Written by Pat O’Neill
Who doesn’t love the hilarious middle-school misadventures of lovable goof Greg Heffley, star of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series? Well, Greg Heffley, for one. The rest of us can’t get enough of his silly diaries — sorry, we mean journals! — and cartoons, punchlines and zany stories. Literati brings you 10 books that are sure to tickle the funny bones of readers of all ages. Here’s to practical jokers, class clowns and wiseacres!
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Too Much Space! (Beep and Bob) by Jonathan Roth
Think you’ve got it bad at school? Not as bad as Bob. At Astro Elementary, Bob faces all kinds of terrifying things, like spiders…and girls. Our reluctant guide through space sends us his splogs (space blogs) so we can follow along with his hilarious adventures. Pretty sporky, right?
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
This Newberry Honor Award-winner by Victoria Jamieson will have you in stitches, and then reaching for Kleenex, and then digging through your closet in search of your old roller skates. Culled from the author’s life as a roller-derby girl, this is a warm and heartfelt story of friendship, fate, and the importance of finding your own path in the world, even if that path is in a roller rink.
El Deafo by Cece Bell
New starts can be scary. Especially if you’re a bunny with a hearing aid attached to your chest! But wait, how easy would it be to make friends if that hearing impairment was turned into a super power? Join Cece on her quest for friendship as she becomes El Deafo, Listener for All. Inspired by author Cece Bell’s own experience, this graphic novel takes us from scared to soaring.
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping by Lenore Look
Alvin Ho is afraid of everything. So when his dad proposes a camping trip, Alvin’s anxiety hits an all-time high. There will be bugs, bears, and a tent in the dark woods, not to mention the scariest thing of all: PIT TOILETS. Hang on tight for this fun and scream-inducing adventure through the great outdoors.
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton
So what is a narwhal exactly? Why, it’s a whale with a unicorn horn, of course! Any questions? Just ask Narwhal’s jellyfish best friend. This delightful early graphic novel from artist Ben Clanton reminds us that pals comes in many forms, especially when waffles are involved.
The Magical Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris & Lissy Marlin
Actor Neil Patrick Harris pens the first book in a magical new series about a teenage street magician. Our hero, a young trickster named Carter, runs away from his con-artist uncle and finds his chosen family: the enchanting misfits of a sleepy New England town. Now Calvin and his new band of besties have to use every trick up their sleeves to save their new home.
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
Never mind the bullies, meet Malú, the punkest girl at Posada Middle School. After a tough first day, she takes inspiration from the first rule of punk: be yourself. Wielding the power of music, Malú is able to speak her truth and find kindred spirits. This story turns up the volume on individuality and freedom of expression, and proves that the right song can be fully transformative.
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda Wormwood is a book lover who just wants to read. She is also whip smart, incredibly patient, and awfully good at telekinesis. Roald Dahl’s self-reliant, self-educated, and self-loving heroine will have you cheering (and trying to move objects with our mind). You go, girl!
Bowling Alley Bandit: The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller
Arnie the Doughnut is a pretty remarkable doughnut: he beat out two muffins and an onion bagel for the starring role in this charming chapter book. Part graphic novel, part joke book, part cartoon storyboard, this installment of the popular (and craving-inducing) series is about a bowling league. Shenanigans included.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
Parents may remember this zany book about a school built thirty stories high. The clever, ridiculously entertaining chapters of Louis Sachar’s classic introduce the mayhem that takes place in the 30th floor classroom. All of the absurdity added up to a Newbery Medal for Sachar.
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