Guys Read

-posted by Ruth
Looking for a wonderful website for Guys Who Read–and for all the guys (little-through-teen) you want to help find the books that will turn them into Guys Who Read?

Look no further: check out Guys Read, Jon Scieszka’s fantastic website, whose mission is “to help boys become self-motivated lifelong readers.”

Lots of intriguing recommendations–by genre, age, coming attractions, current authors’ picks, and more.  The recommendations are based on the understanding that what boys like to read is not often the same as what they are required to read–and a dedication to offering boys books they’ll enjoy.

You might want to recommend to a guy of your acquaintance:  “At Least One Explosion” books; “How to Build Stuff”; “Classics That Actually Hold Up”; “Outer Space” (With or Without Aliens)  and more!

I headed for the recent suggestions on the blog, and found Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin.  Turns out it’s one of Horn magazine’s Best Fiction Books of 2011.  Ten-year-old Sasha is growing up in the Soviet Union under Stalin’s regime.  Through his eyes, we see the power of  a ruthless dictator on the every-day life of the people.  A loyal Communist, Sasha has eagerly looked forward to joining the Young PioneersBut as a few days in his life unfold, his world crumbles and he comes to see that everything he has believed about the Soviet government is a lie.  The author writes from personal experience, where he was urged to be to be a child informer in his own youth in Soviet Russia. (He was able to avoid it by feigning stupidity!)   The Author’s Note shares fascinating and important information on the horrors of Stalin’s regime, when over 20 million people were imprisoned, executed, or exiled.  Yelchin  stresses that it’s so important to expose those places in the world–that continue today–where innocent people face persecution and death for making a choice about what they believe to be right.

It’s a great read-aloud book, as it is adventurous–and harrowing. It’s fast-paced, well-written, and filled with intriguing illustrations.  I think it would draw in even the most reluctant of readers.

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