Wednesday, November 30, 2011


"Why is that shady-looking character lurking in the dark alley? What's he doing with that crowbar? Is that something in his other hand? What is he doing? What has he done?

That is the mystery.

I'll bet the kid who just spotted him knows what he's up to.

There's not enough light from the street or the full moon to see the guy's face clearly. What if he turns? The kid will see his face. But he will see the kid. And then what?

That is the thriller."

Yowzers. Jon Scieszka's introduction (above) to GUYS READ: THRILLER (Walden Pond Press, 2011) fairly sets my teeth on edge and my heart to pounding. And that's only the introduction, people. The book itself features stories from such thrilling types as M.T. Anderson, Gennifer Choldenko, Margaret Peterson Haddix,and Anthony Horowitz. Jon Scieszka again: "these writer have delivered with the wildest mix of detectives, spooks, cryptids, snakes, pirates, smugglers, a body on the tracks, and one terribly powerful serving of fried pudding."

This is all in the service of getting the guys to read. Scieszka's been at it for over ten years on his website, recommending books for that difficult demographic. It's a great website, chock full of recommendations of books that might appeal to the guy in your life. Because, as Scieszka says, "boys will read if they're given reading that interests them." (I can attest he's right. I have three guys. They read. But not usually books that have pink covers.)

Here's yet more good news. Recently, I was fortunate via Twitter to win from the good folks at Walden Pond Press a signed (by Jon Scieszka) copy of GUYS READ: THRILLER. Hooray for me! However, I already have a copy... so, if you become a follower of Project Mayhem, leave a comment, and choose a number from 3 to 272 (I got that bright idea from Marissa Burt earlier this month) I will enter you in a drawing, as well as feed you a line from the page of your choice.

What could be more thrilling than that?!

(Other writers in this volume are Patrick Carman, Matt de la Pena, Bruce Hale, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, James Patterson, and Walter Dean Myers. Illustrations are by Brett Helquist)

(The contest will run until Monday December 5th at 23:59 PST  GOOD LUCK!!)


  1. Ooooh, I'd like a copy for my classroom! I'm already a follower, so let's pick a number. I pick 42.

  2. This is awesome. Well done, Mike!

  3. Dianne: "He was about to put his bag down and call 911, but right that second she looked up and barked, "Benny. Go to school, I said. Now!"

    (Page 42 in Matt de la Pena's story, Believing in Brooklyn.)

  4. Great contest, Michael!! :-)

  5. Looks like a great read! I pick 7.

  6. For Marissa: "Dennis, the host, was staring into the distance, as if unknown figures were beckoning him. In fact, Paul noticed, he was looking down the street at a gas station."

    (Page 7 in M.T. Anderson's story The Old, Dead Nuisance.)

  7. Thanks for hosting the giveaway. I'm already a follower and would love to enter for my young reader. I choose page 36.

  8. For Brenda: "Benny thought how weird it was to see such a powerful-looking dude rocking a pink milk mustache."

    (From page 36 in Matt de la Pena's Believing in Brooklyn)

  9. Ooooo! I'd love to have this--and so would my son. Thanks so much for the chance to win it.

    And, I pick 189.

  10. Great job, Michael. I can't tell you how (desperately) needed books like this are (as you know). WaldenPond has their collective finger on the pulse of boy books, so instead of putting myself in the running for the book, I'll buy it and help support the cause. Again, great job!

  11. Thanks, Mike!~

    For Barbara (and her son): After five rings, a bored-sounding woman's voice said, "Monster Hunters, no cryptid too cryptic. How can I help you?"

    (From pg 189 of Bruce Hale's Nate Macavoy, Monster Hunter.)

  12. I'd love to be added as a give away contestant. I'm going with #222. I'm already a follower.

  13. For Michael W.: "Apologies for the sudden stop. If anyone was hurt, please stay where you are and someone will be with you shortly."

    (From Page 222 of James Patterson's Boys Will Be Boys.)

  14. Hi Michael. Evidently I needed this kick in the butt to follow PM even though I read it a LOT. So I'm now a follower, and I choose number 17.
    I'm very curious about this book.

  15. For Kristen: "The wood was sheeted with ice, and something black dripped from the chimney. The flowers in the ugly green plant holder were dead."

    (Pg. 17 from M.T. Anderson's The Old, Dead Nuisance.)

  16. We have Guys Read the Funny book (obviously the real title is escaping me right now)! Loved it!
    Throw my hat into the ring! Page 40

  17. I always wore the number 3 - so 3 it is. Glad I stumbled upon this site. All signed up.

  18. For Kelly: "When they made it to the very top, though, she stopped breathing. He screamed for help, but the Ferris wheel was stuck."

    (Page 40: Matt de la Pena's Believing in Brooklyn)

    For David: "Paul had to keep out of the way in case one of the psychics swept past, calling out the names of the dead or saying she felt cold spots near the credenza."

    (Page 3: M.T. Anderson's The Old, Dead Nuisance)

  19. I'm a follower. A NEW follower, but so happy to find this blog!!!

    I pick number 227

  20. For Jill: Officer Kronsky put her hat back on. "Boys sometimes aren't great at thinking through consequences."

    (Pg. 227, from James Patterson's Boys Will Be Boys)

  21. Michael, what a fab contest. I exclude myself from winning, but I'll take page 11!! ;)

  22. Oh, how I want this one! You know how I like the Guys Read books!!

    I follow, I comment, I choose 44. :-)

  23. For Hilary: "The psychics jostled each other to be the first up the steps."

    (Pg. 11 from M.T. Anderson's The Old, Dead Nuisance.)

    For Shannon: "Way to go, B. I guess reading books really does make you smart."

    (Pg. 44 from Matt de la Pena's Believing in Brooklyn.)

  24. I am a relatively new follower. Hopeful to win for someone special AND
    the number I choose is 166

    Thank you!

  25. YES! Awesome idea, Michael! Love the entire guys read idea.

  26. For Anonymous: "Oh great, they're both locked in there. Doesn't anyone think around here?"

    (From page 166: Gennifer Choldenko's The Snake Mafia)

    And thanks for the comment, Yahong!

  27. Phew! Sorry I am out of breath, just saw this, came roaring over, lol. I see there is time, however and yay for that!

    Page number 350.

    Thanks and what fun!

  28. For Deb: (No page 350. Hope 250 will do!)

    "Do not under any circumstances remove patented ghost vision glasses from said secure location)

    From pg. 250, Patrick Carman's Ghost Vision Glasses


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!