Guys Read: Other Worlds

, ed. Vol. 4. illus. by Greg Ruth. 340p. (Guys Read Series). HarperCollins/Walden Pond. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780061963803; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780061963797. ebook available.
Gr 4–8—This volume in the popular series does not disappoint. It focuses on science fiction and fantasy, and once again 10 of the best writers in the field contribute short stories. While appealing primarily to boys, girls who are fans of this genre will scoop it up as well. Highlights include Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson and the Singer of Apollo," Neal Shusterman's "The Dirt on Our Shoes," and a story from recently deceased Ray Bradbury, "Frost and Fire." All of the selections are worthy, making this anthology a must purchase. Other Worlds will fly off the shelves, validating Scieszka's notion that there are no "reluctant" readers, just picky ones.—Renee McGrath, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY
This fourth collection contains ten boy-aimed science-fiction and fantasy stories from popular contemporary authors such as Rick Riordan, Rebecca Stead, Neal Shusterman, and Shaun Tan, plus one from Ray Bradbury, an inspiration to editor Scieszka. Though most of the tales here are entertaining and "mind-expandingly fun," Shusterman's and Bradbury's especially stand out as intriguing, suspenseful, and thought-provoking.
With their widely varied settings, sensibilities, and tones, the selections in this anthology make for a constantly surprising read, offering humor, adventure, and breathtaking new ideas. Includes original stories by Tom Angleberger, Shannon Hale, D. J. MacHale, Eric Nylund, Kenneth Oppel, Rick Riordan, Neal Shusterman, Rebecca Stead, and Shaun Tan, and a classic by Ray Bradbury. Each is accompanied by a striking, scene-setting illustration by Greg Ruth. Readers will enjoy the consistently thrilling pace and intensity to these tales. Whether set in outer space or on a school basketball court, the worlds and their rules are quickly established, and the young protagonists’ concerns are immediately relatable. Shannon Hale’s story of a young girl who takes a job as a bouncer at a tavern and Kenneth Oppel’s about a ghost boy discovered in a museum are particularly engaging. Short contributor biographies, concluding the book, also list selected works, allowing readers to easily find other titles by the writers of their favorite stories.

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