By Noelle, Librarian Extraordinaire
A few months ago, I put together a suggestion list for books to read for those kids who can’t get enough of the Diary of Wimpy Kid series. I thought by now those self-same kids may have run through that list, so I am here to help by suggesting even more books that might pique their interest. Luckily, the publishing industry is churning out no end to similar stories. Actually, they had already published many that pre-date Wimpy Kid, but hopefully these titles will get some play with the same crowd. Most of these suggestions should float with independent chapter book readers in grades 2 on up to 5th or 6th. Just tell Mikey to try one. He might like it!
Drooling and Dangerous: the Riot Brothers Return by Mary Amato
As the Riot Brothers say, “A bad day is like bad breath. It just gets worse unless you do something about it.” These brothers never want to see a bad day. Filled with illustrations and silly happenings like becoming spies and unwittingly starring in a movie, kids will laugh their way through this and the sequels. Perfect for independent readers in 2nd grade on up.
Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel by Ruth Barshaw
Ellie keeps a combination sketch book and journal of her adventures with her obnoxious cousins on a summer camping trip. There are laugh out loud moments as well as valuable lessons to be learned in this one, and now there are sequels, including Best Friends Fur-Ever and New Kid in School.
Just Grace by Charise Mericle Harper
The 8 year old narrator of this story is eager to tell of her rotten life, including the existence of three Graces in her class, causing the teacher to dub her “Just Grace.” There are plenty of drawings and misunderstandings in this book, and new chapter book readers will eat it up and come looking for the many many sequels.
Tales From the House of Bunnicula: It Came From Beneath the Bed! by James Howe
If your kid hasn’t read Bunnicula yet, then definitely get them to read that giggle-inducing story first, of a vampire bunny and the unwitting housepets determined to uncover his misdeeds. In the Tales, the doggy nephew of the author of Bunnicula pens the silly story of a science experiment gone mad. Amusing and also hits the animal lovers button. Follow it up with the 5 other books in the Tales series.
Down Girl and Sit: Smarter Than Squirrels by Lucy Nolan
Down Girl (or so she thinks her name is) is a dog who has many an adventure with her next door neighbor, Sit, including saving the world from squirrels and from the frightening creature called “Here Kitty Kitty.” Good fun! Follow it up with On the Road and Home on the Range.
Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka
Scieszka (rhymes with Fresca) is a comic genius of such gems as the True Story of the Three Little Pigs and The Stinky Cheese Man as well as the Time Warp Trio series. Now he turns to a new illustrated chapter book series where Michael K. starts 5th grade only to discover he is teamed up with a pair of aliens—and no one believes him. Of course. Plenty of fun hijinks and a second book has already been published. Scieszka’s books especially appeal to boys. More, please!
Adventures of Benny by Steve Shreve
Nonstop action and lots of illustrations will draw in readers to Benny, who runs across Bigfoot, pirates and the Booger-Man. Gross and funny, all rolled into one book.
Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
Danny Dragonbreath passes in an unresearched paper on the ocean and has to do it over. Instead of reading the encyclopedia, Danny gets to go on a mind-boggling tour under the sea with his sea serpent cousin, including such wonders as vomiting sea cucumbers, and he also learns to stand up to bullies in the process. Fun stuff, and fans will clamor for the sequels, Curse of the Were-Weiner, Attack of the Ninja Frogs, and Lair of the Bat Monster. Who could resist ninja frogs?
Gossip From the Girls’ Room by Rose Cooper
Sofia decides to blog about every piece of gossip she overhears in the girls’ room at school in the hope it leads to popularity. What do you think might happen?
Secrets of a Lab Rat: No Girls Allowed (dogs okay) by Trudi Trueit
Scab hopes his sister-repellent spray invention will let him raise enough money to buy a dog, but as you may guess, things go terribly, terribly wrong. Lots of laughs are to be had. And there are sequels: Scab for Treasurer and Mom, There’s a Dinosaur in Beeson’s Lake.
Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard Genius by Frank Asch
In this funny story, Alex is so convinced of his little brother’s evilness that he builds a spaceship out of cardboard boxes, duct tape and other various household items to move a galaxy away. But when his little brother comes up with a competing invention, suddenly he sees things a little bit differently. Perfect for that kid who likes to invent or build things, or if you have a little know-it-all who hates his younger sibling.
Franny K. Stein: Lunch Walks Among Us by Jim Benton
Franny is your basic mad scientist who doesn’t quite fit in at school. That is, until she vanquishes an evil monster bred in a trash can. Cartoonish and irresistible. There are so many sequels, I’d run out of room listing them here. Suffice it to say, if your child likes one, there are plenty more to be had.
|Noelle has been a children’s librarian for over 15 years. She’s also been a student teacher, worked as an online account manager, worked in a pet shop and as a supermarket checkout clerk, and as a dishwasher and fry cook. She is the proud mom of a beautiful daughter. You can read more of Noelle’s book reviews at Rave Reviews Log
Noelle can be reached at “Noelle @ DadDoes.Com”
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