Guys read guy books

The picture of Jon Scieszka on the cover of September’s issue was frighteningly hilarious. “Read or Else!” My son could not stop staring at it. Is there any chance to get an autographed copy of this photograph?

Daniel Thorpe
Greenwood, S.C.

I truly enjoy reading Scouting. Thanks for such insightful and wonderful information.

The September issue had a cover that scared my children (I have a Wolf Scout, a 4-year-old, and a 1 ½-year-old). Personally I liked the homage to “The Shining”; however, it did scare my kids when they saw the cover.

My son is a voracious reader, and the article provided some good suggestions for books to read. Thank you for the ideas. Keep the magazine coming. I appreciate all that you do—but please keep the covers a little less threatening and/or scary.

Jason Jones
Ferrum, Va.

I just read the feature article in the September issue “Guys Read Guy Books.” This article is true, but what it doesn’t address is the fact that there is a lack of suitable reading material for boys to bridge them from simple chapter books such as Nate the Great to more complex and longer chapter books such as A Series of Unfortunate Events.

What we need for boys are more books that are between four to eight chapters, approximately 40 to 80 pages and have a few illustrations throughout the story.

Evelyn Slockbower
Mahwah, N.J.

The article, “Guys Read Guy Books,” is one of the best articles I’ve read concerning boys and reading. As an elementary school librarian, I have many of the books mentioned in the article in my collection. I make an effort to choose new books that I think boys might like.

I would like permission to distribute copies of this article to my teachers and administration. I believe this article could make a difference in how all the teachers think and react to boys' reading. By the way, even as a woman, Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet is one of my favorite books!

Pamela Powell
Heber Springs, Ark.

I am an elementary school librarian and freelance editor, so when I read “Guys Read Guy Books,” I was immediately hooked. I found the article as quickly as I could and started reading … until I got to this paragraph:

“In 1955, Time magazine published a groundbreaking article titled ‘Why Johnny Can’t Read’ that argued the reading curricula in American schools wasn’t working.

“Now, more than 60 years later…”

What? More than 60 years later? Did someone forget to do the math? This blooper caught my attention because I was born in 1953, two years before this Time article was written, and I know I am not “more than 60.”

Carlene Van Cott
New Milford, Pa.

You caught us. From now on, we'll keep a calculator close by as we edit our articles.

I enjoyed the article “Guys Read Guy Books” and appreciated the list of recommended books. However, I don’t know that I would list October Sky as an appropriate choice for middle readers. The book is well written and fun to read, but Homer Hickam also talks about how he lost his virginity.

Stacie Kelley
Longview, Wash.

I was reading through the latest issue and got to the chart of recommended “Guys Read” books. I was appalled to see The Golden Compass there. This book is in direct opposition to the 12th point of the Scout Law and the first duty of the Scout Oath.

Jeremy Stephens
Lewisville, Tex.


Thank you for your online survey. I did not know that Scouting magazine was online. I will use it as a resource in the future, but please don’t stop printing it. I like to read it when I am waiting in line, traveling, or taking a bath. All places you can’t take the Internet.

Cynthia Cassel
Friend, Neb.

I finished the online survey posted by Scouting magazine. Regarding the question of whether my reading frequency would change if the magazine were only available online, I answered that it would most likely decrease because having the magazine in front of me prompts me to read it.

If I were still a den leader searching the Internet for curriculum/activity ideas, then I would most likely refer to the online version of the magazine. However, I am now a parent of a Boy Scout, and I am not involved in helping the boys prepare their activities, so I believe my reading would decrease if the magazine were no longer available in print.

Laura Obrien
Pflugerville, Tex.

Just a quick comment on your magazine’s online survey: To all the questions dealing with program planning, I was tempted to reply that I don’t plan programs. In my troop, the Scouts plan the programs. The Scout leaders are mentors and provide resources.

Jeff Person
Richland, Wash.

Scouting magazine’s online survey poses the possibility of discontinuing a paper version of the magazine. I personally like paper reading. It is more convenient for my lifestyle. It travels well, and it gives me something to read at work and other places where I do not have access to computers. This is also when I find the time for reading 15 to 20 minutes sporadically during my days.

When I have access to the Internet, other things take priority. Since the Three Fires Council stopped its paper newsletter, The Flame, I have not read it because I forget to look for it.

I enjoy the inspirational stories in Scouting magazine and the feature articles of Scouting activities. If it were not for the magazine arriving in the mail my first year as a leader, I would not have known about the resources available inside. But with the magazine sitting on the end table, I could not help but look at it.

Jim Appleby
Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Scouting provides resources for program planning

When my son wanted to join Cub Scouts, there wasn’t a leader for his level, and I was asked to become a den leader. That decision became a wonderful journey through Scouting.

Scouting magazine inspired a lot of my meeting planning. I looked forward to receiving each issue. Our den grew from one Scout to seven.

Madeline Simonaro
Grover Beach, Calif.


I just read the article “Design of the Times.” I hope that the newly redesigned uniform is optional…. Those oversize pockets on the front of the shirt are the worst things that I have ever seen. Shirt pockets should not be the place for a Scout to carry his gear. Isn’t that why they invented cargo pants with the oversize pockets?

Whose idea was it to put pockets on the sleeves where the patch for troop position is located? As far as too much red, I am proud to wear the red. My son, who is now 20 and an Eagle Scout, is proud to wear the red.

When someone sees a boy in khaki, red, and green, they will say, “There is a Boy Scout.” I think the only thing the new uniform colors will do is hide their identity.

Ralph Koenigsman
Wheaton, Ill.

I recently read your article previewing the new Scout uniforms. I think they are great upgrades that will solve a lot of the problems that Scouts have historically encountered.

My estimate is that the vast majority of Scouters are male, and the new uniforms will work just fine for them. However, what’s a girl to do? I can’t think of many women who want to wear pockets on their chest or outer thighs. Will female-friendly versions be designed soon? Will the flat pockets and no-pocketed pants continue to be manufactured or should I buy and stockpile now?

Sheila Goins
Coralville, Iowa

The BSA will continue to sell the previous version of the Boy Scout and Boy Scout leader uniforms until the stock is depleted. After that, you’ll only be able to buy the new design. For now, Scouts and leaders can mix and match the two styles.

Top of Page

November - December 2008 Table of Contents