Summary: Peter tells the reader about the many times that, in Peter’s opinion, his younger brother has made his life harder. Anyone that has a younger sibling will be able to relate to the frustration that Peter feels while also being able to see the humor in it. Fudge is at the younger stage where nothing goes as planned and often, without meaning to, causes funny mishaps. Blume relates Peters natural feelings of having a younger brother while also being sensitive toward Fudge who, after all, is only 2 years old.
Summary: After Billy’s mom wouldn’t let him out to play one night Billy’s friends want to know the reason. Billy tells them it is because he refused to eat her salmon casserole. This leads them to discuss what they would and wouldn’t eat, leading to the bet. Billy’s friends bet him $50 dollars that he can’t eat 15 worms. Billy then tries to make the worms more edible by adding ketchup, mustard or by frying them. Anyone who loves gross out humor will love this book.
Summary: When Nilly moves to Norway, he makes friends with hisneighbors Lisa and aneccentricinventornamedDoctorProctor. DoctorProctorshowsNilly and Lisahisinvention of Fart Powder. Theyhelphim do experiments with it and soondiscoverthatitcanshootNilly to space and back. However, theirevilneighborhasplans to steal the fart powder and useit for hisownpurposes. From here a series of random and hilariouseventstake place thatincludeNillygoing to jail and ananacondanamedAnaConda as everyonetries to save the fart powder.
Summary: Mr. & Mrs. Twit are ugly, smelly and mean spirited couple who relish in tormented those around them, especially children and animals. They often pick on their pet monkey, Muggle-Wump and his family by making them turn upside down and one on top of the other. However, with the arrival of the Roly-Poly bird from Africa the animals are finally able to get the revenge they deserve. While the Twits are out the animals glue all of their furniture to the ceiling of their house. As they walk in two birds drop glue on their heads. The Twits assume they are upside down when they see all the furniture so they stand on their heads and get stuck! The Twits eventually collapse in on themselves andtheMuggle-Wumps get to return to Africa with the Roly-Poly birds.
Summary: Wayside school was accidentally built 30 classrooms tall when it was supposed to be 30 stories high. The building is not the only thing that is strange though. Each chapter tells a new silly and wacky story of a student or teacher in room 30. For example, children get turned to apples, John can only see upside down and Leslie tries to sell her toes. What makes truly enjoyable is that the students at Wayside School are students we’ve all had in class at one time or another. Louis Sachar magnifies the minute wacky details making them ridiculous with a hint of truth. This makes the seemingly unbelievable stories relatable. Even adults will have a hard time not laughing out loud at the situations that occur at at Wayside School.
Summary: Everyone knows Mrs. Granger loves the dictionary. When Nick Allen receives an assignment to research the origins of words, he learns that it’s people who give words their meanings. This inspires one of Nick’s greatest plans – he changes the word “pen” to frindle – much to Mrs. Granger’s dismay. Soon, what ensues is pure mayhem. Everyone at school is using the new word, and it spreads over into the town. Nick soon becomes a local celebrity when his new word spreads across the country. Everyone loves it – except Mrs. Granger, that is. Will Nick manage to convert Mrs. Granger to a fan of the frindle or will Mrs. Granger put a “cap” on all the madness?
Summary: Jake Semple has to make his stay with the Applewhites work or he’s off to juvie. The Applewhite family consists of an eccentric bunch of artists, but amongst the dancer, sculptor, poet, painter, writer, theater director and furniture maker there’s E.D – the lone Applewhite with no creative talent who yearns for some order in her otherwise chaotic household. The Creative Academy, the Applewhite’s home school, provides little structure, so E.D. and Jake are pretty much on their own when they’re grouped together in one “class.” When a local theater performance is threatened, each Applewhite, and even Jake, is called upon to help. Will E.D. and Jake finally find their place and survive the chaos that is the Applewhites?
Summary: Wallace Wallace is the 8th grade star of the football team. As a child, Wallace was always brutally honest, but after his parents divorce he vows to never tell a lie. When Mr. Fogelman, Wallace’s English teacher makes the class write reviews of his favorite book Old Shep, My Pal, Wallace’s honesty doesn’t sit well with his teacher. Wallace is tired of reading books in which the dog dies. However, Mr. Fogelman is not willing to accept his review and Wallace is punished with detention – with the drama club, who happens to be putting on a stage version of Old Shep, My Pal. Wallace actually becomes interested in the play and makes some suggestions for revisions and rewrites, but somebody starts trying to sabotage the play. Will the play continue as planned and will there finally be no more dead dogs?
