Guys Read: Thriller Hardcover – Aug 22 2011
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About the Author
Jon Scieszka is the National Ambassador for Children's Literature emeritus and the bestselling author of more than twenty-five books for kids, includingThe Stinky Cheese Manand Other Fairly Stupid Tales,Math Curse,Robot Zot!, and the Time Warp Trio series. Jon founded Guys Read to encourage a passion for reading among young boys, with the philosophy that boys love to read most when they are reading things they love. A former elementary school teacher, Jon lives in Brooklyn with his family.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What I Thinks: This short story collection was touch and go for me, but we have to remember that I am not the demographic for this short story collection. I think that all of my boys (and some of my girls) would truly love this collection. When I gave my reading interest survey at the beginning of this year, so many of my students wanted scary books or ghost stories- this collection is right up their alley.
My favorite story in the bunch was Walter Dean Myers's story "Pirate" which is a thriller in a different sense than the other books in the collection. Myers's story is about Somalian pirates and is a true life and death situation that kept me on the edge of my seat. It is was also so beautifully written; most of my snatches that I marked in my Kindle were from this story.
I also truly enjoyed "Ghost Vision Goggles", "Nate Macavoy, Monster Hunter", and "Thad, the Ghost, and Me". The three of them are all such fun stories filled with mystery. "Nate Macavoy" even finishes with a cliffhanger and now I want another!! Matt De La Pena's story "Believing in Brooklyn" is a touching story as well as a mystery. I felt that Anthony Horowitz's short story "The Double Eagle has Landed" is a great introduction to the Diamond Brothers and it was the first Diamond Brothers story I've ever read and now really want to read some of the novels. I'll also now be able to book talk the series and I think many students would love the mystery and humor aspects of these stories.
This anthology is the second in the GUYS READ library (GUYS READ: FUNNY BUSINESS was the first). The books take a collection of short stories written by truly the best middle grade writers of our time. In THRILLERS, we get M.T. Anderson (Strange Mr. Satie, Feed), Patrick Carman (Atherton, 39 Clues, Skeleton Creek), Gennifer Choldenko (Al Capone Does My Shirts), Matt de la Pena (Ball Don't Lie), Margaret Peterson Haddix (Shadow Children series, Say What?), Bruce Hale (Chet Gecko series, Underwhere series), Anthony Horowitz (Alex Rider series), Jarrett Krosoczka (Lunch Lady series), Walter Dean Myers (Monster, Game), and James Patterson (Daniel X, Witch & Wizard).
My 9 year old son is an avid reader, and devoured FUNNY BUSINESS (after reading Jeff Kinney's story first), so I wasn't surprised when he stole THRILLERS from me the minute it came in. It took a while to get it back from him! It really is the perfect book for middle grade boys. He could pick it up, read a story in 40 pages, and put it down again. It doesn't detract from school work - my son would rather read "his" book than what he's supposed to be reading for school. The best part, according to him, was, "The stories are just scary enough to be exciting, but not too scary to make me have nightmares."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
GUYS READ books are not just for boys, as I enjoyed all the stories myself, especially the ghost stories, but, let's be honest, these books are perfect for boys. That was the whole point of GUYS READ!
Just in time for Halloween, GUYS READ: THRILLERS is another winner from author/editor/Children's Book Ambassador extraordinaire Jon Scieszka and company! Bravo!
Paul is out on location with his father, a cameraman for the popular TV show "True Spook." This week the psychics are in a haunted house trying to make contact with a wealthy old ghost named Josiah Smitch, who left behind a hidden fortune. Paul gets bored when all the psychics do is bicker about who has the greater powers, so he decides to find the missing fortune. He doesn't expect to be visited by Josiah himself, though, and he certainly isn't prepared for what happens next. Let's just say ghosts aren't too happy when people trespass on their property.
