Whether these live up to the subtitle’s claim of “funniest stories ever” is subjective, but the lighthearted array will...

FUNNY GIRL

FUNNIEST. STORIES. EVER.

The 28 short stories, autobiographical essays, and comic strips in this entertaining anthology are meant to prove that females can be funny, and they succeed.

Librarian and blogger Bird has gathered contributions from a stellar group of female children’s and teen writers and illustrators, including Rita Williams-Garcia, Jennifer Holm, and Shannon Hale, plus a few professional comedians who give advice on crafting and delivering jokes. Variety abounds, encompassing Lenore Look’s pun-filled Chinese zodiac, Mitali Perkins’ “Brown Girl Pop Quiz” of multiple-choice questions, and Raina Telgemeier’s comic strip “Attack of the Killer Bee.” Among the standouts are Carmen Agra Deedy’s first-person account of the time her mother set a bathtub on fire to rid it of germs and Libba Bray’s “Public Service Announcement About Your Period” from a witty 12-year-old girl who objects to the secrecy surrounding the subject. A handful of other entries also deal with girl-specific topics such as bra shopping, and nearly all the stories and reminiscences focus on girls. Boys will also enjoy the humor, which ranges from slapstick to subtle. Brief biographical notes about the contributors conclude the volume.

Whether these live up to the subtitle’s claim of “funniest stories ever” is subjective, but the lighthearted array will surely appeal to a wide audience. (Anthology. 9-13)

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-451-47731-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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SWINDLE

From the Swindle series , Vol. 1

Eleven-year-old Griffin Bing is “the man with the plan.” If something needs doing, Griffin carefully plans a fix and his best friend Ben usually gets roped in as assistant. When the town council ignores his plan for a skate park on the grounds of the soon-to-be demolished Rockford House, Griffin plans a camp-out in the house. While there, he discovers a rare Babe Ruth baseball card. His family’s money worries are suddenly a thing of the past, until unscrupulous collectables dealer S. Wendell Palomino swindles him. Griffin and Ben plan to snatch the card back with a little help. Pet-lover Savannah whispers the blood-thirsty Doberman. Rock-climber “Pitch” takes care of scaling the house. Budding-actor Logan distracts the nosy neighbor. Computer-expert Melissa hacks Palomino’s e-mail and the house alarm. Little goes according to plan, but everything turns out all right in this improbable but fun romp by the prolific and always entertaining Korman. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-439-90344-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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A deft mix of chills and chuckles, not quite as sideways as Wayside School but in the same district.

A FRIENDLY TOWN THAT'S ALMOST ALWAYS BY THE OCEAN!

From the Secrets of Topsea series , Vol. 1

A fifth-grader struggles to fit in after he and his recently widowed mother move to a decidedly oddball new town.

As if the seemingly infinite pier, the lighthouse in the middle of town, and the beach teeming with enigmatic cats aren’t strange enough, Davy Jones discovers that his school locker has been relocated to the deep end of the swimming pool, his lunchtime fries are delivered by a “spudzooka,” and no one seems to be able to get his name right. On the other hand, his classmates welcome him, and in next to no time he’s breaking into an abandoned arcade to play pinball against a ghost, helping track down a pet pig gone missing on Gravity Maintenance Day, and like adventures that, often as not, take sinister swerves before edging back to the merely peculiar. Point-of-view duties pass freely from character to character, and chapters are punctuated with extracts from the Topsea School Gazette (“Today’s Seaweed Level: Medium-high and feisty”), bulletins on such topics as the safe handling of rubber ducks, and background notes on, for instance, the five local seasons, giving the narrative a pleasantly loose-jointed feel. Davy presents as white, but several other central cast members are specifically described as dark- or light-skinned and are so depicted in the frequent line drawings; one has two moms.

A deft mix of chills and chuckles, not quite as sideways as Wayside School but in the same district. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-00005-5

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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