Other Worlds (Guys Read #4)

Featured
 
4.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
2526 0
Other Worlds (Guys Read #4)
Author(s)
Age Range
9+
Release Date
September 17, 2013
ISBN
978-0061963797
Buy This Book
      

"Other Worlds," the fourth volume in Jon Scieszka’s Guys Read anthology series for tween boys, features ten thrilling new tales of science fiction and fantasy from some of the biggest names in children’s literature.

Prepare yourself for ten trips into the unknown, as ten of your favorite writers — Rick Riordan, who has written an all-new and exclusive Percy Jackson tale, Tom Angleberger of Origami Yoda fame, Newbery medalist Rebecca Stead, Shannon Hale, D. J. MacHale, Eric Nylund, Kenneth Oppel, Neal Shusterman, Shaun Tan, and none other than the late Ray Bradbury — spin tales of fantasy and science fiction the likes of which you have never imagined.

Compiled by National Ambassador for Children’s Literature (and Secret Ambassador for the Intergalactic Alliance) Jon Scieszka, "Guys Read: Other Worlds" is sure to boldly take you where no reader has gone before.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Great Choice for Reluctant Readers!
(Updated: October 10, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Guys Read: Other Worlds is a collection of fast-paced stories that will appeal to reluctant young readers, of either gender.

Breakdown of the stories:
“Percy Jackson and the Singer of Apollo” by Rick Riordan: Okay, so I’m actually not the biggest Percy Jackson fan. I’ve read the first two and they were alright, but then I gave up on the series out of disinterest. The story here is pretty consistent with what I remember. Fun and silly and totally up the pre-teen humor alley, complete with a pantsing. However, I’m also now convinced I should give good ol’ PJ another try at some point, because Jesse Bernstein does a fantastic job narrating.

“Bouncing the Grinning Goat” by Shannon Hale: In case you were wondering why I decided to listen to an audiobook purportedly for guys, and young ones at that, this right here is the reason. I love Shannon Hale’s books, so as soon as I saw her name on this, I knew I had to listen. As usual, Shannon’s story centers around a sassy, young heroine, which I am glad to see, because, yeah, boys can read about girls! The plot was a little bit too far-fetched for me with a young girl who ran away from home pretending to have magical powers so she can work as a bouncer. It’s funny, but not really in a way that works all that well for me. I imagine kids might be more entranced however.

“The Scout” by D. J. MacHale: In “The Scout,” a scout troop goes on a grueling hike and then is left to make their way back to base in two groups. Kit is all, naw man, I’ll come back on my own, and sneaks off from his group. While camping on his own, he spots an alien ship crash-landing. “The Scout” appeals to action-adventure fans, which isn’t usually my thing, but this actually got pretty high concept too.

“Rise of the RoboShoes” by Tom Angleberger: This is basically what it sounds like: a story about RoboShoes and how their society rises and falls. It’s only eight minutes long, so that’s good. Honestly, I’m too old for this. I can see where kids would think it was hilarious, but not for me.

“The Dirt on Our Shoes” by Neal Shusterman: Shusterman’s story follows more typical science fiction lines, with a story much like Across the Universe or Starglass. Tanner lives aboard T-Bin, a spaceship heading out to colonize a new planet. As the ship gets closer, certain events make Tanner suspicious that perhaps they’re not meant to colonize it after all. DUN DUN DUN. I was really enjoying this one, but then it ended with more fecal matter then I’m entirely comfortable with. Poop jokes are one of those things that aren’t as funny post-childhood.

“A Day in the Life” by Shaun Tan: This story is all of a minute long. I’m fairly certain this must be a graphic novel in the print version, because it sure as hell does not make a ton of sense in the audio version. I’m especially not hearing the sci fi or fantasy elements. This might be cool in print, but it did not transition well.

“Plan B” by Rebecca Stead: CATS IN SPACE. This has been my favorite story so far. A boy locked in his room slowly unravels the story of why he’s locked in his room, a story which gets crazier every moment. This totally took me back to one of my favorite movies when I was a kid, The Cat from Outer Space.

“The Klack Bros. Museum” by Kenneth Oppel: A kid and his dad go to a seriously creepy museum in the middle of nowhere. Then the townie who runs it offers to by the kid so that he can keep the museum’s ghost company. Points off for there being so many reasons the father should have thought better of accepting a ride to a tiny museum from a creepy old guy who just happened to be going for long enough to take them and bring them back. IT’S A TRAP.

“The Warlords of Recess” by Eric S. Nylund: The premise of this story actually reminds me of Red Rain, only this one’s funny ON PURPOSE. That’s an important distinction. Anyway, aliens are running a test attack of the earth to determine whether they should launch a full-scale attack. If they are defeated three times by a sample army, they’ll leave with well wishes for the planet. The forces they will be fighting: an elementary school at recess. Totally realistic, right? Two nerds save the day when they figure out the aliens’ weak spot.

What Left Me Questioning:
Since the series began, I’ve been keeping an eye on the Guys Read books. In theory, it’s a great idea, because more boys should be reading for fun. However, by marketing them as “guy” books, girls are being excluded and it’s continuing the idea that books are gendered. This story is ONLY for girls, and this one is ONLY for boys. As a concept, that needs to die, as it’s based on the sexist values inculcated in our society. They’re clearly making some effort to mold young minds in a good way, based on the inclusion of two female authors and one female MC, but the name itself is still troublesome.

Note: My review copy lacked “Frost and Fire,” a short story by Ray Bradbury that was included in the collection, so I can’t comment on that.

