Spiders, shipwreck, elephants, dental care, singing the blues: you’ll be wiser about all of these topics when you read Guys Read: True Stories, the newest collection edited by Jon Scieszka.
This is a collection of nonfiction works, which my 5th grade son happily devoured. As a part of his curriculum, they have explore different kinds of reading which includes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. This was the first book I suggested, and the short small bites of informative writing whetted his appetite for me. He’s been surprised to find that he enjoys biographies “as long as the writing is good.”
The collection has “good writing” from Scieszka, Nathan Hale, Candace Fleming, Nathan Hale, Thanhha Lai, Sy Montgomery and more. And just like the writers aren’t all guys, please don’t assume that guys are the only ones who will appreciate reading these. I loved the balance of humor, facts, and illustrations (one story is even told completely in comic form). Some are a bit gory or gross or cringe-worthy, but some in the tween and teen market like that sort of thing. If your child isn’t one of them, I would avoid this one. I also think that the topics covered are most appropriate for 5th grade and up.
Any of the books in this series (see links below) would make great gifts for 10 – 14 year old readers in your life.