An Evening With Jon Scieszka

I’ve just returned from listening to Jon Scieszka, America’s first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. However, you might know him better as the author of The Stinky Cheese Man.

Or, Math Curse.

Or, Knucklehead.  It was, he explained, the term his father called him or his five other brothers, depending on how frustrated he was. And all this time, I thought my good buddy Joe coined the term.

He’s written many other books, including The Time Warp Trio and Spaceheads which is written partly as a book and partly as an interactive media experience.

I loved listening to him talk, while showing slides of his life which I tried to capture above. There’s a picture of him with George and Laura Bush when he won his medal for being the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. There’s a photograph of a cheeseburger illustrated by Lane Smith from The Stinky Cheese Man. (“I got so tired of reading my daughter The Gingerbread Man,” he said, “I just sort of snapped.”)

And, there’s a photograph of his website Guys Read. Love this site dedicated to helping boys learn the love of literature.

I would have had a photograph taken of Jon and myself, but I got busted standing in line. My number was 141. Never one to trust in the system, I just stood at the back of the line I found by the door. Until some wicked teacher pulled the ticket out of my book saying, “What number do you have?” Like a nine year old kid in my class, I stood there open-mouthed.

But, I left with what I came for: a great night out and two autographed books. Jon understood. He was once a teacher, too.

13 thoughts on “An Evening With Jon Scieszka

  1. How cool! We completely enjoyed The True Story of the Three Little Pigs; the CS liked The Time Warp Trio for a while also.He is a wonderful ambassador for children's lit. Lucky you!


  2. Thanks for reading, Ann.Raidergirl, he does have a science book called Science Verse. I haven't read it, but he read a few poems to us last night; one involved a girl with a worm which I believe he said was a parasite. Great. ;)Becky, The True Story of The Three Little Pigs is one of my favorites, too. I love the author, A. Wolf. That was his first book ever published in 1989. He told us that some of the publishers he'd sent his books to asked him never to contact them again. I guess they were really grossed out by some of his stories, but kids love him! He was so funny to listen to, too. My husband even laughed out loud throughout the evening.ds, I've never read The Time Warp Trio. I know our fifth grade teachers do, though, as a great seque into history. I was surprised that he won the National Ambassador for Children's Lit, thinking that someone more tame would have. But, I guess my true favorites, like E.B. White, are all gone now.Bermudaonion, I remember that despair such that a certain book did need to be hidden for awhile.


  3. I'm so exicted to have a new resource for good 'boy' books! Thank you for sharing. Having 2 boys (and a new reader) in the house I am constantly searching for quality reading to inspire my 1st grader. If they pick up any habits from me I certainly want reading to be at the top of that list! 😉


  4. How fun! We loved The True Story of the Three LIttle Pigs, too. It's still around here, somewhere. Spaceheadz was pretty funny, once I got into it. I'll bet he's really interesting. As to getting busted — how rude of that person to pull the ticket out of your book! Did you know her?


  5. Bookfool, she is just a mean, bitter person whom unfortunately, I do know, because she teaches in our district. She represents everything I hate about teachers and nothing good. Oops, I better stop here…let me just say, it's people like her that made me want to teach to try to undo the damage wrought on small children. Have you ever read Matilda by Roald Dahl? Do you know of the Trunchbull? 🙂


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