As I have shared previously, my eldest loves a good dose of humour in her books. This started out with picture books and has continued as she moves into chapter books and novels. Today I am sharing a list of funny books she has loved so far (which I will continue to add to over time). While most of these books fit into the popular illustrated humour market, they are not all graphic novels – the content varies in terms of the ratio of illustration to text and the complexity of text to storyline. What they do all have is relatable characters, lots of family, friend and school references that readers will also relate to (often shared with more than a little cheekiness), and lots to laugh about. While some of them are most definitely suitable for younger independent readers, I think you will find many of them are still enjoyed by children in the later years of primary or grade school. Plus, being book series’, these titles offer plenty more to encourage your child to keep reading once they are hooked – in fact the 14 series listed here so far equates to 85 books in total!
For your convenience, each title below is linked to an online bookstore for further information, samples and reviews, which are especially helpful for titles you are unfamiliar with. There are also links to online bookstores stocking these titles, these are affiliate links. The titles are arrange in order of (approximate) recommended reader age.
The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey: With a super easy, graphic novel style, The Bad Guys series is a great read for both those starting out with chapter books and reluctant readers, but the voracious young readers I know love them too. There are currently five books in the series. (Age 6+ years)
Coco Banjo by Nikki Gemmell: Coco Banjo loves her rather unorthodox life which includes living on a secret island in Sydney Harbour. In the first book in the series, Coco is planning a Yay Day – no school and a fun day to do fun things, when the secret signal comes from her best friend ‘N’ who needs her at school. There are currently three books in the series (Age 6+ years)
Diary of A (Sporting Superhero) by Shamini Flint: Marcus is a maths whiz who is not at all good at sport. His dad is a self-help author who thinks Marcus can achieve anything he sets his mind to and each book in the series explores Marcus’ endeavours with a new sport – everything from swimming to soccer to taekwando, with hilarious results. There are currently ten books in the series (Ages 7+ years)
Brobot by James R Foley: We were fortunate to attend a workshop by author James R Foley last year and he held the attention of a room full of eight-year-olds for an hour or more. They hung off his every word.. at least, when they weren’t laughing at his stories and jokes! Brobot tells the story of Sally Tinker, the world’s foremost inventor under the age of 12, and what happens when Sally decides to build her very own, much-improved, robot version of a baby brother- complete with built-in cupcake oven! There is just one book in the series so far, the second is due for release in September (Age 7+ years)
Available: The Book Depository
The 13 Storey Treehouse Series by Andy Griffiths: The combination of the ultimate, children’s hideaway (it has everything from a a bowling alley to a tank full of man-eating sharks, a library full of comics and a secret underground laboratory, a vegetable vaporiser and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots your favourite flavoured marshmallows into your mouth! – that becomes more fabulous with each new 13 storey addition) with wildly unlikely adventures make for a wonderfully funny read. There are currently six books in the series (Aged 7+ years)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney: As he enters sixth grade, Greg Heffley dreams of being the most popular kid in middle school but a series of bad decisions, unfortunate events and a big dose of bad luck sees him struggles to fit in. There are currently eleven books in the series (Age 8+ years)
Tom Gates by Liz Pichon: An award winning series about Tom Gates, a likeable 10 year old who loves to draw, who his teachers describe as ‘lacking direction’ and whose plans always seem to go awry and get him into trouble. There are currently twelve books in the series (8+ years)
Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing (The Fudge Series) by Judy Blume: Peter, aged 10, shares the story of the often embarrassing situations he is placed in when his parents need his help to wrangle his little brother – the always funny, sometimes infuriating, 3 year old known as Fudge. There are currently four books in the series (Ages 8+ years)
Smile by Raina Telgemeier: Graphic novels Smile and Sisters share the autobiographical story of the author, Raina, as she remembers events from her own childhood. Miss 9 recently borrowed the second book Sisters from our local library and has read and re-read it over and over again. She was hugely disappointed that they don’t also have Smile and is eagerly awaiting its arrival (plus Telgemeier’s Drama and Ghosts are now on her wishlist!) (Age 9+)
Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier: Adventure, humour, monsters and zombies – what’s not to love! The books tell the story of Jack and his friends as they survive the aftermath of a monster apocalypse – hiding out in a super cool treehouse! There are currently two books in the series, with a third due for release in September (Ages 9+ years)
The Misadventures of Max Crumbly by Rachel Renee Russell: Max is about to face the scariest place he’s ever been – middle school! Can Max channel the powers of his favourite superheroes to survive the school bully, Thug? Another series that had Miss 9 eagerly waiting for the next release. There are currently two books in the series. (9+ years)
Treasure Hunters by James Patterson: Four children travel the world at sea with their treasure hunting parents but after their mother goes missing and their father disappears in a storm, these resourceful kids decide to continue their parents’ work and between run-ins with scuba ninjas and a Pirate King, they might even discover a way to get their parents back. There are currently four books in the series (9+ years)
Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell: Told in diary style by main character, 14 year old Nikki, these popular books were loved by Miss 9 but are honestly not my favourite as they are quite shallow and Nikki isn’t really that likeable (at least to my adult eyes!) There are currently 11 books in the series. Definitely readable for kids aged 9+ but content more relevant to 10 or 11+ I think.
Gangsta Granny by David Walliams: While the books by David Walliams aren’t an actual series (though there is now a sequel to The World’s Worst Children), many of the children I know who fall in love with Walliams’ very funny titles can’t wait to get their hands on another, making them a very worthy inclusion on this list. Walliams, who has been called a modern day Roald Dahl, has published 12 humorous chapter books for children so far (Ages 9+)
Do you have a humorous chapter book series that has been popular in your house?