Wacky Books for Reluctant Readers

Affiliate Links 150 2When you have a child who doesn’t want to read, a reluctant reader, try to get them engaged in a wacky book or silly story.

Help your child get started on a book by reading the book aloud to them for a few chapters. If it’s funny, chances are good that he will continue on his own when you get too “busy” to read to him. (One of my favorite tricks!)

 Books for Reluctant Readers

We’ve been reading the Wayside School stories at bedtime — and sometimes I get to laughing so much that I can’t keep reading.

All these books and more that I recommend are available in the Imagination Soup online bookstore. The majority of these books are for ages 7 – 9, or second to fourth grade.

Potty Humor

Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets

The Encyclopedia of Immaturity

Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger

Snot Stew

Sweet Farts

Who Cut the Cheese?

Laugh-out-loud Real Life Humor

Bad Kitty Boxed Set

Big Nate 1-2 Punch: 2 Big Nate Books in 1 Box!: Includes Big Nate and Big Nate Strikes Again


Diary of a Wimpy Kid Box of Books (Books 1-5)

Dragonbreath #1

EllRay Jakes Is a Rock Star

Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom

Freckle Juice

Gooney Bird Greene

Rotten School #13: Got Cake?

Head of the Class: Frindle; The Landry News; The Janitor’s Boy

How to Eat Fried Worms

How to Train Your Dragon

Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka

Stink: The Super-Incredible Collection: Books 1-3

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Silly Humor

Eco-Wolf and the Three Pigs (Seriously Silly Stories)

Lulu and the Brontosaurus

Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta: Lunch Lady #3

Magic Pickle And The Creature From The Black Legume

Mercy Watson to the Rescue

The Knights of the Kitchen Table #1 (Time Warp Trio)

Weird and Crazy Humor

A Whole Nother Story


The Dunderheads

SPHDZ Book #1! (Spaceheadz)

Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World

The Fran That Time Forgot (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist)

The Wayside School Collection: Sidways Stories from Wayside School/Wayside School Is Falling Down/Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger [WAYSIDE SCHOOL COLL 8D]

Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger

Sure, these books might not win a Newbery, or even be appealing to you, but just remember that the goal is to get your kids reading. So, ANY book that gets kids reading is good. More time reading gives your reader more practice, more confidence, and improved fluency. Remember — you want BOOK LOVE — that’s the ultimate goal.

Any other wacky favorites to add to this list?

*Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the gift guide are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. For books, I like to use Amazon because of the discounted prices and the quick shipping.

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  1. Yvonne Jefferson says

    I love this list. I’m going to check our library shelves to see how many we have and maybe make a display. I’d like to add The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy.

  2. boswell0617 says

    I remember reading and loving the Wayside series. I also remember reading How to Eat Fried Worms.

  3. Stephanie Anderton says

    Great list, I’m bookmarking this!

    Another great series is “And Then It Happened…” about the antics that 3 boys get into. I often find myself laughing as I anticipate what’s going to happen next. They’ve been a solid favourite with my 2 boys (now aged 6 and 8) for the past 2 years.

  4. Nicole says

    The Wayside Series is great! Another funny book I remember loving in 4th or 5th grade: “The Kid in The Red Jacket” by Barbara Parks. SO funny! I read it with a child I babysat again recently and laughed just as much as I did as a kid!

  5. scwhittens says

    Barbara Parks oldies: Skinnybones and Almost Starring Skinnybones
    Gordon Korman oldies: All the Bruno and Boots adventures (2 boys create havoc in a boarding school).
    Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher

  6. Bridget says

    Do you have any suggestions for moms who don’t always have time to read and have hard time finding books they like?

    • Teri says

      Try asking the children’s librarian at your local library. I recently rediscovered what a valuable resource they are when I was looking for suggestions for my own son. She asked what his interests were and walked the shelves with us giving us a synopsis of dozens of books. We walked out with six new books to read. So great and so easy!
      Also audiobooks are a great way to listen to stories while doing other tasks (i.e. driving) and can be downloaded onto your smartphone or computer from iTunes, Amazon or audible.com.
      Hope this is helpful. Happy reading!

    • Lori says

      Don’t forget audio books too. I know they are not a replacement for a parents attention and that special time reading together, but for a busy mom they are a great stand in. If we expose our kids to great literature in any way we can, I think we can grow readers. We have to get them hooked on great stories, and they will continue to seek them out.

  7. Nonna says

    The Giggler Treatment-it explains that adults step in dog poo if they are mean to,children. It is based in Europe so there is a glossary of terms and the chapter titles and lengths make my students go silly in seconds!

  8. Robin Miller says

    One of my kids and my favorite books is Tiger can’t sleep. It goes through a humorous list of noises and activities that the tiger does and the child is the one who is getting upset instead of the parents doing the yelling.

  9. diana says

    Hank the Cowdog! These are the best books and was one of my favorite series when I was growing up! My boys love them! They are easy to read, hilarious, and totally different than a lot of the other books geared towards boys.

  10. Elisabeth Tyler says

    Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, by Betty MacDonald. My 7-year-old son is not a fan of reading and has trouble remembering what he read but with this book, he would sit and read a chapter to himself AND could tell me what happened!
    Thanks so much for this list and I can’t wait to try some of the others! We’re reading through the first book in the How To Train Your Dragon series now.

  11. Jennifer says

    When they do find a book they like, check out the web site”whatshouldireadnext.com” to find other similar books. Just type in your favorite book and it will give you a whole list of books to check out.

  12. sblueck says

    Anything by Roald Dahl would be at the top of this list! For starters, Esio Trot is hilarious. George’s Marvelous Medicine is also a good starting spot.

  13. Lori says

    And Then It Happened by M and L Wade….great Canadian series that boys love. Each chapter is its own short story about the crazy adventures of three boys.

  14. yoko says

    Wiley and Grampa’s Creature Feature series. Super silly and a little spooky for the kids who like that sorta thing.


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