Books About Poop, Vomit, and Farts . . . and Other, Less Objectionable, Reading Material

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There is nothing 8-10 yr old boys love more than GROSS! Whether it be vomit, farts, or poop, they think it is hilarious! Fortunately (or unfortunately!), authors, editors, and publishers know this about boys and have developed a number of series that will keep those disgusting little guys entertained.

We all know about Captain Underpants. This series by Dav Pilkey is not on my best book list, but I love to sell it! Why? Because it gets boys reading! If we can rope ‘em in with something that will split their guts, we can hook ‘em for life! And that is what early independent reading is all about—developing lifelong readers. So I do not discourage kids from Captain Underpants, but I sure like to supplement with other stories that are humorous or relatable in some other way.

Here are some great reading options, with a little more literary meat, for boys of this tendency:

  1. Anything by Andrew Clements. I love Andrew Clements, especially his most famous book, Frindle, which is a must-read for 3rd/4th grade boys. All of his books are readable, have interesting characters, and put kids in situations that most elementary school kids can relate to or understand. Great realistic fiction!
  2. Anything by Roald Dahl. Although Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is his most famous, everything by Dahl is a little off-kilter, thus entertaining to kids who need a little bit of wacky. Danny Champion of the World is a great option, as well as The BFG. My boys loved James and the Giant Peach. All of the Dahl books are a little morbid or crazy, but the kids are heroes, which means kids will read them enthusiastically!
  3. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Lois Sachar. Subtle humor fills these stories about a school that is unlike any school your child will attend . . . but feels somewhat familiar. Sachar has other fun books for kids this age, including the Marvin Redpost series, again, about a boy who has school-related mishaps.
  4. Time Warp Trio by Jon Scieszka (that’s pronounced Shes-ka). When my non-reader son read this in bed at night and was laughing hysterically, I knew I had found a winner! Founder of Guys Read (a website and a book series), Scieszka knows what ridiculous things boys like because he was a reluctant reader as a kid.
  5. A good survival story like Hatchet by Gary Paulson is always a great go-to for boys. The other Paulson books, Holes (Sachar), and Sign of the Beaver (Speare) (ohhhhhh, so good!) are other great survival stories that boys will love and daydream about for a long time after putting the books down.
  6. The Imaginary Veterinary series by Suzanne Selfors includes uniques stories about a secret hospital for creatures like Sasquatch, dragons, and unicorns. You can imagine the crises than ensue when these magical creatures escape!
  7. Nonfiction . . . about gross stuff. There are a number of great books about digestion, including a graphic novel series that I LOVE: Survive! Inside the Human Body by Gomdori Co. This series has the added benefit of being a graphic novel, which kids are more likely to pour over than other books because they are written/illustrated in a comic style. But this series has science at its core, as well as a take-off on the Magic School Bus books of yore.

I hope this gives you some fun ideas for the boys in your life who are ready to (or maybe need a little encouragement to) graduate from Captain Underpants and other “dessert”-type stories.

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Mike ButlerComment