Thursday, June 28, 2012

Men: An Appreciation Revisited

It is not news that guys write and guys read. Except that it is. I write about this a lot. Posts include Men: An AppreciationMen: An Appreciation Part 2 Making Boys Visible. Revolution, and The Boys Got Left Behind.
At the American Library Association Convention on Friday, I attended a panel comprised of some very  fine men.
The panel was called "Guy Writers Talk Guy Readers."
I talked a little bit about this event last weekend. I want to talk about it a lot today.
See, you don't see a bunch of guys often enough at book events. I don't have any statistics about the ALA Convention, except that the ALA website says about 14,000 people attended and I'm pretty sure that there were a lot more women than men.At The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Conferences women are exceptionally well-represented, which is cool.
There aren't as many guys. This is not cool, because guys do write and guys do read.
So here who was on this panel:
Michael Grant
Daniel Handler
Moderator: Daniel Kraus
Jon Scieszka
Andrew Smith
All these Guy Writers in one place: Daniel Handler, Andrew Smith, Daniel Kraus, Jon Scieszka,  Michael Grant

Each one of these men spoke and the coolness factor was so high that I can't even assign numbers to it. I'm not big on assigning numbers to stuff anyway.
Jon Scieszka spoke about growing up as one of six brothers. Six. And he knows that guys read and he's doing something about it. He has a Guys Read  series of books and a whole website on the subject. I love hearing this man speak because he gets kids, especially guys, and he makes me laugh really hard. I like laughing really hard.
Here is a picture of me with Jon Scieszka. I have decided that whenever I get my picture taken with Jon Scieszka I will make a face because something about Jon brings out my inner third grader. I think this is a good thing.
Jon says that he does not assign blame for the fact that guys tend to taper off their reading habits once they hit adolescence. I am not as kind. I do assign blame. More on this later.
Michael Grant spoke about how books were "home" for him. I completely  relate to this statement, and I know it is true for many of my students. Here I am with Michael Grant.

Here is Andrew Smith's post about his "Guy Writers Talk Guy Readers" presentation.
Andrew also talked about how amazing the Angel Potatoes are. This is always a happiness to me.
Daniel Handler began his presentation by reading something that guys would like to read. I can say with complete honesty that it was a really beautiful selection and that many people needed to fan themselves during and after he read what he did. It was so completely wonderful to hear truth all that night, topped off with a pedal-to-the-metal reading like that.
Here is a series of pictures of me with Daniel Handler.

I am not being specific with details because writers and other people who present work really hard on their presentations and these presentations are their intellectual property.
Suffice to say that every one of these guys is amazing and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend this event. And you can check them out and read their books, because then you can see for yourself that these are some of the finest human beings a person can hope to meet in this dimension.
So, guys, I know that you will keep writing. And please believe me when I say that I will do everything in my power to make sure that all human beings in my care, male and female, will have access to your stories.
And, guys?


  1. My dad says your post might be above my head, but I came here to say thank you for getting Shannon's book for us (and I'm blogging about it today)! Thanks.

  2. Love the Daniel Handler pics, M does too. :)