A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Sometimes guys have trouble reading but that doesn't mean boys aren't smart or that they should give up trying to master an essential life skill. By showing that plenty of cool guys like books -- in fact, have made careers of writing -- and urging kids to start their own informal Guys Read chapters, the site can help boys develop the confidence they need to find their reading groove.
Products & Purchases
This not-for-profit site, funded by the author and other writers, has no ads. However, it does sell T shirts, baseball caps and skateboards emblazoned with the Guys Read logo and includes links to online stores where kids can buy recommended books, including some of the author's own work.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this impressive new literacy site for boys was created by father, former elementary school teacher and children's author Jon Scieszka, who wrote the best-selling fractured fairytale The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. Basically a reading list for boys who don't like to read, the site's goal is to help instill a love for books by appealing to boys' special interests. Except for a handful of books by female authors, including uber-guy writer J.K. Rowling, the site is an all-male club. Some parents might object to this and the inclusion of a war category. But it's hard to argue with Scieszka's statistics and the need to help boys read better. This site is safe and fun for guys -- and gals -- of all ages to explore, ideally with parents who can help them choose a good book.
Is It Any Good?
Statistical fact: Boys fall farther behind girls in reading skills every year. To address this alarming trend, dad and best-selling children's author Jon Scieszka decided to create a Web-based national literacy program for boys. Guys Read, a huge online list of books and authors recommended "by guys for guys," has boy appeal, with a bold, handsome design and frank, funny writing. Books are divided into "guy" genres, some humorous such as "at least one explosion".
Famous male authors like Daniel Handler drop in to share their favorite "guy" books. To expand reading's appeal for boys the site lists sports magazines, comics and books on tape, too. So far, so great. There's just one problem: most listings don't have a description or age level, just genre and number of pages. Without these crucial details, the recommendations aren't very useful. When this is fixed, Guys Read will be a valuable resource for parents and their book-shy sons.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.