More AWESOME Books Young Reluctant Readers Will Want to Steal from the Library

A few days ago I posted some cool things about my teaching job. Getting kids into books is the best part of what I do. When I see former reluctant readers fighting over the next Black Lagoon book, I get all giggly inside because kids who read tend to avoid the biggest trouble in life. Some states in our country plan future jail space based on third grade literacy scores. Third grade! Anyone who thinks literacy is not a big deal should invest in a home security system.

That said, the old farts in charge of setting learning standards who haven’t darkened the door of a classroom in fifty years educational powers that be tend to be inflexible in their adherence to the teaching of classic literature. I agree, to a point. Kids should be exposed to and inspired by all the great writers. HOWEVER, I can’t start by teaching classic children’s literature to the kid reading three grade levels behind who just let the air out of all four of his neighbor’s tires. I, personally, can’t afford new tires right now. I haven’t had a raise in four years. Here are my terribly naughty book suggestions for reluctant readers that will keep your tires and car paint intact.

ImageWalter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray, and Audrey Colman. This is a whole series of books about a flatulent dog whose godawful farts lead him on insane adventures and help him nab the bad guys in the end. This is an ever-growing series of books—I counted seven on Amazon. Don’t even bother with the Beano, because it won’t help!


ImageThe Day My Butt Went Psycho by Andy Griffiths. This is another series—stupid, rude, and just plain horrible. Our principal bought the whole set.





ImageCaptain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey. Another ridiculously horrific bunch of books guaranteed to suck the grown-up brain dry and force children to read with a flashlight under the covers.





ImageThe Bad Kitty series by Nick Bruel—This dude is pretty twisted, and his cat is a total freak—Uncle Murray is also cause for concern. Don’t leave your children alone with these books because they are guaranteed to promote repeated reading.


ImageSplat the Cat By Rob Scotton.  Another unusual animal…






ImageThe Fly Guy books by Tedd Arnold. Seriously? A fly???





ImageThe Fudge books by Judy Blume. My kind of classic. Fudge is a rotten kid who eats his brother’s turtle and has friends who pee on the floor. ‘Nuff said. Ban it immediately.






ImageThe Sophie books by Lara Bergen. These books are about a little girl who is always changing her name. In order to earn the title of Supreme Awesomeness in Sophie the Awesome, she does a number of nutball tricks to impress her friends—including shoving 23 French fries in her mouth at the lunch table. Horrible. The read-aloud of this book silenced 18 seven-year olds right after gym class.



ImageThe David series by David Shannon—stories about a purely rotten kid. His other books are terrible—your kids will devour them.






The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. Any book with the word “stupid” in the title is sure to offend. Other books by this duo are all inappropriate and guaranteed to make your children want to read.

If your child does bring home one of these books from the library, he/she won’t be underfoot for awhile—you’ll know where he/she is reading by the sound of the cackling!



20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. deanjbaker
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 15:03:11

    after considerable reflection, Jenn, my response is: hahahahahah:-)


  2. Latitudes of a Day
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 15:43:13

    It seems to me that third grade is a one of the most important years for kids and reading. But getting kids to read when there are so many distractions–ipods, ipads, TV, etc.–is a challenge. My personal favorite from the above list of books are by the author Jon Scieszka: The Time Warp Trio series. Hank the Cow Dog can also inspire the reluctant reader, as well as books on “Tape.” Books on tape can get kids into reading by following stories beyond their reading level.


    • Jennifer Worrell
      Apr 28, 2012 @ 22:14:03

      Totally agree, and I LOVE Hank the Cowdog, too. The kids love the Time Warp Trio, as do I because they teach social studies concepts. I like to kill as many curricular birds with as few stones as possible:)


  3. craftcrazygran
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 15:45:49

    Fiendishly fabulous! My Grandies are in for a treat!


  4. crubin
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 15:48:33

    My kids have read most of these. How could “Walter the Farting Dog” not be a classic? Love your attitude on getting kids to read. Throw only long-winded classics at them, and they’ll head for the hills for sure.


  5. Stasha
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 16:14:06

    Oh that fly face is beyond cute. I am so glad you joined because I only know Capt. Underpants. I am ‘printing’ this for our next library trip. LOVE!


  6. El Guapo
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 17:00:40

    I actually bought Stinky Cheese Man as an adult, and still have it on my bookshelf.
    I think you should write up this list, remove the sly “pro” comments, and tour schools around the country.
    Recite the list in front of general assmeblies of children and tell them NOT TO READ THESE!!!



  7. gretchen
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 23:04:43

    Wonderful list! My son is in Third Grade now, and he happens to be in a class of advanced readers – hopefully, this means my neighborhood will be safe!


  8. Anna Lefler
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 02:02:19

    Dude. My butt goes psycho pretty much every day, but I had no idea there was a book out there on the subject.

    Off to the bookstore now!

    Hope all is well…
    :-) Anna


  9. Jen and Tonic
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 03:31:53

    I had a teacher in elementary school who used to say, “Make sure you read something this weekend…even if it’s the back of a shampoo bottle!” I love that, the idea of just reading anything.

    You need to run a school…or quite possibly this country.


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