Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Guys Read 2 Thriller edited by Jon Scieszka

Guys Read 2 Thriller
Edited by Jon Scieszka
Walden Pond Press
Available 9/20
288 pages

A body on the tracks

A teenage terrorist

A mysterious wish-granting machine

The world’s worst private detective

The second volume in the Guys Read Library of Great Reading is chock-full of mystery, intrigue, and nefarious activity. Featuring some of the best writers around, and compiled by certified guy Jon Scieszka, Guys Read: Thriller is a pulse-pounding collection of brand-new short stories, each one guaranteed to keep you riveted until the final page.

Following Guys Read Funny Business, Guys Read 2 Thriller gives us short stories by authors such as MT Anderson, Matt de la Pena, Anthony Horowitz, Walter Dean Myers, Maragaret Peterson Haddix, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Gennifer Choldenko, Bruce Hale, James Patterson and Patrick Carman. I'm familiar with several of these authors. Some, I've never heard of. But the short stories in Thriller were again great for reluctant readers and reading lovers alike.

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!!



  1. I've been wondering about this book, kept seeing it around but never tried to get it for the boys of the blog - will really have to show them the book after your review of it. Sounds like something they would both enjoy...and me too!

  2. It's really good!! Definitely you should get it for the boys, but don't think it's just for boys!
    I'm a girl and loved it!!



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