Friday, June 11, 2010

Funny Business is a Hoot!!!

Is there anyone who understands boys and what they like as readers and writers more than Jon Scieszka and his cohorts?!! During this past weekend's 48 Hour Book Challenge, I was fortunate enough to nab an ARC of the first book in the new Guys Read series, Funny Business. It was edited by Jon Scieszka (sorry no front cover graphic is available yet).

This particular collection of stories are all humorous, and by authors/illustrators we all know and love: Mac Barnett, Adam Rex, Eoin Colfer, Jeff Kinney (sort of - will have to wait to see what the final copy of the book looks like), Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka together, David Yoo, David Lubar, Christopher Paul Curtis, Paul Feig, and Jack Gantos.

I love that, much like the original Guys Read, this is a book full of short stories sure to please readers, but especially boy readers. It is full of things like:
  • a character thinking a diorama in a shoebox was supposed to be diarrhea in a shoebox, and bringing that assignment to school
  • pulling off a gigantic wart with rusty pliers, and then not telling and getting blood poisoning
  • being wrapped as a mummy for a school project by a friend, to find out it was adhesive gauze that was used on a naked body, and how the gauze got snagged by a moving car, and literally "peeled off"
  • farts and other similar noises
  • ninja cats and other ninja things (I had students that loved this phrase this year)
  • a super-villain that comes to school and blows holes in school walls and school doors
And those are just a small sampling of the other hilarity within this book.

I know that I can address a variety of genres and styles within my daily read aloud time. I have seen the most "macho" boy be moved by a character and his/her situation during read aloud. But, when it comes to that huge block of choice reading, I need to have multiple copies of books like Funny Business on my shelves. I need books that pull some of the more reluctant boy readers in and books that will serve as strong models for writing, as well. Guys Write for Guys Read did that as well as Scieszka's latest, Knuckleheads. Now, Funny Business will sit alongside those very popular books.

This Guys Read series is a must have for both school libraries and classroom libraries. The book is due out Sept. 21 -- mark that date on your calendars!!

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