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Launching a Guys Read Field Office

updated good hair day, 2 years later

When I tackled the idea of starting a lunchtime Guys Read field office at my son's elementary school, I figured he and maybe two other kiddos would show up. I invited all boys in grades third through six but honestly assumed the art room where we'd meet would be so cavernous you'd hear echoes. 

Today was our first meeting and WOWZA! About 60 or so guys and a fourth grade teacher showed up! Some guys had to eat lunch on the floor. Not really, but it came close. Here are our highlights:

First order of business: Vote for your favorite things to read.
The top 10:
  • Books about war and/or weapons
  • Books with at least one massive sword fight
  • All Wimpy Kid books
  • World records or other weird facts
  • Anything having to do with Percy Jackson
  • Monsters and ghost stories
  • Books that explain how things work
  • Books about sports or athletes
  • Joke books
  • Cereal boxes
Second order of business: Pick a Guys Read Field Office name.  The top suggestions so far:
  1. Chicken Machete
  2. Read Big or Go Home
  3. Daffodil Squad
  4. Attack of the Mutant Reader Guys
Third order of Business: Decide how often to meet. Every other Monday during lunch.

So many guys showed up that we didn’t get to talk about some of the cool things we can do this year, like post suggestions or reviews or write and post our own stories at our Guys Read website. The older kids were mightily impressed that I'd met Gordon Korman (and more impressed when I described how big Mr. Korman's arms are in real life) (they're huge) and that I had an autographed copy of Coraline by Neil Gaiman. The younger guys mostly just wanted to tell jokes (Why did the elephant cross the road? To prove he wasn't a chicken!) and to gape over my son's copy of Ripley's Believe it or Not!

It was so much fun.We talked about zombies and smashing stuff. I can't wait until next time!

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
daytonward
Nov. 2nd, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
That is Awesome. Yes, with a capital "A."
crcook
Nov. 2nd, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
it really was pretty awesome. I don't expect that many to continue, but 50 guys signed up to come back.
carmenoliver
Nov. 4th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
LOVE this!
I absolutely LOVE this! I've been thinking of starting a book club at school for awhile now! How inspiring! Thanks for sharing!
crcook
Nov. 4th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
Re: LOVE this!
:) Thanks Carmen!
author_aghoward
Nov. 17th, 2010 03:41 am (UTC)
Kuddos to you for inspiring these boys to read! When I used to work at a middleschool library, we had an online reading club and the first year there was an explosion of interest, girls and boys alike. I don't think they have the reading club there anymore, but it was such an inspiration to see those kids reading and TALKING about what they read.

Good job, and I hope the enthusiasm lasts! ;-)
crcook
Nov. 17th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
I hope it lasts too. We had our second meeting yesterday and just under 70 boys showed up this time! We don't have enough room! We've also had a couple of girls wondering if they could come.

thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you're well.
author_aghoward
Nov. 17th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
I am well, thanks. I've just been out of the LJ loop for awhile because I shifted gears from writing historical romance to YA. I just sent off the finished MS to the agent and finally I have some time to check up on everyone. I hope you're well, too!
crcook
Nov. 17th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
good luck with the YA!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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