Summary: Ten-year-old Henry Green consumes chocolate morning, noon and night, until one day when he begins to develop the first-ever case of “Chocolate Fever.” Overcome with panic about being a chocolate freak for the rest of his life, Henry runs away and meets Mac, a truck driver who convinces him to return home. But just when that’s about to happen, their truck gets hijacked. Will Henry ever return home and will he finally be cured of his chocolate fever?
Summary: It’s 1929 and Joey and Mary Alice Dowdel are being shipped to their Grandmother’s home in the country for the summer. At first, the children find the sleepy town boring with nothing to do, but they soon find out that Grandma Dowdel is nothing but boring. For the following six summers, Joey and Mary Alice return to their Grandmother’s house and each trip is packed full of surprises – from making up stories about a corpse in the house to helping a lovestruck couple elope.
Summary: First published in 1938, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a laugh out loud story for children ages 5 -10. Mr. Popper was a poor house painter who longed for more adventure. He took particular interest in polar exploration. Mr. Popper wrote a letter to Admiral Drake, an explorer that Popper idolizes, and soon after, receives a crate containing a penguin! Mr. Popper gets another penguin from the zoo to keep the first penguin company, and soon after come ten more baby penguins. Mr. Popper, in an attempt to make some generate some revenue, trains the penguins to perform and creates “Popper’s Performing Penguins”! After Admiral Drake arrives to watch the performing penguins, they decide that the penguins would live a better life back in the arctic. Admiral Drake invites Mr. Popper to join him in his journey back to the arctic in order to set the penguins free.
Summary: This is a story published back in 1943. It is part of a series that Eleanor Estes writes about the Moffat family. This particular story is about Rufus Moffat, the youngest of all four siblings. Rufus is 7 years old, and is being raised by his mother in the town of Cranbury, Connecticut. The story takes places in 1916 during World War I. The family doesn’t have a lot of money, and Rufus is constantly trying to come up with ways to help his family get by. He is a smart and funny young boy who can get anything accomplished that he sets his mind to. He encounters imaginary characters, like the invisible piano player, and the flying horse named Jimmy.
Summary: Henry Huggins is a simple and fun story about a young third grade boy. The story takes place in the 1950’s, and Henry and his family live on Klickita Street in Portland, Oregon. Henry thinks that his life is a little too boring and ordinary. Lucky for Henry, he encounters a skinny stray dog on the street. Henry names the dog Ribsy, and they become instant best friends. He wants to bring Ribsy home with him to his house on Klickita Street, so Ribsy and Henry begin an adventurous journey home. Along the way, they take the bus and even take a short ride in a police car together.
Summary: This is a really great collection of poetry written by Jack Prelutsky. Jack Prelutsky was named one of the first Children’s Poet Laureate. Along with the book of poetry, Prelutsky includes a cd where Prelutsky vibrantly sings and performs each poetry in song form. Children can listen to each song, while also viewing the simple but cute illustrations provided by James Stevenson in the book. This humorous book of poetry is written for children of all ages, but targets children ages 6-10. The book contains zany tongue twisters and hilarious word play. The poetry includes descriptions and stories about such things as a pet orangutan who plays chess, pigs wearing bathing suits, and underwater marching bands.
Summary: Published in 1988, this is one of Roald Dahl’s last books he wrote, before he passed away in 1990. Matilda Wormwood is a sweet, intelligent five year old child, but her parents are quite the opposite. Matilda taught herself to read by the time she was three years old. Her parents would not provide her with any real books, so she found her way to the local library, and read every book in the children’s section. Matilda’s parents are always up to no good; her dad is a used car salesman, and always creates ways to cheat the buyer and make more money. Matilda doesn’t like the way her parents act, so she plays pranks on them when they are deceitful or mean. Matilda attends Crunchem Hall Primary School, where Miss Truchbull is the Head Mistress, and Miss Honey is her teacher. Miss Honey and Matilda team up against the mean Head Mistress and try to teach her a lesson. When Matilda’s parents get caught for committing crimes at the used car dealership, they are forced to flee the country and they leave Matilda behind in the care of Miss Honey, to Matilda’s liking.
Summary:Mark Twain tells the story of Tom Sawyer, a mischievous boy who lives with his Aunt Polly in a small southern town along the Mississippi River in Missouri. Like most boys his age, he would rather be out running around with his friends than doing the household chores his Aunt Polly has for him to do. He is a master of manipulation and excuses and he wears thin on his Aunt’s nerves. When he meets a girl named Becky Thatcher we discover Tom has a tender spot. Throughout the story Tom heads out on adventures, unbeknown to his Aunt, that include running off with some boys for several days leaving the town believing they are dead. One of the boys he runs off with is Huckleberry Finn. On a venture into a graveyard one night, Tom and Huck witness a murder and Tom becomes the target of revenge from Injun Joe after he tells the truth in court about who the murderer really is. The story climaxes after the boys discover there is a treasure that they plan to steal from Injun Joe. Because the story is set in the nineteenth century, there are racial terms used that are not acceptable today.
