Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Wow! Another Boys Steps Up to the Plate!!

--and he knocks it wayyy out of the park too! This is amazing. Last year's World Series of Reading Contest closely followed the actual World Series with all the extra innings and last-minute home runs. Now, our contest is following the MLB World Series again! Sunday's game had an incredibly high score and now the World Series of Reading Contest is posting the highest scores of any contest ever on this blog!

Today's high-scoring inning comes from a boy who is new to our blog. He calls himself Mr. Fox and he has sent us a bunch of reviews. But not only does he tell us about some cool books but he lets us know about some great audiobooks as well. Let's not waste any time but see what he has read (and listened to) lately:
(PS--I usually try to put a picture of each book cover with each book but there are too many today!)

Audiobook Review: Big Nate Lives It Up by Lincoln Peirce. The story is about Big Nate. He likes to draw comics. He has to show a new kid, Breckenridge, around the school. Nate does not like it because Breckenridge is around him all the time and Breckenridge is very different from Nate. By the end of the story, they become friends. I liked the story because both Nate and I love to draw and because it was funny!

Audiobook: Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate. The story is about a boy named Kek. He is from Africa. He moved to America because of fighting in his country. He feels different in America but he feels better when he goes to see the cow he takes care of. I like the story because the story was interesting and funny because Kek walked the cow to the zoo on a busy street and stopped traffic.

Audiobook: Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. The story was about a boy named Salva who never gave up on finding land where it was safe to live. Salva was from Africa. When he was a boy, he led a group of boys to a refuge camp. He stayed there for many years and then came to America. One day when he was checking his computer, he found out that his father was still alive and went to visit him in the hospital. His dad was sick because he drank water that wasn't safe. The story was also about a girl named Nya who walks a long way for water every day. Salva wanted to make a way for people to have safe drinking water. I liked the book because it was exciting: Salva was very brave to swim across a river with crocodiles while being shot at.

Book: The Twits by Roald Dahl. The story is about Mr. and Mrs. Twit, who have 4 pet monkeys who are forced to stand on their heads because Mr. and Mrs. Twit want to be the first to make a great, upside-down monkey circus. I liked the story a lot because it was funny, especially at the end when Mr. and Mrs. Twit got their heads glued to the floor!

Book: Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain by Jarrett Krosoczka. The story is about a lunch lady who fights crime. Lunch lady stopped the technology teacher from stealing the technology. I like Lunch Lady because it is a funny story and I like that it is a graphic novel. My favorite part was when lunch lady got sucked into the video game and had to fight the huge monster!

Book Review: Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle by Jarrett Krosoczka. The story is about a
lunch lady who fights crime. In this story she fights all the villains she fought before because she is trying to destroy the laser that Dr. Eliza Van Grindheimer built to destroy the moon. I liked the story because it was funny and because it was a graphic novel. I liked when Lunch Lady threw the egg at the principal and the vice principal was just standing there!

Book Review: Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. The story is about a fox named Mr. Fox. He steals food from the 3 farmers named Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. They try to catch him and kill him but Mr. Fox smells them out before they can shoot him. I like the story because it was interesting. Mr. Fox was able to dig right into the middle of the chicken coop, the cider house, and the storeroom of Boggis, Bunce, and Bean.

Thanks, Mr. Fox! Whew!  That's a LOT of reviews! I feel like those baseball players after all those hits and home runs! But we really appreciate appreciate them. There's a lot of interesting stuff here. We're particularly glad that you sent in audiobook reviews because boys think they're great and I would love to have more boys listen to them. They're really good for long cars trip or even if you're just going to school every day.

Anyhow, let's tally up the score.  The rules state that Lunch Lady reviews are worth two points each and audiobook reviews are worth four points each. The Roald Dahl book reviews are worth one point each, which gives Mr. Fox a total of--get ready for it--eighteen points!!!


That's the most points any boy has ever scored. It's going to be tough to beat that but, as I said the other day, don't let that discourage you. The Astros were down 5--0 in the fourth inning the other day and hardly anybody overcomes a score like that. So come on boys, climb out of those dugouts, knock the dirt off those shoes and send in a bunch of reviews. You have until midnight on Wednesday, November 1. Yes, that's tomorrow, but don't forget that Sunday's game got tied up in the ninth inning. You still have time to score points in the World Series of Reading Contest!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Our First Boy Steps Up to the Plate!

And he knocks it wayyy out of the park! And he does with only two submissions.

