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Booklist: Funny Fiction for Kids

December 13th, 2014 (12:32 pm)

Current Mood: okay
Current Song: House score music

This booklist was prompted by Pam, who wanted humorous but clean stories for kids and teens. I sent her the names of a few books, then a few more, then a few more. Here now are some of my favorite funny stories for kids ages 8 and up.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald - **** - G

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a lovable grandmotherly type, visits homes and "cures" kids of bad habits, such as talking back and refusing to go to bed. Think Mary Poppins with reverse psychology if you must, but I'll take Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle any day. The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories are hilarious and simply great to read aloud. I recommend them to parents all of the time, as they help readers address their own bad habits and encourage families to work together to be more respectful, responsible, organized, and helpful.

There were originally four books in the series:
- Mrs-Piggle Wiggle
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic
- Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm

After Betty MacDonald's passing, her daughter Anne MacDonald Canham found an unpublished Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle story among her mother's things. That story, along with additional tales written by Anne, can be found in the book Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.

Each book contains multiple stories, one story per chapter. Read one chapter to your kids every night as bedtime stories, and they'll fall asleep giggling.

Read more about this series.

The Klickitat Street books by Beverly Cleary - **** - G

No funny fiction list would be complete without Ramona! For once, I'll be brief and simply say these are the classic misadventures of a young girl growing up in Portland, Oregon.

- Beezus and Ramona
- Ramona the Pest
- Ramona the Brave
- Ramona and Her Father
- Ramona and Her Mother
- Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - my favorite Ramona book!
- Ramona Forever
- Ramona's World

Ramona's line is actually a spin-off story. Cleary first introduced the Quimbys in the Henry Huggins books, another all-American series, this time about a boy and his dog.

- Henry Huggins
- Henry and Beezus
- Henry and Ribsy
- Henry and the Paper Route
- Henry and the Clubhouse
- Ribsy

Cleary is a prolific author. Other comedies for this age group include Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford (a class clown who annoys Ellen to no end), Socks (what's a cat to do when his human owners bring home a screaming, crying baby?) and Muggie Maggie (a girl who refuses to learn cursive). I also want to mention her trilogy of books about a boy, a mouse, and a toy motorcycle. This is another series to read out loud, especially with the repeated 'cycle sounds.

- The Mouse and the Motorcycle
- Runaway Ralph
- Ralph S. Mouse

Also check out Ramona Readalikes, my booklist featuring series with feisty little girls, and this adorable reversible bracelet made by Bookshelves of Doom.

Sixth Grade Secrets by Louis Sachar - **** - G

When she's little, Laura's father tells her the story of George Washington and the cherry tree. She strikes up a deal with him: if she doesn't lie, she doesn't have to cut her hair. Fast forward to sixth grade: Laura has long hair and a bold attitude. She finds a hat at a garage sale that says PIG CITY on it and starts wearing it to school. No one other than Laura and her two best friends are allowed to be part of the Pig City club. Soon enough, her classmate Gabriel starts up a club called Monkey Town. The classic boys-versus-girls scenario plays out in the schoolroom and the schoolyard.

This is my favorite Sachar novel, hands down. Kids in upper elementary school who can't wait to go to middle school will race through this book. Sixth Grade Secrets is both funny and realistic. It still holds up twenty years after publication. Highly recommended.

Wayside School series by Louis Sachar - **** - G

Wayside School was supposed to be a one-story building with thirty classrooms. The builder accidentally made each classroom an entire level, making the building look more like a skyscraper than a school! (Oh, and no matter what anyone tells you, there is no nineteenth story.)

Each chapter in Sideways Stories from Wayside School focuses on a different character from one class in particular: the class on the thirteenth story. Mrs. Gorf is known for being the meanest teacher at the school. She turns bad kids into apples. Then something unbelievable happens (shh - only the kids in her class know what happened!) and she is replaced by Mrs. Jewls, a very nice lady who is incredibly nervous about her new job. Luckily, the kids take to her, and she stays.

Mrs. Jewls could not have known how very . . . unique these students would be. Take Sharie, who "spen(ds) all of her time either looking out the window or sleeping," then falls out of the window and stays fast sleep until she is caught by Louis, the yard teacher. Consider Kathy, who does not like anyone, or Maurecia, who is liked by everyone (except Kathy) but only really likes ice cream. Meet artistic Bebe, gum-chewing Joy, mysterious Sammy, the three Erics, and more.

The characters reappear in Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger and Wayside School is Falling Down, each aptly titled, each illustrated in a similar manner. Just when you think things can't get any stranger at Wayside School, they do! Look at the cafeteria food closely, and watch out for the cows. Young readers will wish their school was as silly as Wayside School. Prepare to laugh 'til the cows come home. Really.

