Michael Sullivan. Classical Music Makes Me Fart: And Other Stories THEY Didn’t Want You to Read. (Tales Told Tall Publishing, 2019)

So a company that makes reading programs for schools hires an author to write funny, high action stories… and gets more than they bargained for. These are the stories too out-there for schools!

Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach, art by Keith Knight. Jake the Fake Keeps It Real. (Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017)
What’s harder than faking your way into an exclusive Arts school? Out weird-ing the weirdos there long enough to stay!

Gordon Korman. Super Gifted. (Balzer + Bray, 2018)
Donovan is safely out of the gifted and talented school (where he most definitely did NOT belong) and back in normal middle school. But he brought something back, his friend Noah from the gifted and talented school, where he most certainly DID belong. So how does the smartest boy in town fit into “normal”? By saving a family from fiery death, nearly burning down the school, and joining the cheer leading squad, of course! Fitting in was never so funny.


Katherine Applegate. “Roscoe Riley Rules” (Series)
Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs. (HarperCollins, 2008)
Never Swipe a Bully’s Bear. (HarperCollins, 2008)
Never Swap Your Sweater for a Dog. (HarperCollins, 2008)
Never Swim in Applesauce. (HarperCollins, 2008)
Don’t Tap-Dance on Your Teacher. (HarperCollins, 2009)
Never Walk in Shoes That Talk. (HarperCollins, 2009)
Never Race a Runaway Pumpkin. (HarperCollins, 2009)

The Terrible Two

Mac Barnett, Jory John, illustrated by Kevin Cornell. The Terrible Two. (Amulet, 2015) On my honor I will do my best: to be good at being bad; to disrupt, but not destroy; to embarrass the dour and amuse the merry; to prove the world looks better turned upside down; for I am a prankster.

Kevin Bolger. Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger. (Penguin, 2008)

Tim Carvell, illustrated by Doug Holgate. Planet Tad. (Harper, 2012) March 29: ‘My little sister Sophie’s pretty upset – she was named for our great-aunt Sophie. She came into my room tonight and said, “Where do you think Aunt Sophie went?” And I gave her the same answer my parents gave me when our golden retriever died. Great-Aunt Sophie was taken to a farm where she gets to spend all day chasing rabbits and playing with other great-aunts. That seemed to make her happy.’

Gennifer Choldenko. Al Capone Does My Shirts. (Putnam, 2004)

Eoin Colfer. “Eoin Colfer’s Legend Of…” (Series)
Legend of Spud Murphy. (Miramax, 2004)
Legend of Captain Crow’s Teeth. (Miramax, 2005)
Legend of the Worst Boy in the World. (Hyperion, 2008)

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Jack Gantos. Dead End in Norvelt. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011)  What kid hasn’t dreamed of rewriting their own life? But when the author of the Joey Pigza books does it, well fiction really is stranger, and funnier, than truth.

Jack Gantos. “Joey Pigza” (Series):
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key. (Farrar, Strauss, Graux, 1998)
Joey Pigza Loses Control. (Farrar, Strauss, Graux, 2000)
What Would Joey Do? (Farrar, Strauss, Graux, 2002)

D. L. Garfinkle. “Supernatural Rubber Chicken” (Series)
Fowl Language. (Mirrorstone, 2008)
Fine Feathered Four Eyes. (Mirrorstone, 2008)
Poultry in Motion. (Mirrorstone, 2008)

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Morris Gleitzman. Toad Rage. (Random House Books for Young Readers, 2004)
Toad Heaven. (Random House Books for Young Readers, 2005)
Toad Away. (Random House Books for Young Readers, 2006)

Tommy Greenwald, illustrated by Melissa Mendes. Jack Strong Takes a Stand. (Roaring Brook Press, 2013) Take a stand by sitting down! Rosa Parks did it. So did Gandhi. But of course they weren’t sitting down on a couch playing video games. Is this the inspirational leader of the next generation? Couch potatoes unite!

Andy Griffiths. The Day My Butt Went Psycho. (Scholastic, 2003)
Zombie Butts From Uranus. (Scholastic, 2004)
Butt Wars!: The Final Conflict. (Scholastic, 2005)

Dan Gutman. The Get Rich Quick Club. (HarperCollins, 2004)
“My Weird School” (Series)
“My Weird School Daze” (Series)
“My Weirder School” (Series)

Dan Gutman. The Talent Show. (Simon & Schuster, 2010) Which do you think will cause more chaos, a tornado, or a school full of school kids with a stage, a microphone, and a desire to stick it to the man? This town will never be the same, twice!

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Bill Harley, illustrated by Adam Gustavson. Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year. (Peachtree, 2013) Charlie means well, he really does. But Charlie DOES everything wrong. What would you do if every time you tried to help everything fell down around your ears? And that would the adults in your life do to you?

