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Joking June (humour)

I know humour is a personal thing in that what I find amusing someone else might think is lame. Similarly, adults writing for young adults may struggle to hit their target, to be sufficiently “cool” in their mockery.  Authors who target a younger age group (children of a primary/lower secondary age) seem to have more success. Consider some of the Andy Griffiths, Morris Gleitzman and Michael Wagner/Terry Denton (Maxx Rumble) books that have a focus on farts, bums or all things gross.    Similarly, Diary of a Wimpy Kid has a greater appeal to Year 6 than the sophisticates of Year 8 and above.  Then there is the issue of the storyline.  Without a story line that is well-developed around one of the YA standards such family, friends, bullies, authorities, self-image, love or “coming-of-age” an attempt at humour can appear puerile.  So my dilemma is what should I read?  Can I find any books to recommend that are written for young adults (not adult crossovers) that I think will appeal to young adults and not just me?  Certainly, there are some classics like Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole that can be read on any number of levels and teenagers have loved over the past 30 years.  But, what else?  A TL friend thinks Bauer’s Don’t Call Me Ishmael is worthy.  I admit I love Ishmael’s catastrophising and self-deprecating humour, also there are teachers notes available, but the kids I have suggested it to haven’t been as enthusiastic.   Another talked about Nick Earl’s 48 Shades of Brown and Doug Macleod’s Life of a Teenage Body Snatcher,  but what is there beyond the books by the established authors I have mentioned, are there other worthy reads or should I just stick to the ‘tried and true’? I certainly couldn’t locate many in my local library through their catalogue – humour doesn’t seem to be useful as a keyword (or maybe it is their cataloguing)!!!  What do you recommend?


About hgtl

I am a secondary English/History teacher (BA DipEd, MA (Education) and a Teacher Librarian (MEd). I LOVE to research and through this site aim to -Support the introduction of the Australian Curriculum (especially in History) through sourcing quality and varied internet based sources (research guides) - Support teachers through conducting education based literature reviews - Provide suggestions on useful Web 2.0 tools - Offer other services such as curriculum writing, library collection assessment, novel recommendations (see my blog


3 thoughts on “Joking June (humour)

  1. You may also like to read Ruth Starke’s ‘Nips X!’ and it’s hilarious sequel.

    Posted by Julia Ditterich | June 7, 2012, 4:05 pm
  2. Also, what about Dave Hackett’s UFO-Unavoidable Family Outing, and the sequel ‘UFO afloat’ ?

    Posted by Julia Ditterich | June 7, 2012, 4:17 pm
  3. Thanks for these ideas – I will have a read and report back later in the month!!!

    Posted by hgtl | June 7, 2012, 4:27 pm

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