Guys Read

I read an interview with Jon Scieszka in the Horn Book Magazine September/October 2007 special edition on boys and girls, and in it was the link to his website Guys Read. (Go ahead, click it! You know you want to!) Basically- Jon Scieszka is an advocate for getting guys to read. There aresome suggested books for young guys, middle guys, and older guys.  

So I got to thinking- why is it so hard to get a guy to read? Do girls like to read more? Is it easier to write books for girls?

According to Scieszka, its not that guys don’t like to read-they just read for different reasons and enjoy reading things like comics, graphic novels, non-fiction, etc.  

In my quest to get more info, I turned to one of my guy friends (taken straight from our AIM chat so excuse the lack of sentence structure, proper grammar, etc)… 

Him: what sort of “guys reading” stuff are you looking for?
Me: mmm idk… why some guys may not like reading…what they preferred reading instead…things like that
Him: boys have been encouraged to be active, into sports, etc-reading carries the “nerd stigma” [note from me: it really doesn’t but meh you know how it is when you’re in school L]the trick is to give them books about what they’re interested in-dragons, or space combat, or dinosaurs, or adventure, or whateverlisten to what kind of games they make up, and find books like that
Me: mmmm interestingand yes, that is exactly what I am looking for
Him: I read a ton as a kid, though…and played soccer. kids who play Halo? there are books [Halo: First Strike  & Halo: the Flood are two that CCLS own]to set the backstory for the game-and then segue into Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” to teach them about literary influences
there are warcraft books, of course. [Hey, it’s me again-these ‘warcraft’ books? from the online game World of Warcraft of which I have unfortunately sold my soul L. Halo is an XBox game. Halo is rated M for Mature, WoW is rated T for Teen]
kids like animals? Watership Down!
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, too
There’s also all sorts of non-fiction-sports biographies, etc.  

And thinking about it, it all makes sense in the end! They like video games? Find a book, or in some cases a comic or graphic novel, based on that! They like the Star Wars movies? We have a whole series of Jedi Apprentice books, not to mention some adult fiction Star Wars books.  

So yeah, in the end, find the guy’s interest, and find a book that relates. Don’t push them, but encourage them to reading-if they want to, they will.  But, if you still want a bit of help, take a peek these books! 

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz
Stargirl & Loser by Jerry Spinelli [Granted Stargirl is about a girl, but written from a guy’s point of view.]
The Contender by Robert Lipstye
Moves Make the Man by Bruce Brooks
Every Man for Himself: 10 Short Stories about Being a Guy
Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan
Pendragon series by D.J. Machale

David Almond  
Rodman Philbrick
Christopher Paolini
Walter Dean Myers
Chris Crutcher
Gary Paulsen
Brian Jacques
Garth Nix
Markus Zusak

Other items of interest:
Graphic Novels!
Comic Books!
Non-fiction books!             
Maybe he might like sports (796s) or war info (350s) or automobiles (629s) or want to know how things work (600s and 604-609s), or maybe drawing (741.5 & 743.6), or any number of things.

Till next time-keep flipping those pages!

Published in: on October 25, 2007 at 7:51 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed the print interview with Jon, and I wanted to let you know about our podcast, which features more from that interview. Jon talks more about boys and books with Roger Sutton, our editor in chief. Visit to access the audio.

    Kitty Flynn
    The Horn Book, Inc.

  2. […] Read-the Follow Up As a follow up to this post here, I wanted to share a new blog I discovered this […]

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