Multiple award-winning author Jon Scieszka grew up in Flint, Michigan, the second oldest and the nicest of six boys. Jon went to school at Culver Military Academy in Indiana where he was a Lieutenant; Albion College in Michigan where he studied to be a doctor; and Columbia University in New York, where he received an M.F.A. in fiction. He taught elementary school in New York for ten years in a variety of positions. He is the author of many books for children including theNew York TimesBest Illustrated BookThe Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales(illustrated by Lane Smith), the Caldecott Honor bookThe True Story of the Three Little Pigs(illustrated by Lane Smith), andMath Curse(illustrated by Lane Smith). In addition to his work as an author, Jon also runs a web-based literacy program called "Guys Read" that is designed to encourage boys, particularly reluctant readers, to get involved with books. In 2008, Jon was named the country's first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, a joint effort of the Library of Congress and the Children's Book Council. During his two-year role as Ambassador, he acted as a spokesperson for children's literature, speaking to groups of parents, teachers, and children to encourage the importance of reading. You can visit Jon online at www.jsworldwide.com.
Gr 5-9-Scieszka has put together a diverse and fast-paced anthology of scribblings and stories that deserves a permanent place in any collection serving middle graders. The book features brief contributions from scores of heavyweight authors and illustrators like Walter Dean Myers, Dan Gutman, Chris Crutcher, Avi, Brian Jacques, Dav Pilkey, Stephen King, Daniel Pinkwater, Jerry Spinelli, Will Hobbs, Chris Van Allsburg, Laurence Yep, and frequent collaborator Lane Smith. If there's one overarching theme here, it's the simple but important message: "read what you like, when you like, whatever that happens to be." Several other themes reappear in multiple selections. Among them are the importance of fathers, what it is to become a "real" man, how childhood reading predicted and shaped an author's future, adventures and misadventures in sports, why it's okay to be a "guy's guy," and, conversely, never being a "guy's guy" and finding out that that's okay, too. Boys who are constantly doodling-even when they're not supposed to-will be particularly inspired by contributions from successful illustrators like Tony DiTerlizzi, Timothy Basil Ering, and Brett Helquist, who've dug up their old, shaky drawings from parents' attics to show boys just what they were creating when they were kids. While the anthology arguably contains not one single masterpiece, there's something undeniably grand about this collective celebration of the intellectual life of the common boy.-Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
An outgrowth of Scieszka's Guys Read Web-based literacy initiative to encourage boys to read, this volume reveals a rich array of voices, styles and approaches. The 90 children's authors' and illustrators' pieces reveal memories that defined their boyhoods and, in many cases, launched them on their career paths. Anticipating their audience, the contributors keep their works succinct and enticing, allowing boys to skip about, and dip in and out. What emerges is an affecting, articulate composite of the humiliations and triumphs of youth, touching on themes of sports, girls, school, fathers, brothers and the creative process. Terry Davis and David Klass share moving recollections of their fathers; Jack Prelutsky presents a lively poem about boys as well as a harrowing tale of his close encounter with a zoo lion; Gordon Korman offers a snappy enumeration of "Guy Things"; David Shannon recalls creating the first version of No, David! at the age of five (a reproduction of that early attempt is included); and Scieszka relays a comic-kid-pleasingly graphic-account of a family car trip on which the pet cat's upset stomach sets off a chain reaction. Though the tone of the entries ranges from comic to poignant and will resonate with readers to varying degrees, all convey a remarkable candor and eagerness to reach out to boys. Lloyd Alexander, Avi, Eoin Colfer, Jack Gantos, David Macaulay, Dav Pilkey, Walter Dean Myers, Peter S!s, Jerry Spinelli and Laurence Yep are among the others who enrich this inspiring revelation of what it means to be a guy. Ages 11-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Scieszka has put together a diverse and fast-paced anthology of scribblings and stories that deserves a permanent place in any collection serving middle graders. The book features brief contributions from scores of heavyweight authors and illustrators....[T]here's something undeniably grand about this collective celebration of the intellectual life of the common boy. -School Library Journal, starred review