Alright, he’s not quite 8 yet, but by the time I get around to publishing this list, he will be very close. (Spoiler alert: He has, in fact, turned 8 since I wrote that intro.)
My son reads two to four books a (non-school) day on average, so since the libraries opened up here, I’ve been a frequent visitor.
Of all the books he’s taken out since the last list and the one before it, the list below (in no particular order) contains all the titles and series that he would recommend. He doesn’t recommend every book he reads; some of them get a “meh” and don’t make it on the list, others he just never finishes.
His taste in books could be summarized as “adventure comedy.” He loves potty humour as much as the next third grader, but he is also particularly fond of cats, and you’ll notice a few kitty-related titles. Some titles are graphic novels, some are a bit of a novel/graphic novel hybrid and some are getting closer to the “novel with no pictures” that are surely lurking around the corner as his tastes mature.
I’ve given up trying to offer my own two-cents about any of these books unless I have something especially pertinent to add, so these recommendations are verbatim from his mumbling mouth to your screen.
CatwadLaugh out loud funny. Write “funny” 100 times. You don’t have to like cats to find it funny. Catwad is a blue cat and Blurmp is his dumb friend. As for the funniest jokes, I don’t want to spoil anything. It is funnier than Garfield.
I would add that Cub found the titles in this series so hilarious he read each one multiple times, and he also insisted on bursting into our room to read aloud certain panels that he found hysterical.
The New Kid
It’s not really funny but it’s more like a story about a new kid in a school. There are tons of references to stuff I like, for example videogames, superheroes and other books I like, like Wimpy Kid and Bones.
You can see that a lot of the books Cub is reading are not delving deep into any big issues, and while The New Kid to Cub is just another graphic novel about an awkward kid at school, I couldn’t help but notice that for once he was reading a story with a Black boy as a protagonist. I could see dialogue over Cub’s shoulder showing Jordan dealing with his identity in a new school in a more affluent and less diverse part of town while trying to stay true to himself. I spied him reacting to micro-aggressions from his classmates. (It echoed a lot of the themes in The Hate U Give, a book I highly recommend to the grown-ups and teens!)
The 13-story Treehouse
It is a fantasy book that is funny. I’ve only read the first one so far. It’s about kids that build a 13-story treehouse and there are flying cats and a sea monster that turns into a mermaid.
(He has continued on in the series since offering this commentary and is still enjoying it.)
Origami Yoda series
A kid makes a case file about origami Yoda, Dwight who holds the wise Yoda puppet on his finger. They are mysteries and you don’t have to be a Star Wars fan. I’m really not a fan of Star Wars, and I still like it.
He has an annoying little sister and my sister sings as bad as the sister in the story. She’s addicted to princess singalongs and Zeke Meeks says that the show kind of sucks. In the Puppet Pals he tries to stop everyone from using these dumb things they call Puppet Pals. It’s funny.
There are multiple series within the series with different main characters. In the second series, it’s Victor Starspeeder. At first he meets a friend, then he meets an enemy, all on his first day of school. Then, this is kind of a weird twist, but then his enemy becomes his friend and his friend becomes his enemy. Yoda is a character and some of the teachers are references to other Star Wars characters, like T 3PO instead of C 3PO.
It’s about two kids who are time jumpers and can go into the past and the future. They’re adventure stories. They get a suitcase and a remote that lets them time travel and they have to put back items that the bad guy keeps stealing from different times.
Sam Wu is Not Afraid of …
He’s not actually not afraid of stuff, he just pretends to be. He does mention that the story is not 100% true, and the main part that’s not true is the part where he says he’s not afraid of things.
Knights of the Lunch Table
It’s about three kids, actually four kids if you count the girl (but she’s not on the cover*) who go in competitions against the hoard, a group of bullies. But the principal is even worse than the bullies.
*Put the female character on the goddamn cover!
It’s about a kid and each chapter is about a lie he told. And also he adopted a cat that escaped from its owner, but the owner was not that nice to it, so he decided to take it, and he named it Pudding.
It’s about a flytrap that solves mysteries. He moves around on a skateboard, with a goat named Nina pushing him around with her horns. And there are some references, like there’s an art piece called the Mona Spaghetti and it’s the Mona Lisa eating spaghetti.
Breaking Cat News
It’s the best cat book in history! And the funniest! It’s about three cats that report on news going on around the house and their names are Puck, Lupin and Elvis. Elvis and Puck are the field reporters and Lupin is the news anchor. An example of news that matters to cats is that there’s a red light going around and Elvis thinks it’s probably going to kill everyone. Elvis and Puck, the field reporters, try to catch it, but fail … fail … fail.
I’ve gotta say that I have also laughed out loud reading some of these panels with Cub. As a cat lover myself, there is something inherently hilarious about imagining a cat’s view of the world.
Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat
The story goes in a pattern: cat, human, cat, human. One chapter is the cat who is from outer space, the next chapter is the human boy who at first thinks he’s just a stray cat. If you actually have a cat, it can make you think about what your cat is thinking about all your stuff.
She’s a little girl who can do magic. And she has a talking cat companion. I don’t know if cats can talk in the story or no one cares that there’s a talking cat with a girl that can do magic.
It starts with two kids dressing up in cardboard, playing different roles, then eventually all the kids from the neighbourhood get cardboard and make their own roles and dress up. At the end there’s a big battle between the guys that call themselves the “good guys” and the guys that call themselves the “bad guys.” It’s kind of an adventure.
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