Carl Hiaasen. Chomp. (Knopf, 2012) Alligators, pythons, monkeys, iguanas, bats, mosquitoes, television reality show stars, there is no end of things that will bite you in the Florida Everglades.
Flush. (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2005)
Hoot. (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2002)
Scat. (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2009)

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Gordon Korman. Ungifted. (Balzer & Bray, 2012) What does it mean to be gifted? Do you have to be smarter than the rest? Better at science and math? More effective with the English language? Know robotics and engineering? Be headed for a top level college? YES! And Donovan Curtis is none of those things. He is a wise-cracking, trouble-making, C- on his best day kind of student. Let all those geniuses figure out what he is doing with them in the most advanced school for gifted children in the state.

Gordon Korman. Schooled. (Hyperion, 2007)

Gordon Korman. The 6th Grade Nickname Game. (Hyperion, 2007)

Erik P. Kraft. “Lenny and Mel” (Series):
Lenny and Mel. (Simon & Schuster, 2002)
Lenny and Mel’s Summer Vacation. (Simon & Schuster, 2003)
Lenny and Mel: After School Confidential. (Simon & Schuster, 2004)

Josh Lieb. I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I want to Be Your Class President. (Razor Bill, 2009)

Lenore Look. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters. (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2009) Do you know why you should always take toilet paper on a camping trip? Alvin Ho does; unfortunately, his dad does not. Alvin is a helmet-wearing, goggle-eyed, super hero wanna-be with a zest for life, so long as he can observe it from the safety of his own house. He is not happy to be dragged out camping where he will be exposed to any number of natural disasters. Little does he know that the biggest natural disaster in the woods is him!

David Lubar. Punished! (Darby Creek Publishing, 2006)

John Bemelmans Marciano, illustrated by Sophie Blackall. The Nine Lives of Alexander Baddenfield. (Viking, 2013) It has all the morbid humor of Edward Gorey, and all the snarky humor of Lemony Snicket. If you love to see the bad guy get it in the end, this bad guy gets it in the end, the beginning, the middle…

Laurie Myers. Surviving Brick Johnson. (Clarion Books, 2000)

Blake Nelson. Gender Blender. (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2007)

James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein. I Funny: A Middle School Story. (Little, Brown, 2012) Standup comedian? Hey, Jamie Grimm would be happy just to stand up! But seriously folks, what did this kid in a wheelchair do to be sentenced to three years in a state institution: middle school? Well, any experience you can walk away from… oh, sorry. So how do you survive zombies, bullies, teachers, girls, and other scary creatures? Yuck it up and leave‘em laughing.

Gary Paulsen. Harris and Me. (Harcourt, 1993)

Richard Peck. The Teacher’s Funeral: A Comedy in Three Acts. (Dial, 2004)

Lincoln Pierce. “Big Nate” (Series):
Big Nate: In a Class By Himself. (Harper, 2010)  Getting a detention slip from a teacher who doesn’t even bother to write your name, just “Kid with the weird hair”? That’s a bad day! Wet stains on your gym shorts, 148 servings of green beans, and having your teacher find your list of nicknames for her, that’s a world record bad day.
Big Nate Strikes Again. (Harper, 2010)
Big Nate on a Roll. (Harper, 2011)

Ken Roberts. The Thumb in the Box. (Douglas & McIntyre, 2001)
Thumb on a Diamond. (Groundwood Books, 2006)
Thumb and the Bad Guys. (Groundwood Books, 2009)

Louis Sachar. “Wayside School” (Series)
Sideways Stories from Wayside School. (HarperCollins, 1978)
Wayside School is Falling Down. (HarperCollins, 1989)
Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside School. (HarperCollins, 1989)
More Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside School. (HarperCollins, 1994)
Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger. (HarperCollins, 1995)

Pam Smallcomb. The Last Burp of Mac McGerp. ( Bloomsbury , 2004)

Jerry Spinelli. Loser. (Joanna Cotler, 2002)

Michael P. Spradlin, illustrated by Jeff Weigel. Jack and Jill Went Up to Kill: A Book of Zombie Nursery Rhymes. (Harper, 2011) You never realize how many sheep there are in nursery rhymes until you see that the most timid of creatures make the most ravenous undead.

Todd Strasser. “Help! I’m Trapped…” (Series):
Help! I’m Trapped in My Teacher’s Body. (Scholastic, 1993)
Help! I’m Trapped in The First Day of School. (Scholastic, 1994)
Help! I’m Trapped in Obedience School. (Scholastic, 1995)
Help! I’m Trapped in My Gym Teacher’s Body. (Scholastic, 1996)
Help! I’m Trapped in the President’s Body. (Scholastic, 1997)
Help! I’m Trapped in Obedience School Again. (Scholastic, 1997)
Help! I’m Trapped in My Sister’s Body. (Scholastic, 1997)
Help! I’m Trapped in the First Day of Summer Camp. (Scholastic, 1997)
Help! I’m Trapped in Santa’s Body. (Scholastic, 1997)
Help! I’m Trapped in My Principal’s Body. (Scholastic, 1998)
Help! I’m Trapped in an Alien’s Body. (Apple, 1998)
Help! I’m Trapped in My Camp Counselor’s Body. (Apple, 1998)
Help! I’m Trapped in a Movie Star’s Body. (Apple, 1999)
Help! I’m Trapped in My Lunch Lady’s Body. (Scholastic, 1999)
Help! I’m Trapped in a Vampire’s Body. (Scholastic, 2000)
Help! I’m Trapped in a Professional Wrestler’s Body. (Scholastic, 2000)
Help! I’m Trapped in a Supermodel’s Body. (Apple, 2001)
Help! I’m Trapped in Summer Camp. (Scholastic, 2006)

