Books by Jon Scieszka

Former teacher, Jon Scieszka, founded the Guys Read literacy initiative in response to the struggle many boys face with reading—a struggle that can have a negative impact on their self-esteem, their success in school, and their futures. He is the enormous


BATTLE BUNNY by Jon Scieszka
Released: Oct. 22, 2013

"An enthusiastically taboo, devil-may-care outing for combat fans—and a great writing inspiration to use on old books headed for the bin. (Picture book. 5-10)"
What if a creative, military-obsessed kid took a pencil and went to town on a boring old book? Read full book review >
OTHER WORLDS by Jon Scieszka
edited by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Greg Ruth
Released: Sept. 17, 2013

"The perennially tantalizing "What if…" gets an above-average workout here. (author bios; not seen) (Short stories. 10-13)"
The fourth Guys Read collection presents an all-star lineup with nine new stories and one oldie-but-goody. Read full book review >
SPACEHEADZ by Jon Scieszka
Released: Aug. 27, 2013

"Secret codes…science and math tidbits…hamster-translation websites…and the odd flying whale. ULTRA FRESH! (Humorous science fiction. 7-10)"
With the evil SPHDZ in control of the Brainwave, is there any hope left for mankind…or hamsterkind? Read full book review >
WHO DONE IT? by Jon Scieszka
Released: Feb. 12, 2013

"Clever in small doses—tedious after the first few dozen entries. (author bios) (Belles lettres. 10-12)"
A routine writing exercise filled with in-jokes and carried to ridiculous extremes by a mammoth stable of YA and children's authors. Read full book review >
THE SPORTS PAGES by Jon Scieszka
Released: Sept. 8, 2012

"The stories here offer action, humor and lessons about life and may well do the trick of connecting boys and books. (Short stories. 9-13)"
Ten writers and athletes contribute sports stories written exclusively for this volume. Read full book review >
SPACEHEADZ by Jon Scieszka
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 20, 2011

"Fans will be in heaven, especially at the certainty of further installments. (Humorous science fiction. 7-10)"
Alien Spaceheadz approach their goal of recruiting 3.14 million + one Earthling SPHDZ…can they save Earth!? Read full book review >
THRILLER by Jon Scieszka
Released: Sept. 20, 2011

"This anthology is brimming with choice stuff for guys who appreciate the uncanny, the uncouth and the un-put-down-able. (Short stories. 9-13)"
This second collection in the Guys Read series packs a dizzying punch. Read full book review >
SPACEHEADZ by Jon Scieszka
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Dec. 1, 2010

"CLINICALLY PROVEN entertainment for fans old and new! (Fiction. 7-10)"
Tapped to save the world by advertisement-spouting alien SPHDZ Jen and Bob (who resemble human kids), beleaguered fifth grader Michael K. continues his quest to recruit 3.14 million earthlings to be Spaceheadz lest the Earth be turned off. Read full book review >
FUNNY BUSINESS by Jon Scieszka
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

"In other words, utterly dude worthy. (Short stories. 9-13)"
"Your brain is doing some great work when it's laughing," states evangelist Scieszka in this humorous anthology, the first of a proposed Guys Read series that promises to cover a range of genres. Read full book review >
SPACEHEADZ by Jon Scieszka
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 22, 2010

"You will be SPHDZ! (Multi-platform science fiction. 7-12)"
P.S. 858 fifth grader Michael K. had hoped for a normal first day in his new school, but what he gets is crazy-weird. Read full book review >
ROBOT ZOT! by Jon Scieszka
FICTION
Released: Sept. 22, 2009

"Zot! (Picture book. 3-8)"
Robot Zot invades Earth, vowing to destroy all earthly enemies—mostly kitchen appliances, as Zot measures a whopping four inches high. Read full book review >
KNUCKLEHEAD by Jon Scieszka
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

