Guys Write for Guys Read

Guys Write for Guys Read
edited by Jon Scieszka
YA. 272 pp.
Viking. 2005.

GWFGR was a rather painful read. Let me just get that out in the open. The premise is that this is a "rich collection of stories, mini-memoirs, advice, poems, comic, and drawings. . . . Here is an irresistibly readable book, filled with defining guy moments--funny, sad, triumphant, or humiliating. Who says guys don't read? They will, if they can read the writers they love!" Now, call my a cynic, but even though I love the premise behind the book, I find the book itself to be terribly flawed.

First, guys will read stuff gals write. Second, guys generally aren't so much into the memoir stuff. Third, guys do have an attention span that lasts beyond two, sometimes three, pages.

Now, I've read most of the studies about boys and perceived literacy. True, they have different tastes in their reading than girls typically do. They lean toward nonfiction and humor. They are more concerned with action than with character, generally more readily pointing out plot implausibilities than girls. And they do prefer to read something shorter than longer. (Although that causes me to wonder about the fascination with Science Fiction and Fantasy, which are notoriously long.)

In short, I don't think this book does anything significant to actually address boys' interests. Some of the stories and vignettes are good, but there's just not much to grab onto.


Th. said...


I heard Jon Sciesvka interviewed on NPR about this book and he said it has made a big splash when he's read from it on Elem and MS campuses. Mostly cause guys love to learn it is possible to read about farts, vomit, etc. These are guys who have never read before.

I think the book's aimed at first-time leisure readers. And will find some.

Master Fob said...


Am I going to have to get you fired from your job so you have time to write your alphabiography?

Th. said...


Don't fire him. Not yet.

But we are getting impatient....

But I'll keep that tought to myself.