Humor Books for Older Boys

Following the popularity of my post on books for little boys, I decided to round up some of my favorite picks for older boys, in third through sixth grade. This selection is devoted to laugh-out-loud humor books. While none of these titles are high literature, all of them are a lot of fun!

diaryofawimpykidDiary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

When Greg Heffley receives a journal from his mother, he writes about the trials and tribulations of his first year of middle school. Witty text interspersed with comic illustrations recount Greg’s struggles with popularity, friendships, sibling rivalry, and more.

This “novel in cartoons” is clever, innovative, and absolutely hilarious. I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, but it had me laughing out loud page after page. While Greg is certainly no role model, he is definitely more shrewd than “wimpy” and kids will enjoy getting a chuckle from his antics.  I recommend this book for ages 9-12.

beaperfectpersonBe a Perfect Person in Just Three Days! by Stephen Manes

One day, while at the library, Milo Crinkley discovers a strange book with an even stranger title: Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days! Clumsy Milo loves the idea of being perfect and is willing to do just about anything, even if that means wearing a stalk of broccoli around his neck for entire day or staying awake all night.

This is a snappy, quirky read that boys will love. Its short length (less than 100 pages) makes it an excellent pick for reluctant readers.  Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days! is clever, offbeat, and downright hysterical. I recommend this book for ages 8-11.

heckHeck: Where the Bad Kids Go by Dale E. Basye

Siblings Milton and Marlo Fauster have never gotten along. When the Fausters die in a freak marshmallow explosion, they are sent to Heck, an otherworldly reform school run by Bea “Elsa” Bubb, the Principal of Darkness. Can Milton and Marlo put aside their differences long enough to escape from this “heckish” predicament?

Basye spends a great deal of time fleshing out the world of Heck, but it’s time well spent. The satirical elements, Richard Nixon as Heck’s ethics teacher, for instance, are a delight. Every smelly, slimy detail grabs ahold of the reader’s senses and doesn’t let go.  Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go is an uproarious tale filled with inventive imagery that will enchant kids. I recommend this book for ages 9-13.


  1. Don’t you think it’s a lot harder to find books for boys when then start into upper elementary school? So many girl books! Thanks for the suggestions.

  2. Heck was a fun read…not to mention a great premise for a long running series…seven circles of hell equals a book and six sequels and ca-ching! for the author!

  3. Thanks so much for the great review! It’s nice to read intelligent comments from someone who “gets” books for middle readers! And there will be—in true Dante style—nine circles of Heck in all. I’m starting the eighth now! Still waiting for my “ka-ching,” Gargoyle Bruce!

  4. I find it relatively easy to find books to suit my tomboy daughter but it will be interesting to see how my son feels about reading as he gets older. Right now he loves books, but then he’s only little. I love the look of the three you’ve chosen-I think my daughter would enjoy the Diary of a Wimpy Kid!

  5. thanks for having me along for the kit lit blog hop – i look forward to reading these with my son when he’s a bit older 🙂

  6. I have three boys (ages 4 and under) so I just checked out your list of books for little boys. They’re great! We’ve read Good Night Gorilla, but not the other ones. I think they’ll especially like the one about the dragon!

  7. Oh what fun! I think there are some excellent books coming out lately for both boys and girls.

  8. Great list! I gotta also mention the Big Nate books (similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kids) and anything by Carl Hiaasen!

  9. Omigosh! My kids happened to be looking over when I was looking at your list and my daughter was totally interested in Heck! Ok, I’M interested in Heck! lol I’ve also been wondering about books for boys aged 8/9+ I’m really enjoying these lists. Thanks for co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop with us this week Katie – it’s a pleasure to have you. 😀

  10. I love the premise of Heck, going on the to read list which is getting longer than a giraffe, lol. Thanks for the recommendations

  11. Following you from Kid Lit Hop! These are some amazing choices for boys and girls. I am familiar with Wimpy Kid but not the other two. I will be sure to check them out.

  12. I’m a hopper, too! Just chiming in here to say I love it when publishers grasp that reluctant readers can be daunted by longer texts. So often, publishers seem to cater to the book buyer, who wants value for money ie more pages, rather than the actual reader of a book ie the child who hasn’t taken off yet with reading. Rant over!

    • So true! My background is in book selling, and I’ve seen firsthand how some children can be intimidated by very long books.
      Thanks for hopping by!

  13. I am inexcusably late hopping this round! On the bright side, I’ll remind everyone of the new Hop this coming Wed. 🙂 I hadn’t heard of the second or third picks before, so I’m happy to start my reading list for when Max is older. Thanks! See you soon in Wed.’s hop!

  14. Pingback: Picky Readers Are Like Picky Kitties « Imagination Soup | Fun Learning and Play Activities for Kids

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