We really enjoyed putting together this review of absolutely hilarious books for pre-teens. While there are loads more out there that are sure to make your pre-teen laugh, these five books caught our attention by making us laugh in several places and each of them comes with its very own heartwarming message. We are sure your pre-teen will enjoy these books as much as we did!
How Not TO BE WEIRD by Dawn McNiff
Rule 1: Don’t wear old lady clothes.
Our rating: 5/5
Woody is a bit weird, or at least he and the school bullies think so. It doesn’t help that his mum dresses up as a sheep for a living, he has to wear the occasional granny jumper or that his dog, Gooner, gets him in the most sticky situations. With secondary school about to start, Woody makes a plan to get un-weird and fast. His plan involves a few simple rules, and a momento from his father. His plan works -sort of-, but will this new Woody be everything he’s ever wanted? This book is very relatable and all of Woody’s wacky mishaps make you want to give him a hug. By the end of the book, you don’t just love Woody and Gooner, you fall in love with his neighbour Lu too. There are also a few things that you pick up along the way like people may seem confident on the outside but they are probably just as scared as you on the inside. The biggest takeaway for us though is that it’s okay to be a little different!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid ‘Cabin Fever’ by Jeff Kinney
“I’ve started wearing sweatpants to bed because I really don’t need Santa seeing me in my underwear.” -Greg Heffley
Our rating 4/5
Cabin Fever is the sixth book in the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Like other books in the series, this book is written in the style of a journal with cartoon-style illustrations that brings the text to life. Greg Heffley (star of the series) is in trouble. He’s the prime suspect when some school property gets damaged. With the authorities closing in, Greg breathes a sigh of relief when a surprise blizzard hits. After a few days stuck indoors with his family, Greg can’t help but think prison may be a better alternative after all. This book is hilarious (see quote above), and kids between the ages of 8 and 12 will be able to appreciate the troubles Greg seems to get himself in without ever meaning to. At 212 pages and with loads of illustrations, it’s a quick read and if your kid happens to fall in love, you know there are 10 other books he/ she just might love too!
Baby Aliens Got My Teacher! by Pamela Butchart
“Because that’s what I would want someone to do if they found a crisp shaped like me (also known as a crisp twin).”
Our rating: 5/5
Izzy and her friends are convinced their teacher has been taken over by aliens. For one thing, she’s suddenly being nice, but even more telling, there’s a teddy bear on her desk and everyone knows Miss Jones isn’t a teddy bear kind of person. With hard evidence (a KIT KAT) that the office ladies are aliens too, it’s really up to Izzy and her friends to find a solution before they all get turned into aliens! This book is laugh-out-loud funny throughout and will be enjoyed by children of all ages. It is a hilarious portrayal of what happens when you couple an overactive imagination with eavesdropping (on conversations you do not understand). The language is wonderfully descriptive and this together with the illustrations peppered throughout the book makes it easy to picture each and every scene. It’s a short read (164 pages) which means more able readers will probably finish it in one sitting. This book is generally recommended for 5-8-year-olds but we recommend it for 9-12-year-olds too!
Disgusting Dave and the Bucketful of Vomit by Jim Eldridge
Our rating: 4/5
There’s a barfing epidemic at school and Dave has got to get on the case to save his best friend’s mum from food poisoning charges. Fortunately, Dave doesn’t mind a bit of vomit. His sister, Krystal, thinks he’s disgusting but really, Dave just likes to know how things work, even burping and farting. With the help of his farting dog, his friends Paul and Suki and his clueless ‘detective’ cousin Kevin, Dave sets out to solve the mystery of who is behind the barfing epidemic once and for all. This book really had us in stitches in several places. We also loved the ‘factoids’ generously included throughout the book and the illustrations are a nice bonus. Sure to catch the interest of both boys and girls, we recommend this book for 9-13-year-olds!
Mr Stink by David Walliams
Illustrated by Quentin Blake
Our rating: 4/5
“Mr Stink stank. He also stunk. And if it is correct English to say he stinked, then he stinked as well.”
With this charming introduction, needless to say, we were hooked from line one! In this hilarious David Walliams book, we meet Chloe, a lonely 12-year-old who does not feel like she fits in at home or at school. Her life changes when she meets the local tramp, Mr Stink. He does smell a bit, but he’s nice to Chloe and there is a bit of mystery to him that has her intrigued. There are definitely a lot of parts in this book that children will find laugh-out-loud funny. As adults, some of Mr Stink’s habits had us go ‘eww’, although those bits are more than likely to elicit a laugh from younger readers. We liked the marvellous illustrations by Quentin Blake, especially the one of what stink looks like. Even more, we liked that David Walliams weaved in salient issues like bullying and kindness, without losing any of the humour. We recommend this book for 8 – 12-year-olds!
Note: For books without a Sytris Ghana link, the book was not have been available on the Sytris website at the time of publishing this post. It is still worth checking their bookshop or on their website to see if they now have those books in stock. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for help with purchasing books.