Summary: Before you begin to read this book, Greg Heffley wants to make sure you understand that this is a JOURNAL, and not a diary! Greg writes about his first year in middle school as a sixth grader. His makes it clear that the whole journal writing idea is his mothers. Greg is a typical middle school student who tends to be oblivious of the point of view of others around him and is more concerned about his popularity, and not getting beaten up. The drama of middle school unfolds as the year progresses, especially when he realizes that his best friend, Rowley, begins to be more popular than him. It seems that Greg’s plans always seem to backfire, trick-or-treating, being in the school play, and the time he tried to make his friend jealous. Greg survives his first year in middle school and he becomes friends again with Rowley.
Summary: Homer Price is an ordinary kid with extraordinary events that take place in his life. The first of six short stories start out with Homer taking in a skunk as his pet. With the help of his pet skunk, Aroma, Homer captures three fugitives who stole a suitcase of money and after shave lotion. The second story recounts the events that lead to the revelation that the comic hero Super-Duper is not who everyone thinks he is. The next humorous event that takes place involves a doughnut machine Homer’s Uncle Ulysses has in his lunch room diner. Because a part to the machine is not right, the machine mass produces thousands of doughnuts, all of which need to be eaten in order to find a missing diamond bracelet that fell into the batter. The fourth story tells the tale of two men who compete over a lady in town through a contest involving large balls of string and how she outwits them both. The fifth story introduces a stranger in town. Everyone speculates about him because he reminds them of an old storybook character and the children’s librarian intercepts a tragedy by identifying the correct storybook character. The last story recounts how a mass produced subdivision is built in town.
Summary: Have you ever wished you could live by yourself all alone in a house with no one to tell you when to go to bed? PippiLongstocking is quite possibly the most eccentric child anyone could possibly meet. She lives on the edge of a Swedish town in a home called Villa Villekulla with Mr. Nilsson, her pet monkey, a horse that lives on her front porch, and a trunk full of gold coins. She possesses strength like that of a super hero and demonstrates this by lifting her horse off the porch and throwing bullies up into trees. The next door neighbor children, Tommy and Annika, are good mannered, well dressed, and obedient children. They have never seen anyone quite like Pippi and have never had as much fun as they have with her. While they are with Pippi, they witness her take care of bullies, ride on the back of a horse and walk the tight rope at the circus, and rescue a child from a burning building. Because Pippi does not possess social graces, she is often misunderstood by adults.
Summary: Have you ever felt like you had a bad day? It couldn’t get any worse than what the Baudelaire children experience. First, they are told that their parents are both killed in a fire that destroys their beautiful home filled with books and all their possessions. Then, they are told that their parent’s will clearly states they are to be raised by a relative with the closest proximity to the city. This request turns out to be disastrous for the three orphans, Violet, 14, Klaus, 12, and the baby, Sunny. They find themselves living with a very distant relative, Count Olaf, in his filthy, unkept home. The orphans soon realize that his only motivation for taking them is the fortune their parents left to the children. Count Olaf, along with the help of his theatrical troupe, schemes to find a way to get the money sooner than what the law allows. The children soon discover his plan to get the money and try to come up with a strategy of their own. The story not only has a bad beginning, but it has a bad ending as well. Because of the way Count Olaf and his friends act and the terrible twists of fate the children encounter, there is a twisted element of dark humor throughout.
References:Follos, A. (2010). Taking humor seriously. Library Media Connection, 28(4), 36-7. Retrieved from Library Lit & Inf Full Text database
Overview of Genre<br />Humorous books are a great way to get children interested in reading. It is important to create positive reading experiences with any age and books that are humorous are a great way to create those moments. Even the most reluctant reader will find enjoyment in a book when he or she can laugh at it. The Humor genre is one that children can easily relate to and enjoy. Humor often comes from real life experiences that are magnified to become ridiculous. Many times this helps tweens accept and laugh at their own life experiences and makes the material relevant. In addition, it is important to provide Tweens with a variety of reading materials within the genre that are out of the ordinary and have different structures and formats (such as joke books or comic books).<br />
Jake Semple is trouble – he’s been kicked out of every other school and foster home in his homestate.
The Applewhites are a family of artists who run a home school. Jake has to make this arrangement work or he’s off to juvie. </li></li></ul><li>No More Dead Dogsby Gordon Korman<br /><ul><li>Could also be realistic fiction
Wallace Wallace is the “accidental” 8th grade football superhero who, after his parents’ divorce, vowed to always tell the truth.
