Humor

  1. Land of Lincoln

    The writer Andrew Ferguson set out to explore how Abraham Lincoln is viewed and commemorated across the nation nearly 150 years after his death.  He visits Lincoln places across the country and talks with those obsessed with our 16th president, wheth

  2. I Dare You Not to Yawn

    I Dare You Not to Yawn

    “Yawns are sneaky.  They can creep up on you when you least expect them.”  And--yawns can lead to pajamas, bedtime stories, lullabies and tucking in—whether you’re ready or not!  The book serves as a witty warning for all those readers who are definitely not ready for bed, with challenges to resist anything cozy, cuddly, sleepy or snuggly.  But, also heed my warning: this book will make you yawn, not because it’s boring, but because--as author Hélène Boudreau knows all too well--yawns are contagious!  This charming funny book with the lively, distinctive ca

  3. My dog : the paradox, a lovable discourse about man's best friend

     	My dog : the paradox, a lovable discourse about man's best friend
    Matthew Inman drawing

    The intro to this book begins with the quote- “Every Pet is a tiny tragedy waiting to happen”, (George Carlin).  But apart from facing the relatively short mortality of our pet “children”, this book is also an affirmation of the joys and idiosyncrasies that are part of sharing our lives with pets.

  4. Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year

    Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year

    Charlie Bumpers is sure he’s doomed!  It’s bad enough he’s the middle kid between a smart-aleck brother and a (sometimes) pesky little sister. But he’s starting his 4th grade year with all-white back-to-school shoes, he and his best friend Tommy are in separate classes for the first time ever, and—worst of all—he’s stuck with Teacher of the Year Mrs. Burke, the strictest in the whole school!  She’s the same teacher that Charlie accidentally beaned with a shoe the year before—and she hasn’t forgotten!

  5. A Walk in the Woods

    A Walk in the Woods

    The Appalachian Trail runs over 2,000 miles, through 14 states, from Georgia to Maine, and Bill Bryson decided to walk it.  Fans of Bryson’s other travel books (In a Sunburned Country,

  6. I Scream Ice Cream

    I Scream Ice Cream

    What’s a “wordle?”  According to creators Rosenthal and Bloch, wordles are “groups of words that sound exactly the same but mean different things,” such as “I scream,” and “ice cream”; “Heroes,” and “He rows.” This setup is followed by a baker’s dozen of wordles.  One of my favorites is a fellow shouting, while being chased by two deer with big antlers, “I scream!  Two bucks!” followed by an ice cream vendor selling “Ice cream, two bucks!”  Other favorites include characters from fairy tales, and a little plug for Rosenthal’s book

  7. The Dogma of Rufus

    The Dogma of Rufus

    Rufus writes a guide for young dogs in which he shares essential ancient wisdom passed down over the ages from dog to dog. He also includes intimate knowledge of the human condition so young dogs can be better prepared to help humans lead a less pathetic existence.  Some things are left out, in case a human might be reading this book.

    The book is divided into three sections-The Fundamentals, Troubleshooting and Raising Humans.

  8. Christmas Chaos

    Christmas Chaos
    Zoo Hideout

    Are you looking for a fun gift idea?  Something new for “Where’s Waldo” fans?  Or just a way to keep the kiddos busy while they wait for Christmas?  Then bring a little “Christmas Chaos” into your life!  It’s one of several books in the “Seek It Out” series by Picture Window Books, a division of Capstone Press.  The book features 14 scenes, laid out in two-page spreads, which feature a different winter holiday experience: the center of a busy shopping mall, Santa’s workshop, ski slope, skating rink, a gingerbread village, a Kwanzaa celebration, among others

  9. Fortunately, the Milk

    Fortunately, the Milk

     

      Milk is good for me. I know this and I try to drink it once in awhile, but I can’t say that I really enjoy it.   The only time I find milk indispensable is when I am eating breakfast cereal. Once, being out of milk, I tried water. In case you were wondering, water is not a good substitute for milk on cereal.

  10. Doll Bones

    Twelve-years-old Zach tells his lifelong friends Poppy and Alice that he is giving up playing fantasy games with their dolls and action figures, telling them that “you can’t play pretend forever”.   Poppy and Alice don’t know that Zach’s father has thrown his action figures out and told him that “it’s time you grew up”.   However, Poppy tells Zach and Alice that their game can

  11. Binky Takes Charge

    Binky Takes Charge

    Binky is no ordinary cat; unbeknownst to his owners, he is a certified space cat, and their home is a space station!  After several adventures featuring space travel (going outdoors), battles with aliens (bugs), a daring rescue of Binky’s beloved toy mouse, Ted, and a challenge from a superior officer (foster cat Gracie), Binky has been promoted to lieutenant by F.U.R.S.T.

