Laugh-out-Loud Books

Our Laugh-out-Loud Books Collection highlights titles that bring levity to literature through satire, dark humor, or hilarious dialogue. Representing genres ranging from romantic comedies to classic children's titles, this Collection features titles to tickle every reader's funny bone.

Publication year 1980Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: FateTags Humor

John Kennedy Toole’s novel A Confederacy of Dunces was written in the 1960s but only published years after the author’s death. It depicts the adventures of Ignatius J. Reilly, an academic but lazy man who, at age 30, lives with his mother in New Orleans in the early 1960s. Forced to find a job, he encounters a string of colorful characters endemic to the city of the time.The novel begins outside the D. H. Holmes... Read A Confederacy of Dunces Summary


Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Fantasy, Humor, Animals

A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans is a novel by Bruce W. Cameron and is the first in his A Dog’s Purpose series of novels. Written in 2010, the novel was a New York Times bestseller for 49 weeks. The novel is unique in that it is narrated by a dog. The dog lives four lives over the course of the novel, seeking a purpose for his life during each of his incarnations. In... Read A Dog's Purpose Summary


Publication year 1913Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Natural World: Place, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Poetry: Dramatic Poem, Humor, Grief / Death, British Literature, Victorian Period

Publication year 1972Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags British Literature, Animals, Humor

All Creatures Great and Small is the first in a series of fictionalized memoirs by Yorkshire veterinarian James Alfred “Alf” Wight (1916-1995), writing under the name James Herriot. Originally published in the UK as two shorter volumes, If Only They Could Talk (1970) and It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet (1972), the US publisher released them as a single volume in 1972 under a new title drawn from the Anglican hymn “All Things Bright and... Read All Creatures Great and Small Summary


Publication year 1986Genre Essay Collection, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: CommunityTags Self Help, Humor, Philosophy, Inspirational

In his compilation of essays, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum studies the simplicity embedded in everyday experiences. First published in 1989, this collection captivated a global audience, becoming a cultural touchstone as a #1 New York Times bestseller and selling over 7 million copies. Fulghum draws from his life experiences to craft this collection of essays. This collection, which falls within the self-help, motivational, and personal transformation genres... Read All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Humor

Swedish author Fredrik Backman’s 2012 novel, A Man Called Ove, tells the darkly humorous story of Ove, a 59-year-old Swedish man struggling to find purpose in his life. When the book opens, Ove’s wife Sonja has recently died. After losing his job, Ove plans to kill himself. Ove seems at odds with the world, constantly angry at the people around him and getting into altercations with shop workers, neighbors, and even other drivers on the... Read A Man Called Ove Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Immigration, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Humor, Immigration / Refugee, Diversity, Race / Racism

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Romance, Humor, Asian Literature

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Publication year 1961Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: ClassTags Classic Fiction, American Literature, Humor, Class

“A&P” is one of John Updike’s most well-known and celebrated short stories, first published in The New Yorker on July 22, 1961, and later appearing in the author’s short story collection Pigeon Feathers. A Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Updike populates his realist fiction with small-town, middle-class Americans. Adaptations of “A&P” include a 1966 short film directed by Bruce Schwartz, starring Sean Hayes as Sammy and Amy Smart as Queenie.The protagonist, Sammy, is also the story’s first-person... Read A&P Summary


Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Natural World: PlaceTags Satire, Humor, Race / Racism, History: U.S., Business / Economics, American Literature, Reconstruction Era, African American Literature

Apex Hides the Hurt, a 2006 novel by American author Colson Whitehead, follows a nameless, emotionally muted nomenclature consultant, or an expert in creating brand names. The novel toggles between the protagonist’s memories of success at his company, and his current consulting assignment—renaming a town. The novel satirizes contemporary American consumer culture and features themes of race and identity. Whitehead uses humor and revelation as key narrative techniques in this story about a man who... Read Apex Hides the Hurt Summary


Publication year 1997Genre Essay Collection, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Society: Education, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Humor, Philosophy, Post Modernism, American Literature

A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again is a 1997 essay collection by David Foster Wallace. The seven essays explore 1990s US social issues through subjects such as television, tennis, and (in the most famous essay) a Caribbean cruise. The essays have been referenced many times in popular culture, particularly the title essay, which recounts Wallace’s experiences on a cruise.This guide references the 1998 Abacus edition of the collection.SummaryIn the first essay, “Derivative Sport... Read A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again Summary