Snakes. The very thought of them can send chills up your spine. Spotting one outside can cause you to run away. Being surrounded by them? That's a whole other matter. River and his little brother, Niko, don't know what to do when they see their father kidnapped by some sort of reptilian mafia who want him to find and identify a valuable snake. The last thing River and Niko wanted, however, was to enter a suspicious pet store and encounter snakes. Lots of them. Simply standing on a chair won't do the trick this time, and River and Niko are going to have to think fast --- or become lunch.
Nate Macavoy's best friend, Jeremy, is missing, and there is only one explanation for it: monsters. Jeremy and Nate have long been obsessed with cryptids --- creatures like Big Foot and the Abominable Snowman --- and Jeremy's final text indicated that he had finally found some. Using his investigative powers, Nate eventually finds himself in the storm drains searching for his best friend and the tricky Pukwudgies, troll-like creatures that can disappear and change themselves into different animals. Pukwudgies are no laughing matter, as Nate soon finds out, and these little devils are only the beginning of his problems.
This is just a small taste of the stories that GUYS READ: THRILLER promises will keep you up at night. There are also stories with Somalian pirates, private investigators, haunted houses, and comic book prizes that will leave you breathless. The thriller is not quite knowing what will happen next, and all these stories have enough twists and turns that will keep you guessing and reading. Jon Scieszka has once again brought together a crack team of writers who provide the motivation and inspiration for guys to find stories that they care about. Thankfully, this is only volume two of what hopefully is a long and successful series that will inspire any young person to read.
Reviewed by Benjamin Boche
I found The Old Dead Nuisance by MT Anderson to be a great bedtime story, not too scary, but just enough to be appealing. It was a story about a little boy stuck on the set of a haunted house where two supposed and feuding psychics are being filmed by Paul's dad, the little boy. Paul has to hide and stay out of the way behind the sofa reading. Then Paul gets wind of a treasure that the dysfunctional family living in the house had, the father of the house hid it from his sons, right under their noses. Ironically, while investigating, Paul is the one that runs into the ghost of the cantankerous old man his children named "The Old Nuisance". The psychics are too busy feuding or being fake to ever see him. And Paul learns some very interesting information about the treasure.
Another story I was intrigued and educated by was Pirate by Walter Dean Myers. I have to claim complete ignorance at knowing the reasons behind the actions of the Somali Pirates. I thought they were just thugs looking to profit from the unfortunate people that get in their waterways. Pirate gave me a look at the reason the Somalis have for attacking and holding for ransom Americans, Europeans, even attempting to attack a cruise ship. I guarantee you when you read this story you will feel shame and a bit of understanding. Yes, it's very frightening from both sides of the story, but it gives you pause for thought. I don't excuse or condone their tactics, but I never gave thought that their might be a real reason this started up.
And lastly, and I'll admit by far my most favorite of the stories was the last in the book, Ghost Vision Goggles by Patrick Carman. Unique little Kyle loves to spend money on candy, action figures and weird things- like Chia pets, and fart putty (I had to look that one up. According to Amazon, where you can order it, "Work this putty with your finger to produce the hilarious sound of a gaseous explosion-very funny!") and a Magic 8 Ball. You get the picture. He's a bit quirky. And the big kid across the street, Scotty Vincent, likes to steal these things and break them much to Kyle's dislike and misfortune. Scotty is kind of sly and can sweet talk his way into getting into Kyle's house, past Kyle's mother without too much trouble, terrorizing Kyle in his own house, in his own room! But then one summer, Kyle's parents buy a cabin on Lake Lenore (the same lake Scotty has a house on) and Kyle finds a stack of comic books with all kinds of advertisements for weird things. The kinds of things he loves to buy with his money. So he counts down the days until they leave the cabin and he can order his weird things. He spends his days changing his order around but there is one thing he knows he's gotta have, Ghost Vision Goggles! He orders everything when he gets home and waits for them eagerly to arrive in the mail. There are setbacks and weird things that happen and Scotty. But he finally gets the Ghost Vision Goggles and that's when the fun really begins!!
This collection has something for everyone and I promise you won't be disappointed when you pick it up. Read it straight through or read each story at a time. It's a great collection!!
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