  12. Gulp

    Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, by Mary Roach

    I had long heard of Mary Roach's titles but never tried one. Gulp fell into my lap when a coworker heard about it and placed it on hold for me, figuring I would like it. I can see why Mary Roach's writing is so popular: she mixes great, science-y information with a fantastic sense of humor that is typically presented in tongue-in-cheek or dry asides as well as side-splitting footnotes.

  13. Cheesie Mack is Cool in a Duel

    Cheesie Mack is Cool in a Duel

     

    Just in time for summer, Cheesie Mack and his best friend Georgie are back. If you haven’t read Cheesie Mack is Not a Genius or Anything, you should, but it doesn’t have to stop you from reading this book because Cheesie fills you in on all the important details right at the beginning.

  14. Let's Sing a Lullaby With the Brave Cowboy

    Let's Sing a Lullaby With the Brave Cowboy

    I love Jan Thomas’ silly, charming books with her bold, colorful comic-style illustrations, from Rhyming Dust Bunnies to Is Everyone Ready for Fun?  Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy is her latest to date, and in my opinion, another hit. The cowboy of the title is actually not so brave; in his attempts to settle his cows down for the night, he interrupts his own lullaby with startled exclamations about what he imagines is lurking in the dark.  The cows calm and reassure him--until, that is,  something really IS in the shadows!

  15. The Death Catchers

    bookcover for the Death Catchers

    In a letter to her English teacher Lizzy Mortimer tells her story about how she discovered that she was a Death Catcher, formally known as “The Hands of Fate”, like her grandmother.  She has this gift to see the future death of people that are close to her.  She finds out that she is related to Morgan le Faye and the sisters of Avalon.  She uncovers the Arthurian origins of her destiny and is charged with saving the last descendant of King Arthur from an untimely death that would endanger the world.  This last descendant of King Arthur is he

  16. Project Jackalope

    Project Jackalope

    Imagine being in charge of a jackalope with razor-sharp antlers and being pursued by government agents. Professor Twitchett abandons his animal science experiment in Jeremy’s room and disappears. Where can he hide “Jack”? Not the clothes hamper. Jack shreds clothes, including Jeremy’s underwear. What do you feed a killer bunny? Well, Jack loves whiskey, so Jeremy robs minibars to keep him placated.

  17. Beauty Queens

    An airplane full of teen beauty queens, on their way to the Miss Teen Dream pageant (sponsored by The Corporation), crash lands on a remote tropical island. Many of them, of course, do not survive, but never fear...Miss Texas, Taylor Rene Krystal Hawkins (don't you love it?), is there to assume the leadership role! She promptly divides the girls into two groups. The Lost Girls trek into the jungle to check out their new surroundings, while the Sparkle Ponies stay on the beach and salvage what they can from the wrecked plane.

  18. Shatterproof

    Cover of Shatterproof

    Book 4 of the Cahills vs. Vespers

    Amy and Dan Cahill, with their friends, Atticus and Jake Rosenbloom, are on the run from Interpol. They have no choice but to fulfill every demand of Vesper One or else one of the hostages will die.  They are ordered to steal the world’s largest diamond from one of Berlin’s famous museums.  If they do not succeed, what will become of them or the hostages?

  19. Happily Ever Madder

    When we last left Ace Jones (Diary of a Mad Fat Girl) and her adorable Chiweenie Buster Loo, she had decided that the love of her life, Mason just may deserve to be given the second chance he has asked for. In Happily Ever Madder we find that Ace is ready to leave Bugtussle, Mississippi and follow Mason to Pelican Grove, FL. If leaving her beloved home wasn’t hard enough, leaving behind her smart-mouth and sassy ways may be even harder.

  20. Waking Dragons

    Waking Dragons

    Attention-grabbing large colorful pictures of dragons and a spirited plotline that parallels a child’s morning routine will win over young children in Jane Yolen’s latest picture book. A small knight awakens huge sleeping dragons, feeds them pancakes with a catapult, brushes their fangs and hurries them out so they can fly him to Knight School.

  21. Sinister Scenes

    Sinister Scenes cover

    Sinister Scenes is the 3rd book of the series about the eerier town of Spooking.  Joy Wells is the heroine of the book. When a movie company comes to Spooking to film a movie based on one of E. A. Pengeot’s horror books, Joy is convinced that Spooking will be recognized as the hometown of her favorite author.

