Scieska’s website, Guys Read.  The site is dedicated to inspiring more young boys to fall in love with reading.  Mr. Scieszka, you’re my hero.


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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. melissa  |  July 3, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I loved Bunnicula when I was a kid. Thanks for reminding me about it.

  • 2. Kim  |  July 9, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I just read “The Misfits” last week by Howe (summer reading for my new class of G&T sixth graders). It’s a great read for W-Z readers because it takes place in middle school with a group of middle school “misfits”. They face adversity, use creative problem solving strategies to learn how to stick together, value their differences, and disagree with respect. It is an excellent example of how to acknowledge diversity and learn mutual respect for all. It’s the only book I’ve read so far that is inclusive of gay teens, tall & smart girls, fat boys, a leather punk boy and others who don’t usually fit the mold.

    • 3. dgunders  |  July 9, 2009 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation. I’m putting it on my ‘to read’ list. It sounds like a great upper grade text for teaching/reinforcing community agreements.

  • 4. 73. David Goes to School by David Shannon « 365 Read Alouds  |  September 7, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    […] a great read for beginning a discussion about rules, agreements and norms.  If you have access to Guys Read you may want to share David Shannon’s story about how he created the David books.  The […]


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