Publication year 1939Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Irish Literature, Humor, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Satire, Arts / Culture, Class, British Literature

Publication year 1998Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Place, Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: CommunityTags Travel Literature, Humor, Science / Nature, Animals, Anthropology, History: U.S., Relationships, Politics / Government, Sports

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail is a 1998 travel book by American-British author Bill Bryson. The book was a New York Times bestseller, and a 2014 Cable News Network (CNN) poll named it the funniest travel book ever written. In addition, it inspired the 2015 film A Walk in the Woods starring Robert Redford as Bryson, Nick Nolte as Stephen Katz (his primary hiking companion), and Emma Thompson as... Read A Walk in the Woods Summary


Publication year 1982Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Family, Self DiscoveryTags Humor, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Humor, Sports

Beartown is a 2017 novel by Fredrik Backman. It is set in the eponymous town and focuses on the local junior hockey team. Set against the backdrop of a depressed town that is obsessed with the sport, it examines themes of parental control, the cost of keeping secrets, loyalty, family, and regret. The novel unfolds over fifty chapters and is told in brief scenes, with an omniscient narrator occasionally interjecting philosophical maxims and sketching out... Read Beartown Summary


Publication year 1955Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & PrideTags Realistic Fiction, Humor

Publication year 1970Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Satire, Humor, American Literature

Polish-born author Jerzy Kosiński (1933-1991) wrote Being There, published in 1970. The novella satirizes mid-20th-century politics and culture, focusing on the twin pillars of bureaucracy and the media as vehicles for the deterioration of modern thought. Kosiński grew up in Soviet-controlled Poland and came to the United States in 1957. In 1958, he was awarded a Ford Foundation fellowship. He studied at the New School and Columbia University in New York, where he received a... Read Being There Summary


Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: AnimalsTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Humor, Action / Adventure, Animals

Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Humor, Romance

Be More Chill (2004) by Ned Vizzini is a young adult novel about a teenage boy trying to increase his social status in high school. The work employs humor and a science fiction premise to satirize the absurdity of social norms in contemporary youth culture. The main character, Jeremy Heere, is a socially awkward high school student who ingests a pill that contains a quantum supercomputer that advises him on how to modify his behavior... Read Be More Chill Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Graphic Memoir , NonfictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Self Discovery, Society: Class, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Humor, Action / Adventure, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Music, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Self DiscoveryTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, LGBTQ, Music

Content Warning: Better Nate Than Ever contains sensitive material, such as bullying and LGBTQ-related slurs.Better Nate Than Ever (2013) is the first book in a trilogy about Broadway hopeful Nate Foster; the next two titles in the series are Five, Six, Seven, Nate! (2014) and Nate Expectations (2018). The novel is intended for middle grade and young adult readers but may also appeal to adult fans of theater-related fiction. Author Tim Federle and the fictional... Read Better Nate Than Ever Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Romance, Humor, Relationships, Love / Sexuality, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2010Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Fate, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: FameTags Humor, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Relationships: Marriage, Identity: SexualityTags LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality, Romance, Humor

Publication year 1994Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Self Help, Humor

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott was originally published in 1994. Many of Lamott’s books have been on the New York Times bestsellers list, which qualifies her to offer advice about how to write. She also taught at writing conferences and at UC Davis, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. Bird by Bird is a combination of memoir, self-help book, and writing... Read Bird By Bird Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Colonialism, Society: EconomicsTags Satire, Humor, Race / Racism

Publication year 2011Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: GenderTags Gender / Feminism, Humor, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

Bossypants is a humorous memoir published in 2011 by actor and writer Tina Fey. Fey describes growing up as an awkward, smart-mouthed girl and traces the process by which she enters show business, from working at a theater summer camp, to taking night improv classes, to writing for Saturday Night Live, and finally to creating her own television sitcom, 30 Rock. Fey writes of the discrimination and double standards to which women in show business... Read Bossypants Summary


Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: WarTags Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Humor, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ, Military / War, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Irish Literature

Breakfast on Pluto is a novel by the distinguished Irish writer Patrick McCabe, who is known for his experimental style and controversial themes. First published in 1998, the book contains elements of fantasy and historical fiction. It presents the narrative of “the life and times” of Patrick Braden, a transgender person growing up in Ireland and London during the 1960s and 1970s. Through Braden’s journey of self-discovery, McCabe portrays a country amid turbulent political, national... Read Breakfast on Pluto Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Relationships: TeamsTags Humor, Realistic Fiction, Scandinavian Literature