  22. Invasion of the Dognappers

    Invasion of the Dognappers

    Logan suspects that missing pet dogs are being dognapped by invading aliens and forms the Intergalactic Canine Rescue Unit with his friends. He communicates with a female alien who speaks for the big Boss alien, is kidnapped himself, and through quick thinking and clever negotiating, Logan becomes a hero. Dognappers is a fast read appealing to middle-graders with its gross humor, surprising adventures with aliens and mysteries.

  23. Wicked business

    Wicked business

    Another just plain fun read! If you like the Stephanie Plumb books, you'll like this series too. Diesel, one of Ranger's employees, breaks out on his own set of adventures. They are full of the same madcap mayhem we see with Stephanie, Morelli and Ranger, but these add a layer of magic and mystical powers. Lizzy is a pastry chef in Salem Massachusetts who also happens to be a "finder". Her talent is sensing special properties of inanimate objects. Lizzy and Diesel are off on a mission to find another one of a set of magical stones before Wulf or any other bad guys can get it.

  24. Warp Speed

    Seventh grader, Marley Sidelski is a self-described geek and Star Trek fan.   He gets a lot of practice running from school bullies.  In fact, he's so good a running that he gets the attention of the gym teacher, who wants him on the track team.  Finally, Marley gets a taste of popularity, in this less than believable but very funny book about surviving middle school. Recommended for grades 5-8.

  25. Planet Tad

    Planet Tad

    A hilarious take on a 7th grade boy's life from the pen of Tim Carvell, head writer at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The book is in diary format and follows Tad on various adventures & life lessons throughout the year.

  26. Better Than Chocolate

    Welcome to Icicle Falls, home of the Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company, which has been run by the Sterling Family for generations.  Samantha Sterling has just been given a heavy burden. Her recently deceased step-father, Waldo, has left the company near ruin and it is up to her as the eldest daughter and newly appointed CEO, to save the family business. To make things worse, there’s a new bank manager in town, the handsome Blake Preston who has given Samantha less than two months to repay the company’s debt. Can Samantha and her family save the chocolate factory in time?

  27. Wedgieman

    Wedgieman: A Hero is Born

    Superheroes must be strong and do good deeds. From the time he is born, Veggiebaby loves to eat lots of vegetables and play with his food, making broccoli bears and giant green gorillas. He quickly grows into Veggieboy and practices his superhero skills—flying, lifting and helping old ladies. His shape-shifting practice turns him into a carrot, and luckily, back to himself again. He eats more vegetables and becomes Veggieman.

  28. Dodger

    Dodger

    Dodger is a tosher, a cheeky, enterprising young man who knows the sewers of London like the back of his hand.  He searches in tunnels below ground to find lost treasures like coins or rings, always hoping to find the mystical Tosharoon—a  conglomeration of treasures wrapped up in mud, and worse.

  29. Here lies Linc

    Here Lies Linc

    This easy to read mystery takes place in an unusual setting. The story depicts the legends centering on Iowa City’s Oakland Cemetery’s Black Angel monument. Linc (Lincoln Raintree Crenshaw), 12-years-old, and his mother, Lottie Landers, an absent-minded professor who studies burial customs, live in a house bordering the cemetery. Linc’s struggle in starting public school and leaving his private Home-Away-From-Home School, known as the Ho-Hos brings many challenges.

  30. Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

    Maria Semple relates the tale of where Bernadette went and why using emails, letters, reports, articles, and other short pieces created by or relating to the characters. Interspersed are passages of Bernadette's daughter Bee's narration. With all the variation in modes of writing, I was surprised at how smoothly this story read.

  31. The Other Normals

    Other Normals book cover

    Ned Vizzini's The Other Normals tells the story of Perry Eckert, a young math whiz whose divorced parents' lawyers agree that it would be cheaper to send him to summer camp than to feed him at home, and since he got kicked off the summer math team, there's no reason to keep him around. Also, socializing with other kids at camp could be good for him--his parents and brother think he spends too much time alone creating characters and reading rulebooks for the role-playing game Creatures & Caverns.

  32. Thank You for Smoking

    Thank You for Smoking (1994)

    The main character of this novel is one of the most despised people in America: he’s a lobbyist for the smoking industry. He’s not friendless, however. His frequent lunch companions include the chief representatives for the gun industry and the alcohol lobby. They privately refer to themselves as “The MOD Squad” (as in Merchants of Death). In this hilarious novel, Buckley not only skewers the tobacco industry, but Washington, Hollywood, the press, and modern society in general. The book is also the source of an excellent movie of the same name.

  33. The Last Dragonslayer

    Image: Last Dragonslayer book cover

    The quick version: The most fun fantasy story--perhaps the most fun novel--that I've read all year, and despite it's "young adult" label, it doesn't feel like a YA novel. Keep reading for the detailed review.

    Why is this series not simultaneously published in the US?

