Monday, March 13, 2017

It's Monday--What Am I Reading? Sports Books, Of Course!

There's a great meme out there called It's Monday--What Are You Reading? in which a lot of kidlit bloggers talk about what they are currently reading or have read in the last week. (you can find out more at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers) The Iron Guy has been so busy lately that he hasn't had a chance to review anything but he hates to go a long time without talking to you, so here are a few things I'm looking at now:

Legends: The Best Players, Teams and Games in Basketball by Howard Bryant

It's March and the thoughts of young men, middle-aged men, boys and old geezers turn to BASKETBALL! The regional tournaments have just finished and the Madness is about to begin, so what subject could be better than roundball? I've read the first chapter and it's really good--among other things, it talks about Wilt Chamberlain, the only player to have scored 100 points in a single game. And this was in days before three points shots! I've read Mr. Bryant's books about football and baseball, enjoyed them a lot and I think I'll enjoy this one too.

Soccer and Soccer on Sunday by Mary Pope Osborne

All guys, especially younger reader guys, know how addicting The Magic Tree House books are. Ms. Osborne has also written some nonfiction books to go along with them. I read the Soccer book and learned a lot. Can't wait to read the Soccer on Sunday book because it's about Pele, soccer's greatest star.

OK, everyone, this is my check in. Now tell me--what are YOU reading? The Iron Guy and all the other reader guys out there want to know! Hit that Comment button under this post and let us know.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Iron Guy Talks Books with a Bunch of Cool Guys

Damond Ford, the Iron Guy and all the MANLY MEN at the Boys Club
March greetings, everyone! This month is always great but let me tell about something that happened last month. The Iron Guy got invited to address a bunch of boys in the Boys and Girls Club of York County--Fort Mill, South Carolina, just over the NC/SC border near Charlotte. The head of this group is Damond Ford, a truly great guy. He runs a program for the Boys Club called Password to MANhood, which teaches boys to become responsible men. Damond asked me to bring some books about growth and change, so, after mentally checking through the enormous files of books stored in my MANLY brain, I came up with a few good titles, checked them out and took them down to Fort Mill.

There I found Damond and about 15 boys. They had just started the newest session of the program and the plan was for me to talk about several growth-and-change books. They would pick one and talk about it over the next 12 weeks. But first, we all talked about what it means to be a man and everyone agreed that it included:

Taking responsibility
Doing your best
Overcoming obstacles
Being respectful and considerate to others

(Anyone who tells you differently is WRONG!)

Then I shared several books with them. (I'll show you the list with you in a little bit) After a while, they finally decided on N.E.R.D.S. by Michael Buckley. Does that sound like an odd choice? It might at first but think about it--the main character, a cool and popular guy, starts off by picking on all the nerdy kids in his school. Later on, when he's forced to join them to fight the villain, he understands them, takes responsibility for changing his attitude and learns to respect them. Not to mention he needs to do his best and overcome the obstacles the villain has set up for them. So not only is the book fun, it also has a good message about growth and change.

Here is the list of books I took with me. Some are fiction, some are biographies and one is nonfiction. All of them deal with growth, change, doing your best, overcoming obstacles, etc.---and they are all terrific reads!

N.E.R.D.S. by Michael Buckley--as I said, a whole of fun to read with a good message as well. See my review here.

Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry--one of the best books about growth and change I've ever read and one of the most thrilling stories I've ever read too! (It was also the first book I ever reviewed on this blog--check it out here)

The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight by Tony DiTerlizzi--everyone knows how Luke grew from a farm boy who plays with a toy starship to a true Jedi Knight and this captures that story in one book. Plus the artwork is amazing! (see review here)

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings--I didn't take this book with me but I have to include it because it's the best book I know about growing from an irresponsible boy to an adult. Yes, it's long but it's an epic story and you really get caught up in this boy's life. (see my review here)

Who Was...Roberto Clemente, Louis Armstrong, Muhammad Ali and Julius Caesar--four from the great Who Was...biographies and all of them are incredible stories of  true life. See reviews here, here and here--have not reviewed the Louis Armstrong book yet)

The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American's Team's Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown--I can't say enough good things about this one! See my review here.

All right, all you guys and grownups, go check these out!  I've always said that reading is not only fun but also prepares you for life. These books are proof! And Damond (plus all you other cool guys in the Boys Club) let me hear from you while you read this book. Would love to hear what you think!

Cool guys doing the Dab