Edited by Jon Scieszka
Published by Walden Pond Press
Copyright © 2011
Writer Jon Scieszka is devoted to getting guys to read more. That is why he started www.guysread.com a web based literacy program whose mission is to “help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers.” To further that initiative he has begun the Guys Read Library of Great Reading.
The second book in the Guys Read Library is entitled “Thriller.” It contains 10 stories by M.T. Anderson, Patrick Carman, Gennifer Choldenko, Matt De La Pena, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Bruce Hale, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Anthony Horowitz, Walter Dean Myers and James Patterson all well know children’s and young adult authors in the Thriller genre. In addition Brett Helquist lends his illustrative genius at the beginning of each story. This volume features stories of detection, piracy, bullies, mutants, and the supernatural. One thing that they have in common is smart and courageous boys who often do what is right even under scary or confusing circumstances.
I really liked quite a few of the stories in this book, but my favorite had to be “Nate Macavoy, Monter Hunter” by Bruce Hale. It is the story of Nate and Jeremy who are aspiring monster hunters. Jeremy has gone missing, but his mom isn’t worried. She thinks that his father has taken him, but Nate believes differently based on some texts Jeremy sent the night before. So, Nate embarks on a quest to find Jeremy and whatever monster took him. I love stories about Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, or the Moth Man so this tale is right up my alley.
On the down side 3 out of the 10 stories in this book are ghost stories (which I don’t care for), but otherwise the stories are well written and mildly suspenseful; on occasion they are even slightly funny. Short stories are a great way to get boys to read because one story can usually be read in one sitting and the story moves quickly right towards the resolution, which provides some instant gratification. This is a great book for boys (or girls) ages 9 and up. Be sure to share this with your reluctant readers today.