  34. How To Sharpen Pencils

    How to Sharpen Pencils

    In this book, or rather manual, Mr. Rees adds to the current artisanal fad by presenting (in great detail) the craft of manually sharpening a pencil. He covers ten different types of pencil sharpeners, complete with pictures, sketches and clip art to illuminate the written word.

  35. The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan

    The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan

    This is a goofy book, a fast and fun read for young graphic novel fans.  Ace and Bub are beaver brothers, who enjoy life on Beaver Island.  While Ace prepares for the Beaver Island Surfboard Competition, his board is suddenly stolen by strange penguins, who escape to the deep waters offshore.  In hot pursuit, Ace gets only a glimpse of their underwater hideout, but he knows that the penguins are up to something, and it doesn’t look good.   Without his surfboard, he can’t hope to beat the island’s brawny hot shot, Bruce.  So Ace and Bub decide to do some deep-se

  36. A Surrey State of Affairs

    A Surrey State of Affairs (2012)

    Loved this book! A BBC British comedy in print. The main character is drawn to perfection; Constance Harding is a totally clueless but well meaning, well-bred, English lady. Her home is "a comfortable five-bedroom Georgian house located on the outskirts of a pleasant village in Surrey." She defines herself as wife to Jeffrey, mother to Rupert (a 25 year old IT consultant) and Sophie (a slightly directionless adolescent); she dotes on her Eclectus parrot Darcy. This book is a year in her life, told through her blog entries.

  37. Going Bovine

    Going Bovine book cover

    When Cameron is diagnosed with Mad Cow disease his life changes drastically. No longer is he the social pariah shunned by his twin sister, nor is he an embarrassment to his parents. The school he hates puts on a pep rally especially for him that he gets to watch on his living room television, just before he passes out and is taken to the hospital. 

  38. Flat Broke

    Flat Broke

    In this sequel to Liar, Liar by Gary Paulsen, fourteen year old Kevin is broke from having to forfeit his allowance because of his earlier habit of lying. He now schemes to get rich fast by any idea that pops into his head such as starting a poker club, “borrowing” a golf cart that is in the repair shop to do nightly snack runs to college students, convincing his sister to charge her friends for beauty services, cleaning garages for pay and throwing the contents illegally into a company dumpster.

  39. Secrets at Sea

    Secrets at Sea

    Newbery medalist (for A Year Down Yonder) Richard Peck pens an exciting, humorous mouse adventure - - a nonstop entertaining run of mice at sea, sailing with their people, the Cranstons, to England in search of a husband for daughter, Olive Cranston. Helena, the eldest mouse sister, and her family fear discovery, the perils of open water, and the menace of the ship’s cat. Helena narrates the story from mouse perspective (“. . . We mice dream of nothing but cheese and time running out.” p.

  40. Zero to Hero

    Zero to Hero

    This first book in the new Ghost Buddy series by authors Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver will capture readers with its genuine, good guy, but clumsy, protagonist Billy Broccoli. Moving into a new house, Billy finds teenage ghost Hoove in his room and learns to accept him and his suggestions. Hoove is determined to help Billy gain confidence and become cool. When Billy is totally embarrassed by the school bully, Hoove conspires with Billy to get even, yet Billy manages to maintain his ethics while coming out ahead.

  41. Artemis Fowl series

    Artemis Fowl (series)

    This summer the latest and most-likely last (hopefully not!) installment of the Artemis Fowl series, by Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen), was released. The 8 books follow Artemis’ adventures with the Fairy world: dwarves, trolls, goblins, centaurs, pixies, and more; they all live under the earth’s surface but pop up every now and then. Artemis is a young, criminal mastermind, determined to steal Fairy gold to fund the search for his missing father and to refill the family fortune’s rapidly emptying coffers.

  42. The Secret of Rover

    The Secret of Rover book cover

    This fast-paced thriller includes intriguing characters, realistic events, and many surprising story twists.  Pre-teens and teenagers who like spy stories with a lot of intrigue and action will enjoy this book.

  43. Giggling and Laughing:

    Giggling and Laughing: Silly Songs for Kids

    Everyone will find something to giggle about with this great CD, one of many produced in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the“Music for Little People” Company.  From great action songs like Raffi’s “Shake Your Sillies Out,” and “Everyone Loves to Dance” by Aaron Nigel Smith; funny story songs like “I’m My Own Grandpa,” sung by the late great Chet Atkins, and “My Name is Cheech, the School Bus Driver” by comedian Cheech Marin; new treatments of old favorites such as Tom Glazer’s “On Top of Spaghetti,” sung by the Persuasions; and other great tracks by Buckwheat Zydeco,

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