Todd Strasser. Is That a Sick Cat in Your Backpack? (Scholastic, 2007)
Is That a Dead Dog in Your Locker? (Scholastic, 2008)
Is That a Glow-in-the-Dark Bunny in Your Pillowcase? (Scholastic 2009)

Michael Sullivan. “Escapade Johnson” (Series):
Escapade Johnson and Mayhem at Mount Moosilauke. (PublishingWorks, 2006)
Escapade Johnson and the Coffee Shop of the Living Dead. (PublishingWorks, 2008)
Escapade Johnson and the Witches of Belknap County. (PublishingWorks, 2008)
Escapade Johnson and the Phantom of the Science Fair. (PublishingWorks, 2009)

Wendelin Van Draanen. Swear to Howdy. (Knopf, 2003)

Ursula Vernon. “Dragonbreath” (Series):
Dragonbreath. [Book 1] (Dial Books, 2009)
Attack of the Ninja Frogs. [Book 2] (Dial Books, 2010)
Curse of the Were-Weiner. [Book 3] (Dial Books, 2010)
Lair of the Bat Monster. [Book 4] (Dial Books, 2011)
No Such Thing as Ghosts. [Book 5] (Dial Books, 2011)
Revenge of the Horned Bunnies. [Book 6] (Dial Books, 2012)
When Fairies Go Bad. [Book 7] (Dial Books, 2012)
Danny Dragonbreath, the breathing fire-delayed elementary school dragon, faces down a freakish Frank in a cafeteria smackdown for the ages, takes the bus to Fairie land and ancient Japan, battles Jackalopes and Ninja frogs, and generally does the whole scary/funny routine in this hybrid graphic/text series for the younger crowd.

Daniel H. Wilson. Bro-Jitsu: The Martial Art of Sibling Smackdown. (Bloomsbury, 2010) Physical and psychological torture of bratty little brothers and bossy older sisters is part of a grand tradition going back to caveman times. Master the arts of noogies, fake nipples, the hanging spit fake, and the python leg squeeze, then hide this book before your brother finds it and turns this ancient art against you!

Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver. “Hank Zipzer” (Series):
Niagara Falls, Or Does It? (Grosset & Dunlap, 2003)
I Got a D in Salami. (Grosset & Dunlap, 2003)
Day of the Iguana. (Grosset & Dunlap, 2003)
Zippity Zinger. (Grosset & Dunlap, 2003)
The Night I Flunked My Field Trip. (Grosset & Dunlap, 2004)
Holy Enchilada! (Grosset & Dunlap, 2004)
Help! Somebody Get Me Out of Fourth Grade. (Grosset & Dunlap, 2004)
Summer School! What Genius Thought That Up? (Grosset & Dunlap, 2005)
The Secret Life of a Ping-Pong Wizard. (Grosset & Dunlap, 2005)
My Dog’s a Scaredy-Cat. (Grosset & Dunlap, 2006)
The Curtain Went Up, My Pants Fell Down. (Grosset & Dunlap, 2007)
Barfing In the Backseat: How I Survived My Family Road Trip. (Grosset & Dunlap, 2007)
Who Ordered This Baby? Definitely Not Me! (Grosset & Dunlap, 2007)
The Life of Me: Enter at Your Own Risk. (Grosset & Dunlap, 2008)
A Tale of Two Tails. (Grosset & Dunlap, 2008)

Primarily for Teen Guys:

Terence Blacker. Boy 2 Girl. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005)

Terence Blacker. Parent Swap. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006)

Timothy Carter. Evil? (Flux, 2009) Brilliant! A harrowing and hilarious riff on “The Crucible”, with more than enough hot-button issues to taunt those censors that Arthur Miller took aim at half a century ago (you have been warned). Like Christopher Moore? Then you need to pick up “Evil?” Disappointed by Lauren Kate’s “Fallen”? Try this instead. You will never look at angels the same way again.

D.L. Garfinkle. Storky: How I Lost My Nickname and Won the Girl. (Putnam, 2005)

Anthony John. Thou Shalt Not Road Trip. (Dial, 2012) How can you have a Christian book with alcohol, tattoos, and teen hormones? Well, that’s sort of the point. Luke really is a faithful Christian sixteen year old, and he has written a wildly popular inspirational, idealized book for kids. But how do ideals survive in the real world, away from the comfort and guidance of parents, pastor, and church? How does a Christian teen survive in an un- Christian world?

Gordon Korman. Born to Rock. (Hyperion, 2006)

Gordon Korman. No More Dead Dogs. (Hyperion, 2002)

Gordon Korman. Son of the Mob. (Hyperion, 2002)
Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle. (Hyperion, 2004)

Christopher Moore. Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings. (Morrow, 2003)

Christopher Moore. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. (Morrow, 2002)