My Eight Year Only Likes Funny Books – Help!

Help! I need some ideas for books for an 8 year old boy. We are having a tough time finding something to capture his interest. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Pseudonymous Bosch are the only one’s that have captured him.”

This could be a young boy who is a reluctant reader or maybe he’s just particular. (Here is where I laugh maniacally and rub my hands together with glee.) Just my kind of challenge!!

My friend and an Imagination Soup reader wrote this to me last week. I wrote back to ask more about what books he’s tried. She said, “He doesn’t like: Charlie Bone, Magic Tree House, Magic Thief, Margaret Peterson Haddix. He really likes humor. Ugly Guide to the Universe is his favorite. He likes non-fiction but I want him to experience the joy of losing himself in a fiction book.

Here are my favorite funny books for eight-year olds. Readers, any suggestions to add to the list?

Humorous Books for Eight-Year-Old Boy

Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
The Author of The Misadventures of Inspector Moustachio by Wayne Madsen
Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon (graphic novel)
A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
Sweet Farts by Raymond Bean (haven’t read this one)
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Frindle & The Landry News by Andrew Clements
Lunch Lady by Jarrett Krosoczka (graphic novel)
Magic Pickle by Scott Morse (graphic novel) (personally found this to be side-splittingly funny!)
Shredderman by Wendelin Van Draanen
Raymond and Graham by Mike Knudson
Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
Encyclopedia of Immaturity by the editors of KlutzBook Love by Melissa Taylor
Archie comics
Got Cake? Rotten School #13 by R.L. Stein
My Weird School by Dan Gutman
Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World by Vordak T. Incomprehensible
EllRay Jakes Is Not a Chicken by Sally Warner
How to Train Your Dragon by Cornelia Funke
The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney
The BFG by Roald Dahl
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

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  1. says

    My son is the same way. He loves silly books. I think he’s read Sideways School books at least 3 times each. Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield books continue to come home from the library. I’ll have to take a look at your list and head to the library. My son is nine.

    I’ve gotten him into a few action packed and adventure books. I see you have a book by Andrew Clements. My son liked A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements. He thought it was a little boring in the beginning, but we talked about how the story wouldn’t have been very good if we didn’t learn about the main character and his feelings etc. I think it was a turning point for him to be patient and read books with a little more substance.

    His teacher this year turned him onto a series by Gary Paulsen. I have not read all the books. I’ve heard of a little violence in them from my son. He said these five books are the best ones he’s ever read. You can find the books compiled into one book or find the separate books. The series has the name Tucket in it.

    I’d suggest, Dear Max! The story is a little humorous, but a little serious too. Thanks for sharing your favorite funny books.

  2. says

    While many of the recommendations above may please your son, you should also consider the Heroes A2Z series. It’s about 3 superhero kids who fight crime before bedtime, including a flying baby in a diaper. I promise fun and adventure … because I write them. :)

  3. says

    I immediately thought of Calvin and Hobbes and Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series as well. My son also loved The Big Splash, by Jack D. Ferraiolo, at that age. It revolves around middle school, though, so you should take a peek at first to make sure your son is ready for the material.

    What does your son like to do with his free time? If he likes sports, you might try Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventure series and Tim Green’s books. The action might replace the humor for him.

    He might also enjoy Roald Dahl’s books, especially BFG. And to transition from humor to books that quickly pull the reader in, you might try Jerry Spinelli’s books, especially Crash and Loser.

    Good luck!

  4. Lisa Watson says

    My son loved the Miss Daisy is Crazy series. He read them all last summer. Perfect for second grade boys. Lots of Bathroom humor.

  5. says

    Hi, I’m the author of the Sweet Farts series. I came across your blog post while searching the web. I love the topic. I wrote the Sweet Farts books in an attempt to reach out to the most reluctant readers.
    I think the trick is immersing young readers in books. I go on Amazon with my third grade son and we click on books and read the sample chapters. He enjoys taking part in finding new titles.