Offering an answer to the perennial query about where his ideas come from, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature looks back to his early 1960s youth. Read full book review >
WALT DISNEY’S ALICE IN WONDERLAND by Jon Scieszka
CLASSICS
Released: Sept. 2, 2008

"But they ended up being the dinner"—this isn't likely to excite more than mild interest in children, although the art may be of interest to film historians. (Picture book. Adult)"
As with 2007's Walt Disney's Cinderella, written by Cynthia Rylant, this volume showcases the color sketches of Blair, who was a production designer for many of Disney's classic animated films. Read full book review >
PETE’S PARTY by Jon Scieszka
FICTION
Released: June 3, 2008

"For emergent readers, more hype than help. (Early reader. 4-6)"
This weak title, one in an early-reader series that's part of Scieszka's Trucktown brand, purports to provide active children with a similarly rambunctious easy-to-read package. Read full book review >
JON SCIESZKA’S TRUCKTOWN by Jon Scieszka
FICTION
Released: Jan. 8, 2008

"The combination of high-energy artwork and exuberant characters are sure to make the Trucktown series a necessary purchase for every garage library. (Picture book. 3-7)"
The irrepressible Scieszka has set his sites on entertaining a younger crowd and getting them (boys especially) hooked on the joys of reading. Read full book review >
COWBOY & OCTOPUS by Jon Scieszka
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"It's usually clear enough, but for truly clueless readers, Octopus is generally good for a pithy summation. (Picture book. 6-8)"
The Dynamic Duo set a new standard for unlikely pals in seven mini-tales on the ins and outs—and responsibilities—of buddyhood. Read full book review >
GUYS WRITE FOR GUYS READ by Jon Scieszka
NONFICTION
Released: May 1, 2005

"If it leads boys to the many works by the authors represented, it will have done a fine service to its cause. (foreword) (Anthology. 11+)"
The complaint that there aren't enough books for boys can be dismissed after seeing Scieska's new collection, for which 88 writers and illustrators have contributed work. Read full book review >
SEEN ART? by Jon Scieszka
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2005

A child goes to the Museum of Modern Art looking for his friend Art, but finds lots of art instead. Read full book review >
SCIENCE VERSE by Jon Scieszka
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"If this offering falls short of the standard set by Math Curse, it will nevertheless find an eager audience, who will hope that the results of Mr. Picasso's curse will soon be forthcoming. (Poetry. 8-12)"
In 1995, Mrs. Fibonacci laid a Math Curse; this year, it's Mr. Newton who says, " . . . if you listen closely enough, you can hear the poetry of science in everything." Read full book review >
VIKING AND LIKING IT by Jon Scieszka
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Light fare at best, Bullshik at worst. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Another adventure in history by the boys in the Time Warp Trio. Read full book review >
SAM SAMURAI by Jon Scieszka
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"It's not the freshest of the Trio's escapades, but the author plainly isn't ready to throw in the bowel—er, towel, quite yet. (Fiction. 9-11)"
Guys writing poetry? Read full book review >
BALONEY (HENRY P.) by Jon Scieszka
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2001

"If only all pedagogy were this much fun. (Picture book. 6-12)"
It's "Permanent Lifelong Detention" for Henry P. Baloney, unless the tardy alien can come up with "one very good and very believable excuse" for Miss Bugscuffle. Read full book review >
HEY KID, WANT TO BUY A BRIDGE? by Jon Scieszka
FANTASY
Released: March 1, 2001

"Perhaps it is time for the trio to take a break. (Fiction. 8-11)"
Fred, Sam, and Joe once again time-travel with the help of The Book. Read full book review >
SEE YOU LATER, GLADIATOR by Jon Scieszka
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 9-11)"
Never ones to learn from past mistakes, Joe, Sam, and Fred, collectively the Time Warp Trio, again horse around until they knock open The Book and are whisked away to another era. Read full book review >
IT'S ALL GREEK TO ME by Jon Scieszka
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