Publication year 1963Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: ClassTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Humor

Publication year 1997Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: FriendshipTags Humor, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Dav Pilkey’s graphic novel for children, The Adventures of Captain Underpants (1997), spawned a long list of sequels and adaptations in other media. The Captain Underpants series has won numerous awards, including the Garden State Children's Book Awards (Children's Fiction) 2000, the Buckeye Children's Book Award (Grades 3-5) 2001, and the Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award (Grades K-3) 2000.Plot SummaryThe story begins by introducing two best friends, George and Harold. They love to pull pranks... Read Captain Underpants Summary


Publication year 1948Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: FamilyTags Classic Fiction, American Literature, Humor, Post-War Era, Parenting

American author Shirley Jackson’s short story “Charles” (1948) was first published in Mademoiselle, then in Jackson’s 1949 collection as well as in her 1953 novel Life Among the Savages. Though “Charles” is not in the horror genre, Jackson is a renowned horror writer and has influenced modern writers like Neil Gaiman and Stephen King. The story does, however, have an element of mystery—another genre for which the author is famous. This study guide cites the... Read Charles Summary


Publication year 1964Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Fantasy, Classic Fiction, Humor, Children's Literature, British Literature

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) is a fantasy children’s novel by renowned British author Roald Dahl, a man known for his strange and wondrous imagination. The story follows Charlie Bucket, who wins a tour in a chocolate factory owned by the eccentric Mr. Willy Wonka. In the years following publication, the novel became a classic and spawned two major film adaptations, one starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka (1971) and a remake starring Johnny... Read Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Summary


Publication year 1972Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Life/Time: Aging, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Humor, Children's Literature

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Economics, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Humor, Satire, Romance, Asian Literature

China Rich Girlfriend is an adult novel published by Doubleday in 2015, the sequel to Singapore-born author Kevin Kwan’s internationally bestselling romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians (2013) and second in a trilogy which concludes with Rich People Problems (2017). Billed as a satire, a mock-epic, and a sprawling family saga that peers into the lives of the ultra-wealthy in Asia, China Rich Girlfriend depicts the efforts of Rachel Chu, a Chinese-born American university professor, and... Read China Rich Girlfriend Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Environment, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Humor, Action / Adventure, Realistic Fiction, Animals

Written in 2012 by Carl Hiaasen, Chomp is a young adult novel set in Hiaasen’s native Florida (specifically, Everglades National Park). Hiaasen, who began his career as a journalist, is the author of six other books for young readers (as well as numerous adult novels). Because his work blends humor with grim realism, Chomp features characters who are just as “bizarre” as their Florida setting. Primarily known for his crime fiction, Hiaasen also crafts stories... Read Chomp Summary


Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, Children's Literature

Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine is a short chapter book for elementary-aged readers. Marla Frazee’s black and white illustrations bring the text to life. Clementine and the subsequent books in the series have won numerous awards; notably, Clementine is a New York Times bestseller and the winner of the 2007 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award. Little, Brown and Company published Clementine in 2006. This study guide refers to the 2008 first trade paperback edition of the book.Plot SummaryClementine... Read Clementine Summary


Publication year 1932Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Humor, Classic Fiction, Satire

Cold Comfort Farm (September 1932) is the first book by British author Stella Gibbons. Upon publication, it became an instant success. The comic novel is a parody of rural romances that were popular in Britain at the time. The story was adapted for two BBC television shows in 1968 and 1981. It was also made into a film starring Kate Beckinsale in 1995. Cold Comfort Farm is classified under the category of Classic Humor Fiction... Read Cold Comfort Farm Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Food, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: EconomicsTags Humor, Arts / Culture, Philosophy, Animals, Food

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: Class, Relationships: FamilyTags Romance, Humor, Satire, Asian Literature

Crazy Rich Asians is a 2013 romance comedy novel by American author Kevin Kwan about a young Asian American woman who travels with her boyfriend to his native Singapore and finds herself suddenly thrust into the cutthroat world of Asia’s uber-rich. Kwan based the novel loosely on his own experiences growing up in Singapore. It is the first novel in a three-book series, followed by China Rich Girlfriend (2015) and Rich People Problems (2017), all... Read Crazy Rich Asians Summary


