- Guys Read: Thriller
This collection of short stories by well-known children’s and young adult authors follows the debut title Funny Business (BCCB 11/10). Perhaps that volume’s comedic success has leaked into this effort, since many of these stories have a humorous tone better calculated to eliciting giggles than shivers. It is notable that the two most genuinely thrilling tales eschew supernatural plots in favor of earthbound crime: Walter Dean Myers’ story of a Somali pirate attack, and Gennifer Choldenko’s [End Page 107] story of an investigative reporter being held by reptile smugglers. The balance of the collection, by the likes of M. T. Anderson, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Bruce Hale, Anthony Horowitz, and James Patterson, are given over to miscellaneous hauntings—amiable, predictable, and virtually shudder-free, except to readers with a notably low thrill threshold. Still, there’s a persistent demand for entry-level scary stories, and the manageable length of these tales recommend them to teachers who need to address a range of skittishness in classroom readalouds. Brett Helquist’s black-and-white artwork for each chapter supplies the visual creeps and will encourage browsers to thumb the volume for promising tales.