"The wordplay is still fast and funny, and fans of the series will not mind that the deities have become sort of stock types; the abundance of goofy Groucho Marx-style zingers will keep everyone else smiling. (Fiction. 7-11)"
Scieszka and Lane's intrepid heroes of The Time Warp Trio are once again up to their necks in very silly historical circumstances. Read full book review >
SQUIDS WILL BE SQUIDS by Jon Scieszka
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"In illustrations that are as fresh and eyecatching as ever, the goofiness is as enticing as junk food, the colors Fruit-Loop bright, but fables usually have purpose, not punchlines; without such purpose, this is just another joke book for the '90s. (Picture book. 6-10)"
This latest bright, glib collection of tales irreverently updates Aesop-like fables as Beavis and Butthead might have rewritten them. Read full book review >
SUMMER READING IS KILLING ME by Jon Scieszka
FANTASY
Released: July 1, 1998

"With plenty of action and silly humor, the book itself is a pretty good addition to summer reading lists. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 7-11)"
In this latest Time Warp Trio entry, Fred, Joe, and Sam have sworn off using that volume of dangerous time-travel, The Book. Read full book review >
MATH CURSE by Jon Scieszka
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Readers can check their answers on the back cover. (Picture book. 7-9)"
 An unsuspecting student falls victim to the Math Curse when her teacher notes that ``You can think of almost everything as a math problem.'' Suddenly, everything is: ``I wake up at 7:15. Read full book review >
THE STINKY CHEESE MAN by Jon Scieszka
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"Irrepressibly zany fun. (Fiction/Picture book. 5+)"
 From the front jacket copy (``...56 action-packed pages, 75% more than those old 32-page `Brand-X' books'') to the Little Red Hen's back-cover diatribe (``Who is this ISBN guy?''), the parodic humor here runs riot. Read full book review >
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE GOOFY by Jon Scieszka
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1992

"Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 8-12)"
 A third fast-paced entry in the ``Time Warp Trio'' series (initiated with Knights of the Kitchen Table, 1991) takes the boys from watching a cowboys-and-Indians show that one of them describes as ``just a bad character actor reinforcing mindless stereotypes'' to a parodied western adventure that's just as lively but more PC: The cowboys are multiracial, and when the boys are captured by Indians, there's a debate about their potentially gruesome fate; ultimately, the good braves save the boys from Custer's cavalry and are in turn saved by the boys as they contrive to return to the present. Read full book review >
THE FROG PRINCE, CONTINUED by Jon Scieszka
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1991

"It's an entertaining effort— just not up to that superlative first book. (Picture book. 5+)"
 The co-author (with A. Wolf) of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (1989) assays another humorous embroidery of a traditional tale with somewhat less notable success. Read full book review >
KNIGHTS OF THE KITCHEN TABLE by Jon Scieszka
FANTASY
Released: May 1, 1991

"See also a simultaneously published sequel, The Not-So-Jolly Roger, reviewed below (in brief). (Fiction. 8-12)"
 The author of the hilarious The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (1989) comes up with an entertaining formula in this first ``Time Warp Trio'' story: Narrator Joe is given a magic book (''The Book'') that transports him and two friends to King Arthur's Britain, where they find themselves confronted by a fearsome Black Knight—who's easy to defeat with some quick dodging when he's in mid-charge. Read full book review >
THE NOT-SO-JOLLY ROGER by Jon Scieszka
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 1991

"Historical afterword'' on Blackbeard; another (tongue firmly in cheek) on the boys. (Fiction. 8-12)"
 A second ``Time Warp Trio'' story (cf. Read full book review >
THE TRUE STORY OF THE 3 LITTLE PIGS by Jon Scieszka
Released: Oct. 1, 1989

"Not for little children, but middle grades and up should be entertained while taking the point about the unreliability of witnesses."
One of life's more important lessons is that a second view of the same events may yield a story that is entirely different from another but equally "true." Read full book review >