So just who is this remarkable guy? He calls himself The Beastly Beaman. What a great name! Let see what books he has read and liked:

The Mortality Doctrine Series (The Rule of Thoughts, The Eye of Minds, The Game of Lives) The Rule of Thoughts is about a young boy named Michel. The book is based in the future where virtual reality is so advanced that you can go to a dimension called the Sleep, which is basically life, but when you die you are sent back to the “Wake”; aka actual life. Anyway, Michel is sent down The Path, created by a rouge tangent (artificial intelligence), Kaine to test him. At the end, he learns that HE is actually a tangent and Kaine’s program The Mortality Doctrine puts him into the body of a human. Book 2, The Eye of Minds Is Michel’s journey in a human body. He learns that the Jackson Porter (the humans mind he replaced) has a girlfriend named Gabby. He finds his friends Bryson And Sarah and they undertake an adventure to the VNS (VirtNetSecurity) where Agent Weber give them a device called The Lance. It is a complex program that can be used to take down Kaine, But it actually wrecks havoc on..
.(He ran out of space--IGC)

I would like to send in the Inheritance Cycle Its four books long, and a lot happens in each book, so its to hard to give a summery of each book. I will do my best though to give a summery of the whole series, and not give away a lot like I did in the Mortality Doctrine review. Hope I get four points! Eragon, Eldest, Brisinger, Inheritance Eragon, a young farm boy is gifted when he finds a beautiful stone in a mountain range. He learns it is actually a dragon egg, and the dragon Saphira hatches for him. They undertake an adventure to kill the Ra-Zac, a race of insect like beings who killed his adopted father, Garrow. How ever he is captured and taken prisoner by a shade, a power being controlled by spirits. He finds and elf and together they go to the Varden, and organization sworn to take down the evil king Galbatorix. The Varden gathers power along with Eragon and together they launch and an epic campaign to take him down. You’ll have to read to find out the outcome.

Thanks, Beastly! Or should we call you Beaman? Or just BB? (If you had told us about 8 books instead of 7, we could have called you BB-8!! Ah, hahahahaha!!) I've never heard of The Mortality Doctrine books before and they sound interesting. A lot of boys have loved the Eragon books--and it's good to see that they still do! I've always meant to read those and maybe I should put them on my TBR list for 2018. Anyway, since you have told us about seven books, you get a total of seven points. That puts you out front with a big lead. Good work!

But don't let that discourage all you other reader guys. We are still in the early innings of this game and the story of baseball, especially the World Series, is full of teams that came from behind to win. Why, last year's World Series of Reading Contest was decided by a boy who sent in a last-minute review that scored enough points to let him come from behind and win. Don't forget that last Monday's post included a list of books that are worth two, three, four and even five points.

So, come on, guys, wind up and pitch a few more over the plate! All the world wants to know what guys are reading--and what better place to let them know than the World Series of Reading Contest!

(PS--don't forget to give the authors' names when you send in reviews. And let me know if you run out of room when you write them)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

You Want Prizes? We Got Prizes!

OK, boys, would you like to know what you could win by participating in the World Series of Reading Contest? Well, the Iron Guy has got some pictures to show you:

The first place winner gets a set of all three books in The Last Dragon Charmer trilogy by Laurie McKay and all three are signed by the author! (Plus you get to pick an item from the ultra-cool prize box)

the second place winner gets an new book, such as this one. (It's not signed, unfortunately, but we may have a signed book by another author on the way) Plus you get to pick an item out of the prize box.

and the third place winner gets to pick two prizes out of the prize box. Here is a picture of some of the things you could choose.

Pretty good, huh? These could be yours if you are one the top three boys with the most points at the end of the World Series of Reading Contest!
PS--as I said before, even if you live outside the Charlotte, NC, you could still participate. Send me your home info (which I won't publish) along with your review and we'll work something out.
PPS--Check out Monday's post that explains how the contest works.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Starting Today---

---the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers start playing the 2017 World Series AND all you reader guys can start sending in those book reviews and get points in the World Series of Reading Contest. So start that reading and reviewing! Can 't wait for that first one! And, as I said yesterday, even if you live outside the Charlotte, NC area, you could still participate. Let me know you where you live and we could work things out. (don't worry--the Iron Guy would never make that info public) Take a look at yesterday's post for all the rules.

So go and burn one right over the plate, boys, and let the World Series of Reading begin!

