I Need a Book Suggestion

Lurkers, uncloak! I’m working on a story that features a relationship with a young,  earnest teacher and a boy who tends to do inappropriate things in the classroom. He gets in trouble a lot. They butt heads. The new teacher, clinging to his authority, is afraid to let loose, afraid to smile. No one is having a good time.

In the end, they come together. But that’s a process, as you know, not a Golden Moment. So it hit me that  they could bond over a funny book. The teacher loves literature; the boy, Justin, loves to laugh. Maybe the right book could bring them together . . . just a little. Or at least help break the ice.

But: Which book? Any suggestions? I’m thinking about a title that would definitely be read and enjoyed in a fifth-grade classroom.

A little help, please.


  1. Kurtis says:

    Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars by Daniel M. Pinkwater (or really, anything by DMP).

  2. I am sure there are many out there, but one that always gives my 5th grade boys a laugh each year is Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen. There is a hilarious section where a boy dares another to pee on an electric fence. Hilarity ensues. There are some other funny parts, but this one gets the greatest reaction. I am pretty sure Paulsen uses this story in other books as well. I am thinking How Angel Peterson Got His Name.

  3. Maria says:

    There’s a Girl in the Boy’s Bathroom by Louis Sachar (it is a classic but the kids love it)

  4. Maria says:

    Oops to early in the morning, how about There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom or maybe there is a sequel there?

  5. jimmy says:

    Thanks for those suggestions — please keep ’em coming.

  6. Doret says:

    This might be younger then what you’re looking for, but the first thing that came to mind when you asked for funny was

    Dear Mrs. La Rue: Letters From Obedience School by Mark Teague.

    Its laugh out loud funny.

    Still thinking but peeing on the electric fence sounds good.

  7. Bill says:

    Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes by Louis Sachar is funny and serious about a boy who is a sort of class clown but gets made fun of. Kids always laughed, but got the message too.

    A Year Down Yonder or A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck always make me laugh very dry humor.

    I’ll keep thinking!

  8. Karen says:

    If I was looking for humor to hand to a 5th grade boy it would have to be Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories by Jon Scieszka. It is his childhood memoir. He had several brothers and reading sections about how they would go to the bathroom and cross “swords” cracks boys up every time!

    If this 5th grade boy reader had difficulty with reading, I might try the Roscoe Riley series.

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