J FICTION (Grades 2 & 3)
Miss Daisy Is Crazy by Dan Gutman
AJ’s second-grade teacher, Miss Daisy, is unlike any other teacher. She is always asking the kids for help with math and spelling. Principal Klutz agrees to turn the school into a video arcade for a night and wear a gorilla suit if the kids read a million pages. Can they do it? 83 pgs. (Look for other titles in the My Weird School series.)
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look
Alvin is an Asian-American second grader who is afraid of just about everything, but most especially of school. In fact, he is so afraid that he finds himself unable to speak a single word there. His escapades as he attempts to overcome his fears, make friends and grow taller make for an amusing read. 172 pgs. (Look for other titles featuring Alvin Ho.)
Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry
When second-grader Gooney Bird Greene starts at a new school, her classmates soon discover that she is as unusual as her name and the clothes she wears. Gooney is a born storyteller and, using clever word plays, she entertains her new classmates with one outrageous “absolutely true” tale after another. 88 pgs. (Look for other titles featuring Gooney Bird Greene.)
Mush, a Dog from Space by Daniel Manus Pinkwater
When Kelly moves from her no-pets apartment building to a fancy new house where her parents won’t let her have a dog, Kelly worries that she will never have a pet. She then meets an out-of-this-world dog named Mush Jr. and things begin to look up for Kelly. 55 pgs. (Look for other titles by this author.)
Tooter Pepperday by Jerry Spinelli
Tooter has to move away from her house to Aunt Sally’s farm. How will she ever live without cable and pizza delivery? She decides to take matters into her own hands. Will she ever get her suburban life back? 85 pgs.
Hooey Higgins and the Shark by Steve Voake
Hooey and Twig are desperate to raise enough money to buy the enormous chocolate egg that’s on display at the sweetshop. When a shark is spotted off the coast they plan to capture it, move it to the bathtub and charge admission to view it. Mayhem and madcap adventures inevitably follow. 103 pgs.
J FICTION (Grades 3-6)
Snarf Attack, Underfoodle, and the Secret Life: The Riot Brothers Tell All by Mary Amato
The Riot brothers have vowed to make something exciting happen every day. The games they create are so fun! For example, the object of Snarf Attack is to make an opponent laugh so hard at that milk comes out of his or her nose. Be prepared to laugh! 151 pgs. (Look for other titles in the Riot Brothers series.)
Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies by Andrea Beaty
Twins Kevin and Joules are excited to be attending summer camp in the wilderness. When they encounter three giant, hypnotizing, sugar-crazed bunnies from outer space, they use all their skills gained from watching horror movies to defend their camp from the bunnies’ attack. 184 pgs.
The Fast and the Furriest by Andy Behrens
Twelve-year-old Kevin and his dog, Cromwell, hate sports, but when Cromwell happens to see a dog agility competition on TV, he begins jumping through hoops and running. Before long, Kevin is on a mission to help his crazy dog reach his dream of winning the dog agility competition. 247 pgs.
Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary
Henry Huggins desperately wants a bike, but when he tries to earn money, he always ends up with too much trouble and not enough money. His friend Beezus comes up with an idea that may be a big success for Henry. 192 pgs. (Look for other titles by this author.)
The Get Rich Quick Club by Dan Gutman
Five kids make a pact to earn a million dollars by the end of the summer. Their picture of visiting aliens is more believable than they imagined. Have they taken their scheme a little too far? 118 pgs.
(Look for other titles by this author.)
The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow
Fifth-graders Lydia and Julie, best friends, decide to observe the popular girls at their school as they prepare to go to junior high. The story is told entirely in pictures and handwritten notes as the girls pass their notebooks back and forth to record their observations. 204 pgs. (Look for other titles in the Popularity Girls series.)
Melonhead by Katy Kelly
Ten-year-old Adam Melon, otherwise known as Melonhead, has a knack for getting into trouble. From getting stuck in a tree and needing to be rescued by the Fire Department to losing his pet snake, disasters follow him around. Who knows what chaos will follow when he enters the school reinvention contest? 209 pgs. (Look for other titles in the Melonhead series.)
The Mammoth Academy by Neal Layton
Wooly mammoth siblings Oscar and Arabella are just starting their first year at the Mammoth Academy, and so far, everything is going well. That is, until the cook’s oranges go missing! Mysterious tracks are left as a clue. Who is the thief? 150 pgs.
Wayside School Is Falling Down by Louis Sachar
In this sequel to Sideways Stories from Wayside School things are even wackier! Mrs. Jewls teaches on the thirtieth floor, and there are three Erics in her class who have food-related last names. After what happens in this book, Wayside School may never be the same. 179 pgs. (Look for other titles in the Wayside School series.)
The Curse of the Bologna Sandwich by Greg Trine
Melvin Beederman, a recent graduate of the Superhero Academy, is trying to keep the streets of Los Angeles free from bad guys. His superhero powers still need some fine tuning, and when the McNasty brothers use bologna (Melvin’s very own Kryptonite) to overpower him, it looks like all may be lost. 138 pgs. (Look for other books in the Melvin Beederman, Superhero series.)
JH FICTION (Grades 6-8)
Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire: Because the Undead Have Feelings Too by Tim Collins
Nigel is a vampire, doomed to remain fifteen years old for eternity. It wouldn’t be so bad if he had great looks and superhuman strength. Instead, he is boring, has acne and absolutely no luck with the girls. When a new girl, Chloe arrives at school, Nigel becomes infatuated and matters gets even more complicated. 329 pgs.
Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech
Thirteen-year-old Mary Lou Finney is given the summer assignment of journal writing. She is reluctant at first but soon begins to enjoy recording the often hilarious events of a chaotic and romantic summer. 230 pgs.
Heads or Tails: Stories from the Sixth Grade by Jack Gantos
Jack doesn’t have a life like most other sixth graders. He has lived in nine different houses and attended five schools in six years, and his dog was eaten by an alligator. Despite all of the weirdness in his life, Jack continues to be sane (and a generous person on top of it). 151 pgs. (Look for other titles in the Jack Henry series.)
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
After suffering a concussion from a dead iguana falling on his head, Wahoo’s dad can’t work at his usual job as an animal wrangler. He reluctantly accepts a job on the reality TV show, Expedition Survival. All kinds of crazy antics in the Everglades ensue. 290 pgs. (Look for other titles by this author.)
Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff by Jennifer L. Holm
Ginny Davis begins seventh grade with a list of things that she wants to accomplish. Refrigerator notes, cards from her grandpa and diary entries help convey Ginny’s ups and downs of seventh grade. This book will hook readers who are up for an out of the ordinary read. unpaged
Liar, Liar by Gary Paulsen
Fourteen-year-old Kevin is an exceptionally good liar. He has found all kinds of reasons and justifications for lying and even believes that telling people what they want to hear rather than the truth is good manners! As his small fibs become huge whoppers, life starts to spin out of control. Kevin finally has to find a way to come clean. 120 pgs. (Look for other books by this author.)
A Long Way from Chicago: A Novel in Stories by Richard Peck
Joey and his sister, Mary Alice, leave Chicago for their annual summer vacation in the small Illinois town where their grandma lives. The book is told in seven short stories, one for each summer that Joey and Mary Alice stay with their grandma. Grandma Dowdel says and does some outrageous things. 148 pgs. (Look for other titles featuring Grandma Dowdel.)
Sea Legs by Alex Shearer
Instead of spending time with their grandparents, British twins Clive and Eric decide to stow away on the luxury cruise ship where their father works. They have all kinds of slapstick adventures as they try to live on board and remain undetected for three whole weeks. 309 pgs.
SHORT STORIES & JOKE BOOKS (Grades 4-8)
Tripping Over the Lunch Lady: And Other School Stories
J 808.831 TRI
The ten stories collected in this book by popular children’s authors are about school life. There are stories about the trouble with science projects, missing the school bus and dreaded career reports. 177 pgs.
Jokelopedia: The Biggest, Best, Silliest, Dumbest Joke Book Ever
J 818.5402 JOK
Jokelopedia is the mother of all joke books, an all-encompassing, gut-busting collection of more than 1,700 jokes for every occasion. 278 pgs. (Look for other joke books in J 818.)