  6. says

    Great list of recommendations. I have ordered every single book on your list to read with my son. Looking forward to some new adventures. I’ll give you some feed back.

    • Diane says

      My son is the same way. He loves the Riot Brother’s series, Dav Pilkey’s Ricky Riccotta Series (not Captain Underpants for some reason, said it was too much potty talk), Melvin Beederman series and the Pokemon Adventures graphic novels. He also liked the Roscoe Riley books but they may be too young.

    • says

      Since you want him to get lost in a fiction book and he really enjoys funny and non-fiction. Why not marry the two by introducing him to graphic novels on historical events.
      Capstone Press has some great ones. Some of the titles are
      1. Paul Revere’s Ride
      2. Benjamin Franklin an American Genius
      3. The Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving
      4. George Washing Leading a New Nation

  7. Texas library lady says

    Dumb Bunnies, Gary Paulsen writes some hilarious stuff, like Harris and Me– I literally fell off the couch reading this one, How Angel Peterson got his name, another person mentioned his Mr. Tucket books. Since this list posted 2 years ago, and the little boy is older, I think I can recommend Gordan Korman as well, particularly No more dead dogs. Also Frindle by Clements. For younger kids I recommend the Froggy series by London. Kids roar when I read Froggy gets dressed, because he forgets his underwear!

  8. Thursday says

    How about the Horrid Henry series? The series walks a fine line between bullying and humour, but my 8 yr old daughter and I discuss this constantly. She is addicted to these books and reads several each day; she almost knows the entire series off by heart. Author is Francesca Simon. There is also a TV series and movie.

  9. Cath says

    How to train your dragon is by Cressida Cowell, no? My son LOVES these books – especially now he can read them by himself. Zac Power is also a favourite, as well as good old Asterix!

  10. Michele says

    My kids loved Snot Stew by Bill Wallace. It’s a great “first novel” type so may be below what you’re looking for, but it is quite funny.

  11. Rachel 'Defassio' Bowerman says

    Anything by Andy Griffiths- the day my butt went psycho and the rest in that series, just annoying or schooling around! All faves with my 4th graders!

  12. Kathy Bajo-Moeller says

    How about the following series — Zack Files, Franny K Stein, Beast Quest, Junie B Jones or Bailey School Kids. The I survived series is great historical fiction by Lauren Tarshis.

  13. Anne Gardner says

    I worked with a group of kids who grew to love the many adventures of Nate the Great. It’s a dry type of humor that appeals to many boys. If a kid “takes to them” there are many books in the series to enjoy. :) Anne

  14. Angell says

    The book that turned my son (10 yrs old) into a reader is “Almost Super” by Marion Jensen (there is a second book after that called “Searching for Super.”

    Book Description of Almost Super:
    Savvy meets The Incredibles in this fresh, funny middle-grade debut about two brothers in a family of superheroes who must find a way to be heroic despite receiving powers that are total duds.

    Each leap year, on February 29th, at 4:23 p.m., every member of the Bailey family over the age of twelve gets a superpower. No one knows why, and no one questions it. All the Baileys know is that it’s their duty to protect the world from those evil, supervillainous Johnsons.

    Today, Rafter Bailey and his brother Benny are finally going to get their superpowers. Benny wants to be a speedy, and Rafter hopes he gets super strength so he can save the day just like his grandfather. But when their powers arrive, they are, well, duds. Rafter can light matches on polyester, and Benny can turn his innie belly button into an outie.

    Suddenly Rafter and Benny’s world is turned upside down. Especially when they realize that Juanita Johnson, the villain in Rafter’s algebra class, thinks that her family are the superheroes and the Baileys are the villains.

    What if everything Rafter thought he knew about superheroes turns out to be a lie? He may not have an awesome power, but with the help of Benny and an unexpected friend, he could just be almost super


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