Funny Books for Kids – Part 1, a Reader’s Advisory from Youth Services

Do you have a reluctant reader? Have you read through all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books? Looking for something new to read? Need a good belly laugh with your kid? Then check out one of the books below. This week I am focusing on books with boys as the main character and next week I will focus on girls as the main character. Both sets of books would be appropriate for anyone needing a bit of a giggle.

Alvin Ho is a great series of books that are a wonderful read-aloud for 1st-3rd grade students. Alvin is smart and funny and he is afraid of everything, even things that are not so scary like trains, tunnels, and school. Alvin is very afraid of school. He is so afraid that as a 2nd grader he has NEVER spoken a word at school. Not one word. This is a hilarious and touching story about a young boy learning to navigate the world around him.

Mac Undercover by Mac Barnett

What would you do if the Queen of England called you up and asked you for a favor? Author, Mac Barnett, tells of a time when the Queen asked him to be a spy and help recover the stolen crown jewels. Along the way, he learns about the culture and history of England and has some pretty hysterical adventures. Mike Lowery’s illustrations throughout the book help to add to the humor of the story. This is an entertaining (and educational, shh) story for elementary students.

The Boy Who Failed Show and Tell by Jordan Sonnenblick

From the publisher: “In a typical school year, every kid has one or two things go wrong. But for Jordan, there’s A LOT going wrong ALL THE TIME.

Take this year. Here are some of the things going wrong:

— His teacher hates him. Like, really hates him.

— His pet snake has given birth to way, way, way too many baby snakes, all who need a home.

— There are bullies ready to stomp him when all he has to defend himself with is a lunchbox.

And all this doesn’t even include the freak swing set accident, the fears inside his head, or the funniest class presentation ever.”

How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts

Rafe Khatchadorian is at it again in the 4th book in James Patterson’s Middle School series. This time we find Rafe at summer camp, but it isn’t any ordinary summer camp, it is a summer school camp. If you have read anything about Rafe you know that school is not one of his favorite words. This book checks all that boxes for middle-grade readers. Some trouble-making? Check. Occasional comic illustrations? Check. Humor? Check. Gross humor? Check. A pretty decent life lesson? Check. A story that even kids who don’t like to read will have a hard time putting down? Check.

Guys Read edited by Jon Scieszka

If you would like to sample some short stories by the funniest, middle-grade authors then check out Funny Business. It is a collection of laugh-out-loud short stories that include an old ghost, a pool of chocolate milk, a pet turkey, toilet paper, and of course, some gross humor. Favorite authors like Jeff Kinney, Kat DiCamillo, Adam Rex, Mac Barnett have all contributed to this book with a short story that will make you laugh, and maybe one or two that will make you think.

To learn more about the editor of Funny Business and the author of many favorite books like The Stinky Cheese Man, The True Story of The Three Little Pigs, the Frank Einstein series, and the Astro Nuts series then read his mostly true autobiography Knuckleheads. Jon writes about his adventurous childhood growing up with 5 brothers, a dad who is a principal, a mom who is a nurse, and what it was like going to a Catholic school in Flint, Michigan. Even if you didn’t grow up in a large family you will enjoy Scieszka’s reflections and memories of his childhood.

Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka

Kids, like adults, need to find ways to relieve stress as we all learn to navigate this new reality and laughter is a great tool to help. Need more? Try the Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger, Clueless McGee by Jeff Mac, the Big Nate series by Pierce London, A Zombie At My Homework by Tommy Greenwald, or The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett.

Look for Funny Books – Part 2 next week where I will feature books with girls as the main characters.

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