Monday, October 23, 2017

World Series of Reading Contest--2017 Edition

It's that time or year again, guys! The event that gets the Iron Guy more pumped up than Thor in a hammer-lifting room! What could ever be that exciting? Nothing else but the
World Series of Reading Contest!! It starts and ends the same time as the Major League Baseball World Series. We held one last year and, man, it was every bit as exciting as the real one--even going into extra innings and a last-minute score that changed the game! (take a look here and start reading forward to see what happened)

Our contest will start tomorrow, Tuesday, October 24, and go on through Wednesday, November 1, which would be how long the Series would run if it went all seven games. The rules are simple; you read books and then you send in a review of each book or audiobook. Each review is worth at least one point. Some will be worth more points. I'll count up the points after Nov. 1 and the three boys with the most points will win. What will the winners get? Prizes out of the ultra-cool prize box, which includes at least one set of books signed by the author!

So how does the contest work? I'm glad you asked. Boys can read anything they'd like--fiction, graphic novels, nonfiction or biographies. (What about audiobooks? Look further down in the Home Run section)  Any review is worth one point, making it a SINGLE.

However, there are some really good books that I think should get more attention. Reviews of these books will be worth two points, making them DOUBLES. These books are:

Any in the Alvin Ho, Stick Dog, Spy School, Frank Einstein, Brixton Brothers series or any graphic novel in the Lunch Lady series.

There are other books which are really good but longer and more challenging.  Reviews of these books will be worth three points, making them TRIPLES. These books are:

Stubby the War DogMilo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze, any book in the Leviathan trilogy or any book in the Who Was... or What Was...series or any book in Howard Bryant's Legends seriesor any graphic novel in the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales or the Bone series.

But wait--there's more! A review of any book in The Copernicus Legacy series or a review of The Boys in the Boat  will be worth four points, making it a HOME RUN.

And, for the first time, any review of an audiobook will be worth four points

So what would it take for a GRAND SLAM? A review of The YearlingTreasure Island, or The Hound of the Baskervilles. These books are older and also more challenging but also much more rewarding, making each review worth five points.

All right, guys, those are the rules. I will start accepting reviews today until midnight on Nov. 1. I'll try my best to announce the winners on Friday, Nov. 3.

Remember, when you send in a review, be sure to include the title, author, a brief summary of the plot and why you did or didn't like the book. Don't just say, "This book was cool. I liked it." Tell us why you did. Or didn't. There are instructions on sending reviews in the "Here's How Our Blog Works" box on the right-hand side of the page. Or you could call me at the Myers Park library at 704-416-5800. Winners will get prizes our of our ultra-cool prize box, which contains mostly books. All of them are ultra-cool, of course, but there may be a surprise or two. And if you live outside the Charlotte, NC area, you could still participate. Let me know where you live and we'll work things out. (don't worry--I won't post your address or anything)

So step up to the plate, boys, and send in those reviews. I know it may be hard with school going on but I have faith in all you MANLY MEN out there! I can't wait to hear from you!

Step up to the plate, boys, and knock them outta the park!

PS--if you want to find out more about any of the books I've mentioned, click on the title in the "labels" section under this post.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Two Cool Events

Hey guys, have you ever noticed that, once October gets in full swing,  there are fun events going onall around you. It's certainly the case in North Carolina. There are apple festivals up in the mountains, a Blackbeard Pirate festival on the coast, a barbecue festival in the central part of the state. There's even a Wooly Worm festival. Well, the Charlotte Mecklenburg library is getting in on the fun and so is the Boys Read blog. Let me tell you:

The author of this book will be there
On November 4, the library is going to hold its EpicFest at Imaginon, our extremely-cool place that is like no other place in the country. There's going to be a lot  very fun stuff that day, so don't miss it! Plus there will also be several authors there, including Eric Litwin of Pete the Cat fame and David Lubar, who is a favorite of a lot of guys.  I went last year and had a great time.
will be a lot of

And the Iron Guy is not going to let October go by without a big event, so this year he's going to bring back The World Series of Reading Contest that was so great last year. It will start on October 24, the same day as the actual World Series, and I will post all the rules the day before. (It will be simple--boys write in reviews of books and get points. The three boys with the most points win) So check this blog on Monday, October 23 to find out how it will work and start sending in your reviews on the 24th. (If you'd like an advance look at the rules, check out this post from last year. The rules will be almost the same this year) Last year's Contest was as thrilling as last year's history-making World Series, so let's see if we could make this one even better!! (and grownups--including teachers--if you know any boys who'd like to participate, let them know, even if they live outside of the Charlotte area. We could work things out)

