Funny Books for Kids

All posts tagged Funny Books for Kids

Big Nate, by Lincoln Peirce

Published June 30, 2015 by Dagmar

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 Big nate 4types 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.

Dork Diaries, by Rachel Renee Russell

Published June 30, 2015 by Dagmar

This fiction series is always in demand in my school library.  I finally sat down to read the first book in the series this summer, right after I replaced all the missing copies from my library shelves and pre-ordered the 9th book in the series, due out on June 2, 2015dork diaries. Dork Diaries has that magic that began with Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Humor + drawings = appeal to just about every kind of reader.  I didn’t think I’d like it, but I loved it.

Dork Diaries is the story of Nikki Maxwell, eighth grader at Westchester Country Day.  She is the daughter of the school’s exterminator, there on scholarship. Nikki is having a tough time. New to the school, she is trying to fit in with the “CCP” (Cute, Cool & Popular) group at school.  The group, led by the impossibly mean and snobby Mackenzie Hollister, has all the best clothes, cell phones and get invited to the best parties.

At first, I worried that I wouldn’t like Dork Diaries.  In the beginning, as Russell sets the scene, the CCP’s mean girl talk is a little much for me.  It is actually really mean.  I didn’t want to read a book where the humor was all self-deprecating and the mean girl has all the power.  Russell seems to know just how far to go, because then Nikki’s humor kicks in.

There are lots of funny parts in the book.  I thought it was funny when Nikki’s parents try to cheer her up by putting positive messages around the house, saying things like “Be you OWN best friend.” and “Invite YOURSELF for a sleepover.”  Unfortunately, those two notes were put in the toaster slot and ended up starting a small kitchen fire. The best part of the book, I think, is when Nikki writes about her interactions with people in her diary. As she describes a scene, she’ll “say” something that makes you say to yourself…”OMG, she did NOT just say that out loud…”. Then, it’s followed immediately by “But I just said that inside my head, so no one else heard it but me.” Those moments totally cracked me up, because even though they happened throughout the book, they always surprised me.

Nikki goes through a lot of trials during her first year at Westchester, but ends up ending the year with grace and with Mackenzie jealous of her.  Go Nikki.

This book is most popular with my tweens and so could fit in an elementary school or middle school library.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems

Published June 26, 2013 by Dagmar

Pigeon busWhatever 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.

This book won a Caldecott Honor in 2004.

Zeke Meeks, by D.L. Green

Published June 14, 2013 by Dagmar

zekemeeksHere’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.

Dear Dumb Diary, by Jim Benton

Published May 23, 2013 by Dagmar

dear dumb diaryI love Dan Gutman’s My Weird School series for younger readers, because it is so irreverent.   Kids say things in the books that they would actually say to each other, instead of the more “pc” things they say around their parents and teachers.  I think that’s what makes the series so successful with its 2nd and 3rd grade fans.

Well, here is the series for older readers – the same snarky, irreverent humor that so appeals to kids with My Weird School, appears in Jim Benton’s Dear Dumb Diary, a real favorite with my 4th-6th graders looking for a funny book.  This series tends to be read more by girls.

In her note at the beginning of her “dumb” diary, Jamie Kelly writes, “Dear Whoever is Reading My Dumb Diary, Are you sure you’re supposed to be reading somebody else’s diary?  …If you are my parents, then YES, I know that I am not allowed to call people idiots and fools and goons and halfwits and pinheads and all that, but this is a diary and I didn’t actually “call” them anything.  I wrote it.  And if you punish me for it, then I will know that you read my diary, which I amnot giving you permission to do.”  So begins Jamie’s diary and her hatred of “perfect” Angeline, a kid named Mike Pinsetti who has the power to create embarrassing nicknames, and her search to help her good friend Isabelle pick a new “signature” lip gloss.

Ok, the series is NOT deep; but, it is really funny.  This series flies off my shelves with its fans reading every book in the series.