Comedy books for the Middle Grade Reader

If you ask kids their favorite reads or the books they want to read – they, very often, say a book that makes them laugh.

Why do you think Judy Blume’s books have remained popular for so long? Who doesn’t laugh at Fudge’s antics? But comedy is hard to write and what one person thinks is funny may not be to someone else. It also seems to be really difficult for adults to recapture what made them laugh at 10, 11, and 12 years old.  So it has to be a very special author to do this.

Right now in my classroom those books seem to be the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. And, most recently, one we did as a read aloud The Terrible Two.

With help from my children and my students, here is the list:

1. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series) by Jeff Kinney – follow the blunders and missteps of Gregory Heffley as he tries to fit in.

2. The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John  – Miles is moving. He is leaving his home by the ocean to a home in Yawnee Valley near many cows. He is not happy about the move nor about giving up his title as the Number One Prankster in his school.

He’s all set to take up the mantle at his new school, but he learns on the first day that there is a prankster here and a very good one. Miles has to up his game. He gets into a prank war with the prankster hiding behind a mask of a goody goody, Niles.

How far will the prank war go? Will Miles be able to regain his title?

3. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey – Follow the adventures of fourth grade pranksters (sensing a theme here?), George Beard and Harold Hutchins and their school principal turned superhero, Captain Underpants. As my son said, what is not funny about a grown man that thinks he is a superhero but is really an adult in his underwear?

Any suggestions from the studio audience?


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