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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  • Chris (@book_dads)

    The first one I thought of was your first on the list: Spaceheadz. I also thought of the Lunch Lady series which you have as well.

    What about Dav Pilkey?

    • Melissa Taylor

      I can’t believe I forgot Captain Underpants- thanks!

  • Michelle Breum

    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.

  • Takini8

    Zombiekins- My students are loving it!

  • David Anthony

    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. :)

  • Dawn Morris

    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!

  • YouthMUSE

    If it is gross and funny, my 6 year old boy graviates to it. Santa scored when he delivered the “Super Fly Guy” series by Tedd Arnold. This is a SURE winner!

  • Lisa Watson

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

  • Olugbemisola

    Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things; and Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look are hilarious.

  • Melissa Taylor

    You all are brilliant and so well-read! Thanks for adding to the list!!!

  • Angela

    What an amazing list of books! Sooo helpful!

  • Raymond Bean

    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.

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  • Lindsay P

    My 8 year old loves The Ranger Apprentice (Flanagan) series, it has some humor and adventure.

  • YouthMUSE

    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

      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.

  • Susan T.

    Cornelia Funke’s Ghosthunters series is a fun one.

  • Pragmatic Mom

    How to Train Your Dragon by Cornelia Funke
    The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
    The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Srings by Betty Birney
    The BFG by Roald Dahl
    A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

    I have a list of Best Books for Reluctant Boy Readers here:

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  • Donna-Lee

    My son was hooked on the Geronimo Stilton series for a long time.
    He also really enjoyed When the Sergeant Came Marching Home by Don Lemna.

    • Joanne Kaminski

      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

      • Melissa Taylor

        Great idea for another post, Joanne, thanks. I think graphic novels make wonderful reading!

  • Carolyn Starks

    Spies Inc. by Storybuilders

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  • Julie Gassman

    Check out the Zeke Meeks series by D. L. Green. They are perfect for Diary fans…

  • Janice Reid Franckum

    You have to read –
    “Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians” It is a series of very funny books. I started reading them to my kids and we loved them. Hope you enjoy them too.

    • Melissa Taylor

      thanks for the suggestion!

  • kellie gedert

    Great helpful list, thansk!! my son loved the Stink Moody series for ages 6-8. Loved!

  • Bonny Gutteridge

    Andy Griffiths is another great author for boys, gross but they love him.

  • Texas library lady

    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!

    • Melissa Taylor

      Froggy is hilarious – and Gordon Korman is amazingly prolific, great writer. Thanks!!

  • Heather Keely Cavan

    The “Captain Underpants” series by Dav Pilkey is hysterical!

  • Judith N.

    Hank the Cowdog books are great.
    Boys and girls both laugh at the unusual situations Hank and his pals get into.

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  • Thursday

    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.

    • Melissa Taylor

      thanks, I haven’t actually read them. Sounds like I need to . . .

  • Cath

    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!

    • Melissa Taylor

      those are great books, thanks!

  • Michele

    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.

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  • Mike U

    The Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon. Boys and girls in my class love them.

    • Melissa Taylor

      great suggestion, thanks!

  • Rachel ‘Defassio’ Bowerman

    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!

  • Kathy Bajo-Moeller

    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.

    • Melissa Taylor

      love!! thanks!

  • Anne Gardner

    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

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