Children like funny stories. The overwhelming popularity of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is proof of that. When I know someone is looking for a good laugh, there are a few books I recommend repeatedly. Why? Because they made me laugh when I read them!
A Whole Nother Story and the two sequels Another Whole Nother Story and No Other Story share a fast-paced and wacky plotline. Dr. Ethan Cheeseman and his three smart, polite and relatively odor-free children are on the lam, trying to evade a variety of villains who want to take his time travel machine before he can use it to save his wife. What sends the humor over the top is the droll narration by the (fictional) Dr. Cuthbert Soup, who also happens to be the founder and president of the National Center for Unsolicited Advice. The narration halts periodically so that readers may benefit from his wisdom. For example: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him participate in synchronized diving.”
Another “go to” funny book is The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. (Perhaps it is not surprising that Mr. Rex’s first novel for children is a rib-tickler, because he is also the author of Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, which contains very silly poems about Frankenstein, the Phantom of the Opera and other famous monsters.) In this sci-fi saga, a girl named Gratuity joins forces with an alien who calls himself J.Lo (he’s a Jennifer Lopez fan) to save the world from another even scarier group of aliens. Gratuity, who drives her missing mother’s car by strapping cans to her shoes, is a witty narrator and J.Lo is, in his broken-English way, a fitting comic foil. They travel from Pennsylvania to Florida, where they visit a creepy Disney-like theme park, to Roswell in the western desert, where a seemingly crazy Navajo knows more about aliens than he at first lets on.
Share these book titles with some school-age kids you know and see how they like them! If there are books that tickle your funny bone, tell us about them in our "Comments."