This week in the library, I've been talking about HUMOR books with the 8th graders. Their first quarter Independent Reading Project is all about all things Funny.
Looking back through this blog, I cannot believe that I have never done a Friday 5/15 about my top Funny books for teens. We will have to remedy that in a future post!
My goal today was to mention some of the newer Humor books published this year that I was highlighting to students, as well as some quietly funny gems that often get overlooked. Looking back over the 2013 publishing cycle, I have to say, humor has not been at the top of the trend list. I always pride myself on finding great funny books each year, but this year, there really haven't been too many that "tickled my funny bone."
Again, that could be just me. Humor is subjective after all. And the two things that I love most in a humor book are either (1) snarky, sarcastic, witty narrator, often a girl; or (2) dumb boy humor. Love both styles...can't get enough!
In no particular order, here are my funny favs of 2013:
Also Known As by Robin Benway. LOVE Robin Benway, and this book is no exception. I have highlighted the book already this summer as one of our Trailer Tuesdays here. This book has it all, and has also received starred reviews from various publications (which did not influence how much I loved it, but thought I'd throw it out there if it might influence you). Spies, high school drama, a witty and relatable narrator, a little romance, action and suspense...this book has it all and is so much fun. Even if you aren't a fan of the typical "spy" novel, there is a lot to like here. And I'm very excited that it is a series starter. Grades 7-10.
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg. Again, another good author. A high school girl who's little sister is on the Toddlers & Tiaras pageant circle? Yep, lots of witty asides here. But also a real story. And a character to root for that many girls can relate to. Grades 7-10.
Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle. Yes, I've already gushed over this book here so probably not a surprise. A kid who runs away to audition for the musical based on E.T.? The images I have in my head are just funny. I love Nate. And I don't care if maybe everything works out a little too easily for him in the end. Every now and then, that's just a good thing to have happen in a book. Grades 6-8 (ignore the cover!).
Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin. This book is not on my middle school shelves, but it has some of the funniest writing I've read in a long time. I just loved everything about this book, and it's main character Ritchie Sudden. When a teenager in juvie makes references to jumping the shark, you know you're going to like this book. Definitely grades 9-12, but so good!
Some quietly funny gems that I hope each year finds their way into the hands of just the right student:
Misfits by James Howe.
Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick.
Warp Speed by Lisa Yee.
Two books that have some of the funniest opening scenes I've ever read, but might not necessarily be "funny" books:
The Schwa was Here by Neil Schusterman.
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger.