This second collection in the Guys Read series packs a dizzying punch.
Scieszka has gathered 10 thrilling stories from stellar writers. There are ghost stories, a deeply touching tale of a wish-granting machine and one about monsters that live in storm drains. "Pirate," by Walter Dean Myers, is extraordinary and so unmatched in content that it’s an anomaly here. His tale diverges from the creepy hijinks of the others, diving into chillingly dark waters. Abdullah comes from long line of Somali fishermen. The big foreign ships have depleted the fish, and the waters have been polluted by their oil spills. In spare, precise language, Abdullah describes how he and his family have decided to fight back. Armed with AK-47s, Abdullah and a few others hijack a yacht. The confusion and violence that ensues, as Abdullah is charged with guarding a teenage girl, is heartbreaking, terrifying and unshakable. More on par with the rest of the collection, Patrick Carman's "Ghost Vision" delves into the supernatural. Kyle discovers a stack of 1970s comics and orders a pair of glasses from an ad in the back that will allow him to see ghosts. They arrive with a warning never put them on outside his room—there are some things you just don’t want to see. Add stories by M.T. Anderson, Matt de la Peña, Jennifer Choldenko and others for a solid collection.
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)