Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shredderman; Secret Identity

Shredderman is a super hero. He fights bullies through the Internet. The boys will read this humorous story by Wendelin Van Draanen and answer a quiz from the Shredderman website. As Nolan spies on the bully, Bubba Bixby, the boys will spy using a periscope that they will make out of cardboard and mirrors. Can't wait to hear what they think of the book.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Take the mummy and run : the Riot Brothers are on a roll by Mary Amato

The Guys and Books club has resumed for the 2009/2010 school year. The boys are very excited to begin discussing great books for boys. The first book that they read is Take the Mummy and Run; The Riot Brothers are on a Roll by Mary Amato. The boys will post to the blog their opinion of the book and activity. I am sure you will enjoy their comments.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Guys and Books Video

Check out the video created by Cuyahoga County Public Library. It highlights last year's Guys and Books meetings.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Guys and Books Finale

Sadly, yesterday was the last Guys and Books meeting for this school year. The boys walked over to the public library to play a game of bookopoly with the high school leaders. A large board game was created on the floor based on monopoly. Before you could roll the dice, you had to answer or meet a challenge based on each of the books read. Teams were created and they decided whether to take a question or challenge. The team to move completely around the board first, won. The boys had a great time. Each team had at least one high school leader. Even though the high school leaders did not read every book, they played a significant role in answering or meeting the challenge.
The relationships built between the high schoolers and younger students was very obvious. But even better, books are definitly loved by the boys. For when they were offered as give aways, they rushed to the books and anxiously picked the best ones. Books rule for Guys and Books.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chess Rumble by Greg Neri

Chess Rumble by Greg Neri was enjoyed by the boys. Even though the children's librarian thought it was scary. It wasn't too scary for the boys. We only had one leader for this discussion but the boys were kept entertained by playing chess. Some of the boys knew how to play and helped those that didn't. As they played chess, they discussed the book. This discussion was the easiest to prepare. The book was a very quick read for the teens and the activity did not require alot of work. Simple and effective makes a great discussion title.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


This was a great book to use with Guys and Books. The boys loved it! They found each of Scieszka's stories to be hilarious and loved to share stories of their own. For anyone around young boys knows.....they have many humorous stories to share.

We provided a worksheet with questions to prompt their personal stories, such as:

Tell a story about the time you did something and someone else was blamed.

Do you have brothers or sisters? tell a funny story about them.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?

The boys then shared their stories with each other. Of course a bit of ebellishment was allowed.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Viking It & Liking It by Jon Scieszka

Joe, Fred, and Sam want to play Vikings Football Smashfest, but instead find themselves in A.D. 1001 with a bunch of real Vikings! It's one wild ride with Leif Ericson as they sail on his voyage of discovery to North America.

The boys relived the lifestyle of a Viking by making Viking helmets, competing in Viking challenges, and outwitting each other in Viking word plays. The boys created helmets with newspaper. They also competed in team challenges such as a snowshoe race across the room. Each group was dared to stand on a newspaper ice floe and to turn around in the same order without falling off the floe. Since a Viking Warrior was not considered to be up to much unless his word skill was as good as his weapon skills, each team took turns telling riddles to see which group could outsmart the other.
Active, was the main theme of this book discussion.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No Talking by Andrew Clements

The boys at Laketon Elementary School challenge the girls in a no talking contest. Keeping track of the number of words that they speak, the group that speaks the least amount of words wins bragging rights. This is a great story that will appeal to those competitive boys.

Activity: Again we met with the school in California and held a virtual book discussion. This time the activity played a major role in prompting the book discussion. We used activities from Boredom Blasters; hours & miles of games & activities to make time fly by Susan Todd. Stare Down is a challenge for two people to stare at each other without laughing, smiling, blinking or looking away. The first that does loses. The second challenge is Giggle Game. In this players take turns trying to make each other laugh. The boys had a blast challenging the boys in California so much so that even the leaders got into the action. This book and the activities worked quite nicely in the virtual environment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Invention of Hugo Cabret: a novel in words and pictures by Brian Selznick

"Whoa! That’s a big book!" was the initial reaction when we asked the boys to read this title. But as you know, it is filled with illustrations that really exemplify the meaning of "extending the text".

Activity: With this book we experimented with the concept of a virtual book discussion. We worked with a school in California and used Skype. Skype is Internet Telephony software used mainly for making telephone calls over the Internet. It has a video call feature that transmits video and voice as long as one or more users have a Web Camera (WebCam) installed. Since the WebCam can only view a small area, the boys were forced to sit in a confined area. Normally, the boys are more active during the discussion. The activity seems to prompt the discussion rather than the boys sitting around talking about the book. Using the WebCam forced them to sit around and did not allow them to be active. We had some boys that were engaged in the technology rather than the discussion. Therefore, did not work as well as other discussions.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

With encouragement from his teacher, Jack learns to find meaning in poetry. And soon discovers poetry can become very personal to him. Since this book is written in free verse, it meets the needs of many reluctant readers. Its rhythm, satisfies those that love music. Through its play of language it reaches those that love words. And best of all, this format along with other poetry can help those "not so good at reading" gain confidence. The flow of the language helps them read more smoothly, quickly and accurately.

Activity: We introduced the students to a new format of poetry called "Blackout Poetry". Instead of the traditional starting point of a blank page, poet, Austin Kleon starts with a newspaper and permanent marker. He blacks out words that he doesn’t want and leaves words that form his poem. Check out his website at
We gave all of the boys the same newspaper article and asked them to create their own blackout poem.