105 Ways to Give a Book

MotherReader 48HBC Update: Round III

Working with the last twelve hours of the challenge — and going over a bit to finish this post — I found myself fading fast. I tried to put in just a bit more reading before bed, but could not get into either of the two books I tried. Deciding that sleep was the answer, and indeed necessary, I slept on the sofa for a lovely five hours.

You see, sleeping on the couch meant that I wasn’t as comfy as in my soft bed, so it wasn’t nearly as difficult to get up while everyone else was asleep to start blogging. With a cup of coffee and a doughnut, I made my way through some of the list of 48HBC participants. I stopped looking at Twitter as I was dangerously close to getting sucked into the whole Wall Street Journal article debate, and I did not have time for a controversy. I still had a few more hours and at least two more books to read.

Feeling like something lighter today, I read both of the Guys Read books — which are among the prizes donated by HarperCollins’ Walden Pond Press. I would have bet money that I’d prefer Guys Read: Funny Business, but the only story I loved in this anthology was the one by Adam Rex, titled “Will.” That one had me laughing enough that my husband finally had to ask about it. It may have been this line from the teacher of a class where everyone keeps discovering their secret power and disappearing: “An essay, in two hundred words or less! Explain what you think will happen to a teacher if all her students keep turning into flipping butterflies! Assume she has only two years’ experience and student loans. Show your work.” I loved the story concept and funny lines throughout. Oh, and this: “When Will’s brother was in the fifth grade he and a couple of friends discovered a magic tree house that could travel through time, and had taken it on all kinds of funny adventures. But in high school they’d lost interest in time travel, and it mostly became a magical place to smoke.” Man, do I love Adam Rex, who also illustrated this title.

Overall, I preferred the newest book in the series, Guys Read: Thriller. Again, the stories read like a Who’s Who of children’s literature, with names like M.T. Anderson, Patrick Carman, Margaret Peterson Haddix, and Walter Dean Myers. It was my Facebook notices that alerted me to contributer Jarrett Krosoczka presenting at the Book Expo America panel with a “Thriller” jacket. Nice one. In this title, the stories were adventures, and yet each very different in style and tone — from a ghost story to a funny film noir piece (can you use that term for literature?) to a more sobering work. The short stories seem an ingenious way to reach boys, one tale at a time, and I’m looking forward to seeing more in this series.

Round 3: seven hours

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Ms. Yingling said...

Ooh! I want Guys Read: Thriller. I did like Funny Business, and don't dislike the Artemis Fowl quite as much after reading Colfer's essay about his brother!

Abby said...

I, too, narrowly avoided the WSJ article... but I plan on reading it after my time's up. ;)

Iron Guy Carl said...

Glad to hear you included GUY books in your reading!

Sondy said...

Funny. I wrote a review of that book during my time, and quoted one of the exact same lines. Adam Rex's story was my favorite, too.