Recommended Reads: A Prescription for Comic Relief

Three children lay on the floor to read together

Three (3) kids who are friends are laying on the floor in between bookshelves in the library. They are reading a book together. They are all smiling and enjoying their afternoon.

Kerri Brown Parker, director of the NC State College of Education’s Media and Education Technology Resource Center (METRC), curated three lists of book recommendations designed to keep kids smiling as they develop a love of reading for fun. The books, sorted by grade level, can be used in K-12 classrooms or added to your home library to encourage reading on a daily basis.

Download the Comic Relief Reading List

Kids want to read books that make them laugh, and they need to read books they enjoy to help them become adults who read for fun.

Scholastic polls children and parents every other year, asking questions about their reading habits and what they want to read. The poll shows, unfortunately, that kids start to lose the belief that reading is fun and enjoyable between the ages of eight and nine. The good news is you can make an impact in changing their minds with giggles and guffaws! Scholastic reports that over 50% of children want a book that will make them laugh, and this desire continues to grow with each survey they do.

This list of award-winning books published in the last few years will have your students or children reading with a smile on their faces. Each book has been on a best-books list of been nominated for or won a literary award for children’s/young adult books. Read with your kids or select a book that they can read on their own and listen for the laughs.

Picture Books

Bonus Recommendation for NC State Students and Faculty

In addition to these books, the NC State Common Read this year is Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, an inspirational story by a comedian. If you are faculty/staff, you can get a free copy and find ways to integrate the book into your courses. If you are a student, join the NC State Community and read Born a Crime. Print and digital copies are available in METRC.

Elementary Chapter Books and Graphic Novels

Middle School and Teen/YA Books

Many of these YA titles are both funny and moving. Humor can be an excellent way into difficult topics for teens. The recommended appropriate grade level is listed following each title.

Want more suggestions? Explore GoodReads and NoveList (public library card or university ID required for access). In NoveList you can filter searches by “Tone: Funny” and find read-alikes for books children and adults enjoy. Books on the lists in this article were selected from NoveList, a variety of award listings, and starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly and BookList.

Download the Comic Relief Reading List