Tall Tales and Mostly True Stores About Growing Up Scieszka

by Jon Scieska

ages: 9+

First sentence: “I grew up in Flint, Michigan, with my five brothers — Jim, Tom, Gregg, Brian, and What’s-His-Name.”

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Although I have stories from when I was growing up, some which are quite funny, I have long since envied my husband’s stories. They’re so much more entertaining, rambunctious, and plain laugh-out-loud funny.

The reason? There were seven boys. I am convinced that while I adore my daughters, they will just never have the stories to tell that their father did. There is just something hilarious (in the long run; I’ve always felt sorry for my mother-in-law and what she had to deal with) about a heavily-male family.

Which means that this book is flat-out hilarious. With all the love he can muster, Jon Scieszka spins tales about his childhood. They’re short and sweet: no psychological analysis here, which makes them all the more funny. He covers everything from chores to peeing to school and road trips. He talks about his relationship with his older brother, Jim, and his parents. He touches on the differences found in big families, how the older set of siblings get treated differently than the younger set. It’s a sweet book, full of humor and affection.

I’m not sure what kids would be drawn to it; M only picked it up after she heard me laughing (and snorting) over it. And the fact that I made her read a couple of the stories because they were just too funny. But I’m not sure that C would ever read it. I do think boys would like it; it’s very much a boy story. The people who would appreciate it most, however, I think would be parents of boys. Shaking their heads at all the knuckleheaded things their sons do and have done, they can smile with love at their idiocy.

Hey, something good has to come out of raising boys. Right?

2 thoughts on “Knucklehead

  1. I know exactly what you mean about boys and their antics. It's a wonder my father lived to tell the tale(s)…
    In fact, after reading and listening to the audio version, I passed it along to my dad. I thought he'd relate only too easily.
    Glad you enjoyed it, too.


  2. I just gave this to a teacher to use as a read aloud. This was such a hysterical book. I wish that Scieszka would write a realistic middle grade fiction book along the lines of this one!


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