The Final Verdict:
On the whole, I’m forced to admit that I’m a little bit too old for Guys Read: Other Worlds, but I’ve been curious about the series anyway and I’m glad I checked it out. Most of the stories were still quite entertaining, even if I’m not the target audience. Plus, unlike many multiple voice narration efforts, each narrator seemed well-matched to the story. Though I question the gendered marketing, this is a great read for middle graders.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Take a Trip to These 'Other Worlds'
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
In all honesty, I had never read an anthology of short stories for middle grade readers before I picked up “Guys Read: Other Worlds” that Jon Scieszka put together. I was hesitant at first, but after diving into this book, I realized my hesitations weren’t needed for a single second.

Scieszka picked a great selection of sci-fi and fantasy stories, and he paced them well. Scieszka gets young readers hooked right off the bat with a familiar writer and a popular character as Rick Riordan kicks off the stories with a light-hearted Percy Jackson adventure. From there Scieszka offers a diverse mix of funny fare (Tom Angleberger’s tale of robotic shoes that take over the world) to more spooky and tense stories (Kenneth Oppel’s “The Klack Bros. Museum” in which a boy is followed around by a potentially menacing ghost). I was extremely impressed by Scieszka’s addition of Ray Bradbury at the very end. He picked an extremely interesting short story of Bradbury’s, showing young readers that authors recommended by teachers don’t have to be boring!

After such a great MG anthology experience, I’m definitely looking into the other Guys Read collections.
Good Points
Great mix of sci-fi and fantasy stories.
A range in tone from extremely funny to really freaky.
An exciting introduction for young readers to Ray Bradbury.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Illustrated profiles of fifty pioneering female athletes, from the author...
PJ Masks Save Lunchtime!
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko save a lunchtime birthday party in...
Lala's Words: A Story of Planting Kindness
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
From debut author-illustrator Gracey Zhang comes a timeless and timely...
Dangerous Play
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A fierce team of girls takes back the night in...
Shatter City
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
When the world sees Frey, they think they see her...
If You Miss Me
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A healing story of loss and love, this beautiful picture...
Learning about the Garden with Sleeping Beauty (Fairytale Encyclopedia)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Roses were very dangerous for Sleeping Beauty―that everybody knows. But...
Squirrel Do Bad (Trubble Town, #4)
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the author of the “Pearls Before Swine” comic strip...
Playing the Cards You'reDealt
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ten-year-old Anthony Joplin has made it to double digits! Which...
Discovering the Underground with Snow White (Fairytale Encyclopedia)
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
There are not only dwarves in the underground. This hidden...
Rock by Rock: The Fantastical Garden of Nek Chand
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
This luminous picture book tells the fascinating true story of...
Bisa's Carnaval
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Discover the sights and sounds of Brazil through the eyes...

Latest Member Reviews

PJ Masks Save Lunchtime!
 
3.5
"PJ MASKS SAVE LUNCHTIME! is a cute picture book based on the TV show. Gekko, Catboy, and Owlette are excited..."
Lala's Words: A Story of Planting Kindness
 
3.0
"LALA'S WORDS is the story of a young girl who loves spending time with some plants and speaking to them...."
If You Miss Me
 
5.0
"IF YOU MISS ME is a beautiful picture book about loss, love, and grief. Charlie loves to dance, and she..."
Squirrel Do Bad (Trubble Town, #4)
 
3.0
"SQUIRREL DO BAD is an entertaining graphic novel about the consequences of small actions. The book begins with Wendy the..."
Cold-Blooded Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle #3)
 
4.0
"Myrtle's small English village is like many who seem to suffer from far too many murders, especially for the late..."
Playing the Cards You'reDealt
 
5.0
"Anthony "Ant" Joplin is in his last year of elementary school (where his aunt is principal-- not at all awkward!),..."
Bisa's Carnaval
 
5.0
"BISA'S CARNAVAL is a colorful and delightful celebration of Carnaval and family. Bisa loves Carnaval and is happy to show..."
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
S Santana
"i am giving this testimony cos l am happy My name is Mrs. Santana Valdez from Houston,taxes.i never believed in..."
Kyle's Little Sister
 
4.0
"Grace is just entering 6th grade, and will be rejoining her older brother Kyle at school, where he is a..."
Willa of Dark Hollow (Willa of the Wood, 2)
 
4.5
"What I Loved: In the first book, I left wanting to see Willa interact more in nature. In this..."
The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
4.0
"Rosie Singer knows something is wrong with her mom. She doesn’t comfort her or look at her the way her..."
The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling
 
5.0
"What I Loved: The Oddmire, Book 1 Changeling delivered a lot of heart and humor in this first installment...."
Count to LOVE! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
 
5.0
"Beginning with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. about love, COUNT TO LOVE! is a cute poem that encourages..."
The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
 
4.5
"THE MYSTERY OF THE MEANEST TEACHER is an adventure-filled graphic novel about Johnny (Kid) Constantine. We start by meeting Kid..."
Bird Boy
 
4.5
"BIRD BOY is a sweet picture book about being yourself and embracing your differences. Nico is the new kid in..."
Love You By Heart
 
4.5
"LOVE YOU BY HEART is a simple but beautiful story of love. Featuring a big and little heart, the book..."
Fa-La-La Llama (Touch-and-Feel Board Book)
 
5.0
"FA-LA-LA LLAMA is a delightfully festive board book song. The book features llamas getting into the spirit of the non-religious..."
Ground Zero
 
5.0
"This book delivers the stories of both Brandon, a nine year old in New York City during the 9/11 attacks,..."
The Last Gate of the Emperor
 
5.0
"Yared Heywat has lived with his Uncle Moti since the death of his parents. They have moved around in very..."
Sunny Makes a Splash (Sunny #4)
 
5.0
"It's summer just outside Philadelphia in 1978, and Sunny is faced with the tedium of watching her younger brother Teddy..."