Publication year 1921Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Mental Health, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Classic Fiction, Humor, Historical Fiction, Play: Comedy / Satire, British Literature

Publication year 1975Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: ClassTags Children's Literature, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Humor, Finance / Money / Wealth

British author Roald Dahl first published Danny the Champion of the World in 1975. This award-winning children’s novel was adapted into a made-for-TV movie in 1989. The story follows Danny and his single-father, William, as they concoct a plan to poach all of the pheasants from a mean, rich landowner’s woods. Dahl’s children’s books are humorous and unsentimental, usually featuring a heroic young protagonist and an obnoxious adult antagonist. Dahl’s other works for children include The Gremlins... Read Danny, the Champion of the World Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: Family, Self DiscoveryTags Romance, Humor, LGBTQ

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Romance, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Humor, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Asian Literature

Publication year 2007Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: Siblings, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, Relationships, Bullying

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the first graphic novel in the titular series by Jeff Kinney. Since its initial publication in 2007, Diary of a Wimpy Kid has become a New York Times bestseller and 16 sequels have followed in the series. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is written in a diary format and documents the misadventures of middle school student Greg Heffley, who longs for popularity and hatches dozens of schemes to achieve... Read Diary of a Wimpy Kid Summary


Publication year 2002Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: Language, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Lyric Poem, Humor, Romance, Arts / Culture, Class, American Literature, African American Literature

Harryette Mullen’s “Dim Lady” may remind some readers of 17th century English playwright and poet William Shakespeare’s well-known “Sonnet 130,” in which the speaker of the poem makes a mockery of his beloved’s physical appearance. During Shakespeare’s time, fashion encouraged poets to write flowery poetry that extolled the virtues and the beauty of their beloved. However, the speaker of this sonnet toys with poetic conventions of the time, describing the physical attributes of the speaker’s... Read Dim Lady Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Humor, Fantasy, Animals

Publication year 2020Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: FathersTags Fantasy, Humor, Action / Adventure, Animals, Children's Literature

Publication year 2018Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Disability, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Relationships: FamilyTags Humor, Animals, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Publication year 2021Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: FamilyTags Humor, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature, Animals

Publication year 2009Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Friendship, Self DiscoveryTags Humor, Realistic Fiction

Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renée Russell (Simon & Schuster, 2009) is a young adult graphic novel told in diary entries about a 14-year-old girl’s journey through her first month at a new school. The book was both a New York Times and USA Today best seller. It also won the Children’s Choice Book of the Year Award for the fifth/sixth grade division (2010) and was nominated for Book of the... Read Dork Diaries Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Siblings, Self DiscoveryTags Children's Literature, Realistic Fiction, Humor

Publication year 2016Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Fame, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: FamilyTags Humor, Children's Literature, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Siblings, Self DiscoveryTags Humor, Realistic Fiction, Children's Literature

Double Fudge (2002) is the fifth and final book in the popular children’s series by bestselling American author Judy Blume. The Fudge series begins with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and includes Superfudge, Fudge-a-Mania, and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great. The Fudge series was published across three decades and follows the lives of the Hatcher family, and most of the novels feature Peter Hatcher and his younger brother Fudge, who is always getting... Read Double Fudge Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionTags Humor

Drama is a Young Adult graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier published in 2012. It is Telgemeier’s third book and her first fiction graphic novel—her first two were autobiographical. Drama is critically acclaimed and spent 240 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. This guide refers to the 2012 edition by Scholastic/Graphix.Plot SummaryCallie Marin is a seventh-grader at Eucalyptus Middle School. She has long, purple-dyed hair and likes to wear the color green. She also... Read Drama Summary


Publication year 2003Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Humor, LGBTQ, Psychology, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

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Publication year 2014Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Relationships: Friendship, Identity: DisabilityTags Humor, Disability, Children's Literature

El Deafo is a 2014 semi-autobiographical, graphic novel by American author and illustrator Cece Bell. Bell, who was born deaf, recounts her childhood in the format of a guide starring an anthropomorphic rabbit, “Cece.” The book endeavors to undermine negative representations of deafness by representing Cece’s difference as valid, even empowering, with the assistance of modern technology. Throughout the book, Cece occasionally assumes a superhero persona, “El Deafo.” El Deafo challenges common misconceptions about disabilities... Read El Deafo Summary


Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: NationTags Humor

The entire story unravels on the island of Nollop, off the coast of North Carolina. Nollop is named after Nevin Nollop, a man who wrote a sentence containing all 26 letters of the alphabet: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Because of his feat, Nollop’s statue is erected in town as a monument to the island’s namesake. Ella Minnow Pea, the main character, writes to her cousin, Tassie, announcing the first of... Read Ella Minnow Pea Summary


Publication year 1991Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: TeamsTags Addiction / Substance Abuse, Relationships, Humor, Psychological Fiction, Satire

Denis Johnson originally published “Emergency” in the September 16, 1991 issue of New Yorker magazine and later as part of his critically acclaimed 1992 short story collection, Jesus’ Son. These linked, fragmentary stories, all narrated by the same troubled, drug-addicted character, examine themes of violence, addiction, loss, and friendship from an unreliable yet sympathetic narrative voice. This guide uses the 1992 version of Jesus’ Son published by Picador/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.“Emergency,” the sixth story in... Read Emergency Summary


Publication year 1815Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Marriage, Society: ClassTags Classic Fiction, Victorian Period, Romanticism / Romantic Period, British Literature, Historical Fiction, Romance, Humor, Class, Gender / Feminism, History: European, Relationships

Emma is a fiction novel published in 1815 by the English author Jane Austen. The book centers on the character development of its eponymous protagonist, a genteel young woman on a country estate who meddles in the love lives of friends and neighbors. Jane Austen was conscious that Emma’s snobbery, vanity, and meddling might make her a “heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” (Austen-Leigh, James Edward. A Memoir of Jane Austen. London:... Read Emma Summary


Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Fathers, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: ClassTags American Literature, Humor, Relationships

In Empire Falls, published in 2001, award-winning author Richard Russo focuses his sharp observations on family, faith, and hope for the future in small-town America, where the factories have left, the populations are dwindling, and the prospects are shrinking. Miles Roby almost got out of Empire Falls, but his mother’s illness brought him back a semester shy of graduating college. Now he runs the Empire Grill, a landmark that still anchors the dying town, and... Read Empire Falls Summary


Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Identity: Language, Identity: RaceTags Humor, Race / Racism, Arts / Culture, African American Literature

Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Life/Time: AgingTags Children's Literature, Fantasy, Humor, Animals

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: RegretTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Humor

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Class, Society: Community, Society: Education, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Humor

Publication year 2018Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: FemininityTags Humor, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Society: CommunityTags Realistic Fiction, Children's Literature, Humor

Renowned Canadian/American author Polly Horvath published the middle-grade novel everything on a Waffle in 2001. Over two years, the book received numerous accolades, including Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Boston Globe Horn Book Award, the ALSC Notable Children’s Book, a Newbery Honor Medal, and the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize. Written in the first person, 11-year-old narrator Primrose tells of her parents disappearing in a typhoon off the coast of British Columbia. Primrose discounts... Read Everything on a Waffle Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Friendship, Society: ImmigrationTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, Romance, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Humor, Romance

Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: FamilyTags Romance, Humor

Flipped is a contemporary young adult novel by Wendelin Van Draanen. The main characters, Juli Baker and Bryce Loski, are neighbors in Mayfield, a fictional American town. Now in eighth grade, the two protagonists reveal the story of their relationship in a dual narrative of alternating first-person chapters that recount how Juli “flips” for Bryce at a young age but later decides she is not interested…right around the time Bryce finally “flips” for Juli. The... Read Flipped Summary


Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: FriendshipTags Humor, Children's Literature, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Animals

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures is a middle-grade magical realism novel written by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by K. G. Campbell, and originally published in 2013. DiCamillo is a renowned middle-grade author who also wrote Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux, among other books. Flora and Ulysses was the recipient of the John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children in 2014. It was also adapted into a... Read Flora And Ulysses Summary


Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Family, Relationships: FathersTags Fantasy, Humor, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Action / Adventure, Humor, Children's Literature, Realistic Fiction, Animals

Publication year 1978Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: CommunityTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, Children's Literature

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: ClassTags Humor, Absurdism

Publication year 2022Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Life/Time: MidlifeTags Arts / Culture, Humor, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Language, Society: Education, Society: Community, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Children's Literature, Realistic Fiction, Humor, Modern Classic Fiction

Frindle is a 1996 middle grade novel by children’s author Andrew Clements and illustrated by Brian Selznick. The story follows a fifth-grade boy named Nick Allen who—both for fun and to exasperate his strict language arts teacher who has a special reverence for vocabulary—creates a new word for pen: “frindle.” Nick’s new word captures more attention than he expected, and soon the town and nation engage in a controversy surrounding how people ought to use... Read Frindle Summary


Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Children's Literature, Realistic Fiction, Humor

Publication year 2003Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Society: Immigration, Relationships: Fathers, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Humor, Creative Nonfiction, Immigration / Refugee

Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing up in America is a 2003 book by Firoozeh Dumas in which she describes her experiences as an Iranian immigrant to the US. The narrative follows a non-linear time structure, and Dumas often moves between different eras of her life, including the time of writing, when she is an adult. Much of her work centers on what life was like for her as a child who came to... Read Funny In Farsi Summary


Publication year 2024Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Self DiscoveryTags Romance, Humor

Publication year 2021Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Animals, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Science / Nature, Animals, Crime / Legal, Humor

Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Society: Class, Society: Economics, Society: War, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Natural World: Nurture v. NatureTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Humor, Post Modernism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Finance / Money / Wealth, Anthropology

Galapagos is a 1985 novel by American author Kurt Vonnegut. The novel’s narrator is the long-dead Leon Trout, a ghost who watched the evolution of humanity of the course of a million years. The story explores the themes Nature Versus Nurture, Pacifism, and Regret.This guide uses an eBook version of the 1985 Dial Press edition.Content Warning: This novel depicts explicit acts of violence and refers to death by suicide.Plot SummaryLeon Trout, the story’s narrator, is... Read Galapagos Summary


Publication year 1564Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: Marriage, Self Discovery, Society: Education, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Classic Fiction, Play: Comedy / Satire, Fantasy, Humor, French Literature

The Life of Gargantua and Pantagruel is a series of five novels written in French by François Rabelais in the 16th century. The novel-cycle relates the adventures of two giants in hyperbolic, satirical prose. Using humor ranging from slapstick to irony, Rabelais explores serious themes such as the development of education and religious reformation. The books are noted for their colorful, rich literary style, bursting with puns, allusions, and social commentary. An early example of... Read Gargantua And Pantagruel Summary


Publication year 1981Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: FathersTags Fantasy, Humor, Children's Literature, Magical Realism, British Literature

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Disability, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Society: Class, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Art, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Romance, Humor, Health / Medicine, British Literature, Disability

Publication year 1965Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Satire, Humor, Post Modernism

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, or Pearls Before Swine is a 1965 novel by American author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-2007). The novel is a postmodern satire on wealth, capitalism, and the dark side of the American Dream. Vonnegut’s fifth novel is considered a precursor to Slaughterhouse Five (1969) since it introduces many of the themes that appear in that much-lauded novel. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater contains elements of science fiction, which emerge in a... Read God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: ForgivenessTags Humor, Health / Medicine

Goodbye, Vitamin is Asian American author Rachel Khong’s debut novel. Khong, whose grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease, explores how Alzheimer’s disease affects a family in this work of literary fiction. Written as a series of diary entries, Khong’s protagonist, Ruth Young, meditates on memory, forgiveness, and the challenges inherent in familial relationships as she navigates an adulthood that is not turning out as planned.Published in 2017, Goodbye, Vitamin received positive reviews and was named one of... Read Goodbye, Vitamin Summary


Publication year 1993Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Humor, Realistic Fiction

Drawing on his childhood experiences, Gary Paulsen’s novel for young readers, Harris and Me: A Summer Remembered (1993, 1st edition), contains 12 vignettes chronicling the narrator’s visit to his distant relatives on a farm over one summer. In addition to the culture shock of adjusting to rural life, the book also centers on the narrator’s relationship with his reckless and adventurous country cousin, Harris, and the process of finding acceptance as part of a family... Read Harris and Me Summary


Publication year 1950Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction, Humor

Publication year 1999Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Teams, Society: CommunityTags Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Humor

Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Masculinity, Values/Ideas: MusicTags Humor, Music, Romance, Relationships, Love / Sexuality

High Fidelity is a 1995 fiction novel by the English author Nick Hornby. It tells the story of Rob Fleming, an obsessive music fan who examines his top five worst break ups to understand his most recent heartbreak. The book was adapted into a musical, a television series, and 2000 film starring John Cusack and directly by Stephen Frears.Plot SummaryRob Fleming is the 35-year-old owner of a record store in London. When his girlfriend Laura... Read High Fidelity Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Gender, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self DiscoveryTags Romance, Humor, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ

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Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Natural World: AnimalsTags Realistic Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Humor

Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen, is a humorous adventure novel for middle-grade readers in which a group of children tries to save the habitat of a colony of owls from being bulldozed. Published in 2002, the book became a New York Times bestseller, won a Newbery Medal, and has been made into a motion picture. Author Hiaasen is an award-winning journalist and columnist for the Miami Herald. He has written nearly three dozen books, including six... Read Hoot Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Humor, Romance

Publication year 2022Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Identity: Mental HealthTags Philosophy, Humor, Self Help, Psychology

Publication year 1973Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Humor, Realistic Fiction, Children's Literature

In the novel How to Eat Fried Worms, a boy accepts a $50 bet from a friend to eat 15 worms in 15 days, but as he nears victory, he faces a flurry of nasty tricks and traps that go wildly out of control. Written by Thomas Rockwell, son of the famous American illustrator Norman Rockwell, and published in 1973, the book sold over three million copies, won several awards, was a target of censors... Read How To Eat Fried Worms Summary


Publication year 2003Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Self DiscoveryTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Humor, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2013Genre Graphic Novel/Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Mothers, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags Humor, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Mental Illness, Depression / Suicide, Animals

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Romance, Humor, LGBTQ

Publication year 2022Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Values/Ideas: Fame, Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Humor

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionTags Satire, Humor, Post Modernism, American Literature, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Sports

Infinite Jest is a fiction novel by David Foster Wallace. First published in 1996, the novel has an unconventional narrative structure with hundreds of extensive footnotes. Exploring themes of addiction, alienation, and the plight of modern existence, Infinite Jest is famous for its complexity and humor. The novel has been praised by critics and heralded as one of the most important literary works of the 20th century. This guide was written using the 2014 Abacus... Read Infinite Jest Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Magical Realism, Children's Literature, Humor

Publication year 2009Genre Play, FictionThemes Relationships: MothersTags Humor, Play: Comedy / Satire

In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), which premiered on Broadway in 2010, has since become one of Sarah Ruhl’s best-known and most popularly produced plays. Prior to Ruhl’s Broadway debut with In the Next Room, she earned a MacArthur Genius Fellowship and a PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award, and her 2004 play The Clean House was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. In the Next Room was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist and... Read In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Identity: Mental HealthTags Realistic Fiction, Humor

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Self Discovery, Identity: Femininity, Life/Time: Midlife, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Romance, Humor, LGBTQ, British Literature

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Friendship, Society: WarTags Historical Fiction, Humor

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Self Discovery, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Romance, Humor

Publication year 2019Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Race, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Humor, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, History: African , Social Justice

Publication year 1961Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Fantasy, Classic Fiction, Humor, Children's Literature, Magical Realism, Animals, Action / Adventure

James and the Giant Peach, by British author Roald Dahl was first published in 1961. This critically acclaimed children’s novel was made into an award-winning film in 1996. Dahl was born in 1916 in Wales and, in addition to writing both children and adult literature, he was a poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. He is known as one of the 20th century’s greatest storytellers and has sold more than 250 million copies of his... Read James And The Giant Peach Summary


Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Humor, Children's Literature

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a children’s novel appropriate for children aged 10 years and older, was written by Jack Gantos. The book was initially published in 1998 by Square Fish, a trademark of Macmillan Publishing Group; the work was a National Book Award Finalist, an American Library Association notable children’s book, and the School Library Journal’s book of the year. The novel’s 10-year-old protagonist, Joey Pigza, deals with an unnamed hyperactive disorder, abandonment, and... Read Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Humor, Animals, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Relationships

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Humor

Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: CommunityTags Historical Fiction, Humor, Fantasy, Absurdism

Publication year 2007Genre Novella, FictionThemes Society: Economics, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: TeamsTags Humor, Children's Literature, Realistic Fiction, Business / Economics, Class, American Literature

Lawn Boy, a novella by Gary Paulsen published in 2007, is a middle grade chapter book about a 12-year-old boy who receives an old lawn mower as a birthday gift from his grandmother. As underwhelming as the gift appears, this moment launches a sequence of events that ends with the boy owning $480,000 and being the sole investor of a heavyweight boxer. Full of quirky humor and digestible lessons in capitalism, Paulsen’s story leads the... Read Lawn Boy Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Identity: Masculinity, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Midlife, Life/Time: The FutureTags LGBTQ, Humor, Romance, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Historical Fiction, Humor, Gender / Feminism, Romance