The Major League Baseball World Series and the Boys Read World Series of Reading--two great events!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Isn't This GREAT?? An Interview With Laurie McKay

October greetings, reader guys everywhere. Fall is here now but that doesn't mean I can't remember some of the fun I had over the summer, especially all the fun I had reading The Last Dragon Charmer fantasy trilogy by Laurie McKay. All three of them are terrific books and they're set in Asheville, NC, which is only a couple of hours from Charlotte. (click on "The Last Dragon Charmer" tab under this post to see reviews of them)

Well, guess what--I've got an interview with the author! How cool is that? Let's  not waste any time but let's hear what Ms. McKay has to say:

The talented Laurie McKay
I’ve heard this nasty rumor that it’s uncool for boys to read. I bet you disagree. Tell us why.

Oh, yes, I completely disagree. Boys who read are cool. How could they not be? Reading takes kids to other worlds – some very real and some very imagined and all fantastic. That is amazing.
There are so many great stories out there, too. Personally, I like stories with dragons and swordfights, and mystery, magic, and humor - so that’s what I write books about. Who doesn’t find dragons cool?
Even if you’re not into dragons, there are un-put-down-able books about anything and everything: school, life in another world, life in another time, bullies, monsters, superheroes, sports. There are funny books and super-serious books, long books and short books and books of poetry. The list goes on and on. And, if you don’t want to read a book, you can read a comic book or a graphic novel or a short story or a manga.
There are a hundred cool stories just waiting for the right reader to choose them.

You’ve written a very terrific fantasy. Did you read a lot of that growing up? If so, what were your favorite books or series? Did you read a lot of other sorts of books as well? What were your favorites?

I read a little bit of everything growing up and fantasy was one of my favorite genres. I especially liked ‘portal fantasies’. That’s where characters go from one world to another like in The Wizard of Oz. The Oz books are a series and I read most of them. I also loved Choose Your Own Adventure books. I’d reread them over and over until I’d found all the possible endings. 
Two of my very favorite books growing up were The Girl with the Silver Eyes – it is about a group of kids with psychic powers, and The Mixed-up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler – it’s about a brother and sister who run away from home and live in a museum.  
I also read Garfield and The Far Side Comics. So I suppose I read a bit of everything. I still do!

Why did you decide to set your books in Asheville?

I picked Asheville for three specific reasons:
One, I’m from North Carolina and I wanted to set the book in this state. 
Two, Asheville has a fiery name, rocky slopes, and mountainous terrain. It seems an ideal home for a dragon!
Three, Asheville is this modern, artsy city set among the Appalachian Mountains. Shops sell t-shirts that tout the city as ‘Asheville Weird’. There are a lot of worlds and people colliding so it seemed a good place for people from another world to blend with the locals.

I don’t normally ask questions like this but these books got me to thinking. You seem to have a theme going—that language is powerful and knowing how to use it properly (even the old languages) can give you power. Is that right?

Definitely. There is a lot of power in words and in language. Words can hurt and heal. They can bring peace or war. Deciphering ancient languages, helps us understand peoples of the past, and sharing common languages lets us communicate. As the books progress, Caden comes to understand and harness some of that power. He uses it for good, but he has to think about what to say, what he means, and what the consequences of his words will be.

Will there be any more books about Caden and Razzon?

I have an idea for two books set in the Greater Realm with Caden and company. I’m working on a few other books right now, but I’d like to get these written and out in the world one day! The actual writing just takes a while…

I always ask these last two questions. Which do you prefer—cheeseburgers or pizza? What do you like on them?

I like pizza. My favorite toppings are not olives and not anchovies. All other vegetables, meats, and cheeses are welcome.

Thanks, Ms. McKay!! We really appreciate your taking the time to answer our questions--and for writing those terrific books! We're so grateful, in fact, that we're going to give you the highest honor we could possibly bestow and make you an HONORARY GUY.

Yes, that means you now have the right to make obnoxious noises at sporting events, crack all the dumb jokes you'd like and eat insane amounts of foods with no nutritional value. We know that you're probably so stunned and overwhelmed by the greatness of this honor that you can't even say anything. Don't worry--your terrific books have said everything for you!

Well, all silliness aside, we truly appreciate this interview. Be sure to check out these books, guys, and let us know what you think of them!