Oak Bay librarian suggests wacky books for young reluctant readers

Joy Huebert is the public services librarian at the Oak Bay branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library

When you have a child who doesn’t want to read 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 they’ll continue on their own when you get too “busy” to read to them.

Bad Kitty, by Nick Bruel – For Kindergarten to Grade 3, the misadventures of a bad kitty are popular with young children.

Captain Underpants and the perilous plot of Professor Poopypants, by Dav Pilkey – The fourth epic novel is suitable for Grades 2 to 4. Not all parents can relate to the potty humour, but kids love it.

When Professor Pippy P. Poopypants comes to Jerome Horwitz Elementary School to teach science, and he goes off the deep end because students make fun of his name, only Captain Underpants can save the school from the professor’s perilous plot.

Stilton, Geronimo, author. Mouse Overboard!For Grades 2 to 4, this one is funny and silly, with lots of cartoons. When Geronimo Stilton and his family retrace the journey of explorer Vasco da Gama, Geronimo investigates who is sabotaging the voyage.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney – For Grade 3 to 5.  Funny and fast-paced with lots of cartoons. So far, four are in the series, but there will be more.

Dork Diaries, by Rachel Renee Russell – For Grades 4 to 6, this is a diary book for girls. Nikki Maxwell is starting eighth grade at a new school – and her very first diary packed with hilarious stories and art is the first book of this popular series.

Lunch Lady, by Jarrett Krosoczka – Grades 2 to 5. The graphic-novel chronicles the superheroic Lunch Lady and her elementary-school devotees.

The Map Trap, by Andrew Clements – For Grades 3 to 5 Sixth-grader Alton Barnes loves maps, and when his portfolio of secret maps is stolen, he begins getting notes with orders that he must obey to get the maps back but, with the help of a popular classmate, he just might succeed before his teacher, principal, or someone else learns he has been studying and mapping things about them.

Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker – For Grades 2-4. As Clementine says, “spectacularful ideas are always sproinging up in my brain.”

All the better for readers who like to laugh. For readers who enjoy Ramona and Junie B. Jones, Clementine is an ingenuous third-grader with a talent for trouble and a good heart.

How to train Your Dragon, by Cressida Cowell – For Grades 3 to 6, this chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Hadock the Third as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.

Frank Einstein and the evoblaster belt, by Jon Scieszka – For Grades 3 to 5. More clever science experiments, funny jokes, and robot hijinks await readers in book four of the New York Times bestselling Frank Einstein chapter book series from the mad scientist team of Jon Scieszka and Brian Biggs.


Joy Huebert is the public services librarian at the Oak Bay branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library. She writes here twice a month on recommended reads for children and adults.


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