We’ve all heard that laughter is good for the soul, so it stands to reason that a laugh-out-loud read is the perfect remedy for a gloomy day, or down-in-the-dumps mood. Here is a list of funny middle grade offerings sure to get a laugh.
The Rhino in Right Field, by Stacy DeKeyser
The son of immigrant parents, Nick has always done what is expected of him, including working in his family’s store, Elegant Shoe Repair and Hat Shop. When the local baseball club offers the chance to win an opportunity to be a Mudpuppy batboy for a day, Nick knows this is his shot at his all-American dream. But there are two problems. First, the contest is on a Saturday, and Saturdays are for working in the family shop. Secondly, ever since the day Nick’s bad fielding landed him in the pen of a 2000-pound rhinoceros named Tank, Nick has been a little apprehensive of an approaching ball. Even if he can find a way to sneak out of work, how will he ever overcome his fear to prove he’s got the fielding skills to win the contest?
Stu Truly, by Dan Richards
Stu has never really been all that interested in girls. He’s happy hanging with the guys. Until Becca. The new girl in school, Becca is perfect in every way, and Stu is determined to impress her. So when Becca tells Stu that she’s a vegetarian, Stu says that he is, too; never mind that his family owns the local butcher shop. He even agrees to help her plan a protest against the school’s lack of vegetarian menu options. Meanwhile, Stu’s dad is planning a big surprise for the upcoming town festival—a surprise that has Stu and his family appearing in meat costumes. It’s going to take a lot of fast talking for Stu to keep up this charade.
Life According to Og the Frog, by Betty G. Birney
Fans of The World According to Humphrey will delight in this new addition to Room 26. Og has always known life in the swamp. When he finds himself in a too-clean tank, with crickets available for every meal, and all sorts of unfamiliar noises, he’s not sure what to think. He’s especially not sure of his squeaky neighbor, Humphrey. But it doesn’t take long for him to get used to his new surroundings, and there’s lots of inspiration for his favorite hobby, writing poetry. When there’s talk of returning Og to the swamp, he’s torn. Is home in the swamp…or Room 26?
Pennybaker School is Revolting, by Jennifer Brown and Marta Kissi
For Thomas Fallgrout, attending Pennybaker School has been an adjustment. Each student at Pennybaker has a unique gift, from unicycling to juggling to acting to acrobatics. At first, Thomas felt like a fish out of water. But recently, things have felt a lot more comfortable and, dare he even say it, normal. But then the history teacher, Mr. Faboo goes missing, The phys ed teacher introduces a new unit that’s sure to add a whole new level of embarrassment to Thomas’ middle school experience. And suddenly Thomas’ next door neighbor, Chip, is stealing all of his friends. Pennybaker School is out of control, and only a revolution will fix it.
Not So Normal Norbert, by James Patterson, Joey Green, and Hatem Aly
Norbert Riddle lives in the United State of Earth, where he’s expected to follow the rules, blend in with the crowd, and never act in a way that would call attention to himself. Norbert’s parents disappeared without a trace when he was five, something his aunt and uncle won’t talk about. Life is dull, gray, and normal, at least for the United State of Earth. But when Norbert is caught making a joke about Loving Leader, he is banished to Astro-Nuts Camp on another planet. Here, Norbert finds a whole community of creative crazies. So what is normal? And where does Norbert belong?
Tale of a Scaredy Dog, by Deborah Zemke
Meet Bea Garcia. Artist extrordinaire, and human to Sophie, the smartest dog on the planet (according to Bea). Recently, Bea’s best friend and neighbor, Yvonne, moved to Australia. Into her house moved Bert, whom Bea has dubbed the neighborhood monster. That’s bad enough, but when Sophie has a run-in with Bert’s Mean Kitty, Sophie heads for the hills—literally. Now Sophie is lost and Bea will have to use all her artistic skills to bring her home.
Mightier Than The Sword, by Drew Callander, Alana Harrison, and Ryan Andrews
What would you do if one morning you woke up and found yourself in a strange land created entirely of stories? That’s the scenario in this cleverly crafted novel where the reader falls into the land of Astorya, a place where everything you draw or write comes to life. But Astorya is in danger and it’s up to the reader and your guide, Manteau, to save it. Through interactive pages where the reader is encouraged to draw, write, and solve puzzles directly on the page, you journey through this strange land on an adventure where you, the reader, are in charge.
What middle grade novels are tickling your funny bone lately?