The Big Nate series shares three things in common with Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries: it flies off the library shelf, it appeals to all types of readers and is written with text and pictures.
Nate Wright is a sixth grader. He’s not the best student. In fact, he’s trying to avoid having to go to summer school. He has two best friends and a crush on a girl. Sounds like he’s 12, right? Wait until you hear Nate talk about his teachers! Mrs. Godfrey, his social studies teacher, is the worst. “When a teacher snaps and starts screaming, it’s called a Full Godfrey. (When Mrs. Godfrey does it, it’s called Monday.)”
The day Nate gets a fortune cookie that says he “will surpass all others”, turns out to be the worst day ever. He tries lots of different things to “surpass all others.” Whether it’s getting caught trying to set the world record in speed-eating green beans (from the school cafeteria – ick!) or wearing Coach John’s shorts stuffed with paper towels (long story), everything seems to earn Nate detention – everything.
Big Nate hits home with so many of my students. My son read six Big Nate books on one trip. I think it’s because Lincoln Peirce captures a 12 year old’s snarky voice so well. It’s sure to be a hit.
If your students like Big Nate, they’ll also love Lincoln Pierce’s Big Nate comic books.
Who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss? I think the most spectacular shrieks of the year came on Thursday when I read, There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, to my K/1 class. My students went wild over all the fantastic creatures with names that rhyme with every day household things, like the Ghair in the Chair, the Nink in the Sink. They were properly spooked by the Vug under the Rug who, let me tell you, has always made the hair stand up on my neck.
This book is not only perfect for beginning readers, this book is also a perfect read aloud for students ready to appreciate some good rhymes. One student, upon leaving, told me to be careful to check my shelf for a zelf and my book basket for a wasket. I dutifully checked everything before the student left; and, of course, jumped three feet in the air when I actually saw the zelf and then the wasket. That made him laugh!
Whatever you do, DON’T let the pigeon drive the bus. Mo Willems has a great sense of humor, and this book is simply hilarious. There is not one class, pre-k through 5, that doesn’t laugh hysterically when I read this book.
Pigeon really wants to drive the bus. But, the only thing the bus driver as asked you to do is NOT let pigeon drive the bus. Sounds easy, right? Well, pigeon really, really wants to drive this bus. He’ll tell you just about anything to get to drive the bus. Any adult that’s been around a child will recognize Pigeon’s ploys as he tries to cajole you into letting him drive the bus.
Enjoy! You may just be laughing as loud as the children around you.
Here’s a series that’s perfect for third and fourth graders that like funny books. Although, of course, books are not written specifically for boys, in my library, this series is checked out almost exclusively by boys. We have some older readers that come back to this series when they want a quick, funny read. Zeke Meeks combines text with pictures and a story line that’s fast moving and is very popular in our library. Be warned that this book definitely makes use the gross humor that is so popular with this age group.
In Zeke Meeks vs. the Stinkin’ Science Fair, third grader, Zeke Meeks, is faced with creating a science fair project. Zeke hates science. So, why is Zeke determined to win the science fair? Grace Chang, a girl with a really bad attitude, has staked out a corner of the playground with her two goons (forgive me), Emma G. and Emma J. She has named that part of the playground Graceville. Zeke makes the mistake of crossing into Graceville uninvited, and Grace knocks him down. When Zeke grabs her backpack to break his fall, it rips. Grace demands that Zeke pay her $50 to replace her ruined backpack. How does a third grader earn $50 — why, by winning the science fair, of course. So begins Zeke and his new friend Hector’s science project adventure and their battle against the vicious and evil Grace.
There are six books in the series, all sure to delight fans of funny books.
The first of the Big Nate series, my students recommended that I read this book. I’m glad I did! It’s perfect for fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, it’s funny and is a blend of graphic novel and text. This series is really popular with boys from 4th-6th grade who are always lobbying for me to get more books in the series…anything to keep them reading!
Big Nate (COMIX!) is also now a graphic novel series, so Big Nate flies off the shelves in my fiction and my graphic novel sections. Highly recommended for tween boy readers who like to laugh.