As part of a punishment for criticizing his teacher’s favorite book, he is assigned to work with the drama club who is bringing another “dog” story to the stage.</li></li></ul><li>Chocolate Feverby Robert Kimmel Smith<br /><ul><li>Also could be fantasy
Ten-year-old Henry Green loves chocolate for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snack in between
One day, Henry develops a rash of brown spots and is eventually diagnosed with the first-ever case of “Chocolate Fever”, making him a “walking candy bar”
Characters’ names add to the humor – Mrs. Kimmelfarber, Mr. Pangalos, Nurse Farthing</li></li></ul><li>A Long Way From Chicagoby Richard Peck<br /><ul><li>Newbery Honor Book
Prequel to A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (Newbery Medal)
Told in short story chapters, each chronicling a summer spent by Joey and Mary Alice Dowdel at their Grandma’s home in the country
Joey and Mary Alice visit their Grandmother Dowdel for seven summers from 1929-1935 and partake in a variety of comical antics</li></li></ul><li>Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater<br /><ul><li>Newbery Honor Book
Mr. Popper loves exploration of the arctic poles, and writes to one of his heroes, Admiral Drake
Admiral Drake sends Mr. Popper a penguin. Mr. Popper gets a mate for the penguin at the zoo, and together, they have ten baby penguins
Mr. Popper trains the penguins to become a traveling act
Admiral Drake comes to watch the act, and takes the penguins, along with Mr. Popper, on a journey back to the arctic where they belong</li></li></ul><li>Rufus M. by Eleanor Estes<br /><ul><li>Published back in 1943
Book is part of a series about the Moffat family
Rufus is the youngest of the four Moffat children
The Moffats are being raised by a single parent, their mother, in the World War I era
Rufus is smart and clever, and can solve any problem in his own creative way
Rufus creates make believe characters and travels on imaginary adventures</li></li></ul><li>Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary<br /><ul><li>Introductory story of Henry Huggins, who later appears in many other stories written by Beverly Cleary
Henry and his family live on Klickita Street in Portland, Oregon
Henry thinks his life is boring, until he meets a stray dog, Ribsy
Henry travels on an adventurous journey home to Klickita Street with Ribsy and comedy ensues</li></li></ul><li>My Dog May Be a Genius by Jack Prelutsky<br /><ul><li>Collection of zany and humorous poetry
Written by one of the first Children’s Poet Laureate, Prelutsky
Prelutsky provides a cd with the book where he performs all of the poetry so children can sing along
The poetry talks about such wondrous things as pigs wearing bathing suits, a pet orangutan that play chess, and underwater marching bands.</li></li></ul><li>Matilda by Roald Dahl<br /><ul><li>Matilda Wormwood is 5 years old
She is a child prodigy and teaches herself to read at the age of 3.
She does not like her dishonest and deceitful parents, and pranks them often.
She attends Crunchem Hall Primary School where she encounters the evil Head Mistress Miss Trunchbull and her favorite teacher, Miss Honey
Miss Honey and Matilda become close friends and allies, and team up against Miss Trunchbull.
Matilda’s parents are forced to flee the country and they leave Matilda behind in the care of Miss Honey.</li></li></ul><li>The Adventures of Tom Sawyer By Mark Twain<br /><ul><li>A legendary classical novel written by Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain
Rediscover this humorous, adventurous tale which was originally written in 1876
Meet the memorable characters of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly, and Injun Joe</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>The first in the series of humorous books written by Jeff Kinney
Discover the thoughts of a typical middle school boy trying to survive the first year of middle school
Laugh out loud at the misadventures of Greg Heffley</li></ul>Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley’s Journal by Jeff Kinney<br />
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey<br /><ul><li>Follow Homer Price as he goes through life in a small town where comical adventures occur
Robert McCloskey is the winner of two Caldecott Awards
Read the book that inspired the making of two short films</li></li></ul><li>PippiLongstocking by Astrid Lindgren<br /><ul><li>Meet PippiLongstocking, the most precocious Swedish girl you’ll ever encounter
Originally written in Swedish and translated by Florence Lamborn
This book is filled with stories that are not only humorous, but adventurous as well</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>The first book in “The Series of Unfortunate Events” series
Lemony Snicket is the pen name of Daniel Handler
If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle.”-Lemony Snicket</li></ul>A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket<br />
Closing Quotes<br />“If we are serious about getting kids to read, making them laugh is a great beginning.” (Follos, 2010, p. 37)<br />“When successful, humor in literature is well written, exquisitely executed, and perfectly paced. It can be a joy ride through the literary experience.” (Follos, 2010, p. 37)<br />“Life literally abounds in comedy if we just look around .”<br /> -Mel Brooks<br />“You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it.”<br /> -Bill Cosby<br />