The last two books combine quizzes and logic puzzles with story bits. There's a new student at Wayside, and she doesn't quite understand how YOU + ME is a math problem. Oh, but it is!

These books are fun to read out loud in an elementary school classroom. Have kids discuss their favorite character, or vote for the character with the coolest-sounding name. The chapters are very short, so it's also great for kids who are just latching on to chapter books as well as reluctant readers. Students could also create a new character - a new student, a new teacher, a new....rat? - and write a new chapter mimicking the author's writing style.

The books in order:

- Sideways Stories from Wayside School
- Wayside School is Falling Down
- Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger
- Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School
- More Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School

Related Booklists and Posts:

Pick up these cool books for young boys as well as Ramona Readalikes!

Looking for funny books for older kids? Try my booklist of comedies for tweens and teens!

Want something for even younger readers? Check out my favorite picture books and my favorite books for beginning readers.


Posted by: Jenah (jenah)
Posted at: October 30th, 2006 02:12 am (UTC)

Thanks as usual for such a detailed book list!!! :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 30th, 2006 02:17 am (UTC)

You are welcome! Thank YOU for the feedback.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 30th, 2006 03:45 am (UTC)
Great List

Many I some, some I don't. Looks like I have some reading to do.


Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 30th, 2006 02:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Great List

:) Enjoy!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 30th, 2006 03:39 pm (UTC)
Stories for Teens

I love 'Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo' and 'Tofu and Rex' by Greg Leitich Smith.
Funny school stories.

Book Moot

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 30th, 2006 03:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Stories for Teens

Hey Camille! I have to go on a Smithpalooza one of these days at the library and gobble up Cynthia and Greg's picture books and beginning books. (I tend to read those right at the library or store.)

Posted by: My characters kick your ass dot com (elfstar18)
Posted at: October 30th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
knocks respectfully

Um.. hello.

I have a favor to ask, or at any rate, a question. My sister has asked me to help her hunt down a book she liked in childhood so that she can give it to her daughter for christmas this year. The problem is, she only remembers the skeleton of the plot and that she liked it a lot.

You're sort of the only authority on children's lit that I know, so I figured that asking you would be worth a shot. If you've not heard of it, perhaps you could direct me to another resource?

The book was a ghost story for young girls in the vein of a Mary Downing Hahn story. It was about a girl who lived with her grandmother (or possibly other elderly female relative?) in an old house in a mining town. Someone told the girl that the house's creaks and groans were trapped miners trying to dig their way back to the surface. There was also ghost in a painting (at the top of some stairs?) that was trying to tell the girl something. At the end of the book, the house collapses.

Sorry, I know it's not a lot to go on, but ghost stories were about the only thing I *didn't* read in childhood, so I'm clueless about this. I'd appreciate any help you can offer.

Thank you!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 30th, 2006 04:09 pm (UTC)
Re: knocks respectfully

Is it Ghosts Beneath Our Feet by Betty Ren Wright?


Posted by: My characters kick your ass dot com (elfstar18)
Posted at: October 30th, 2006 04:22 pm (UTC)
Re: knocks respectfully

Oh my goodness, you are amazing! I've been wading through Amazon for almost an hour. This looks right, I'll send it to my sister to be sure. Thank You!!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 30th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
Re: knocks respectfully

You are welcome. Always glad to help!

I don't think I read that particular book, though I enjoyed other works by BRW, especially The Dollhouse Murders.

Posted by: My characters kick your ass dot com (elfstar18)
Posted at: October 30th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
Re: knocks respectfully

It was indeed the right book. My sister just bought it on ebay. Coincidentally, her daughter was using the computer to write a book report on The Dollhouse Murders at the time.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 30th, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
Re: knocks respectfully

Good timing.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: April 4th, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

I love that this is on your list. This was the first formal challenge that I ever faced. I am happy to say that it's still on my shelves and still on a reading list!


Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: April 4th, 2007 03:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

How sweet. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: August 17th, 2010 12:51 pm (UTC)

Nice compilation of books. Humor is really my interest. I'll rather save more to grab the compilations and take some corners and laugh :)

From the Philippines,
ChooseYourOwnAdventureBooks.org for Kids, Adults and Teachers (http://www.ChooseYourOwnAdventureBooks.org)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 17th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Hi...


Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 1st, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)

Your site not failed to amaze me...you got a huge resources that I like...I don't know how to begin with it. Feel happy that you blog that fits for my kids. Keep it up and more power.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 1st, 2010 01:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Hi...

Thank you so much! That's so kind of you to say.

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