Publication year 1887Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Classic Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Humor

Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Humor, Bullying, Parenting, Relationships, American Literature

Loser is a young adult novel published in 2002 by American author and Newbury Medal winner Jerry Spinelli. It tells the story of Donald Zinkoff, an eccentric goofball of a kid who stumbles enthusiastically through his elementary school years, largely without friends, before becoming an accidental hero in middle school. Written entirely in the present tense, Loser garnering several awards and nominations.Plot SummaryAt first, the other kids don’t notice little Donald Zinkoff, except to see... Read Loser Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Romance, Humor

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Romance, Humor

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Society: Economics, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction, Humor

Publication year 1965Genre Play, FictionThemes Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: courageTags Historical Fiction, Play: Drama, Music, Humor, Play: Historical

Man of La Mancha, by Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion, and Mitch Leigh, took the world of musical theater by storm when it premiered in 1965. This story of Miguel de Cervantes and his comic knight, Don Quixote, won five Tony Awards as well as the Drama Critics Circle Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Variety Drama Critics Award, and the Saturday Review Award. The original production ran for over 2,000 performances and remains popular... Read Man of La Mancha Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Fame, Values/Ideas: Music, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Humor, Music

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self DiscoveryTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Humor, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 2011Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Society: Education, Self Discovery, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, Bullying

Publication year 2015Genre Book, NonfictionTags Sociology, Humor

Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, published in 2015, is a nonfiction work that combines statistics, interviews, and comedy to explore the current landscape of dating in the modern age. Ansari is an actor and comedian, as well as a writer. He got his start on television in the role of Tom Haverford in Parks and Recreation, which ran on NBC. He starred in Human Giant and went on to perform in several movies. His first comedy... Read Modern Romance Summary


Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Humor, Magical Realism, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Fantasy, Realistic Fiction, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Social Justice, Race / Racism, Religion / Spirituality, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1974Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Humor, Children's Literature

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Society: Class, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy, Humor

Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: MothersTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, Education, Grief / Death, Parenting, Relationships

Publication year 1997Genre Essay Collection, NonfictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Identity: Mental HealthTags Humor, LGBTQ

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Publication year 2019Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: ClassTags Humor, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Diversity, Race / Racism, Bullying, Class, African American Literature

New Kid by Jerry Craft is a 2019 graphic novel and winner of the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award. Jim Callahan is responsible for the coloring. Craft is the creator of the 1990 comic strip Mama’s Boyz and Class Act, the 2020 companion story to this book. New Day focuses on an artistic middle school student who makes friends and builds confidence in himself as he navigates race and class issues at... Read New Kid Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Fantasy, LGBTQ, Humor, Action / Adventure, Fairy Tale / Folklore

Nimona is a young adult graphic novel created by N. D. Stevenson and published in 2015 by HarperCollins. It is based on Stevenson’s webcomic, also titled Nimona, which was published in 2012 and earned Slate magazine’s 2012 Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Web Comic of the Year. The graphic novel adaptation also received critical acclaim, earning the 2016 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: Reprint and becoming a 2015 National Book Award Finalist.Nimona is a... Read Nimona Summary


Publication year 2000Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, Education

No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman (Hyperion Books, 2002) is a humorous middle-grade fiction book about how one boy’s unwillingness to lie changes his life and the lives of everyone at his school. No More Dead Dogs won the 2002 Young Reader’s Choice Award (intermediate), one of many award-winners penned by Korman. Gordon Korman published his first book (This Can’t be Happening at Macdonald Hall, first in the Macdonald Hall series) when he was... Read No More Dead Dogs Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Humor, Fantasy, Technology

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Politics & Government, Relationships: FriendshipTags Humor, Magical Realism, Parenting

Nothing to See Here is a 2019 novel by New York Times best-selling author and short story writer Kevin Wilson. The novel, which is set in Tennessee, includes a dedication to fellow Tennessean writer Ann Patchett. This is not Wilson’s first work about unusual characters and their families. He achieved success with his first novel, The Family Fang, and another called Perfect Little World. In these works, Wilson developed the prototype for the unique brand... Read Nothing to See Here Summary


Publication year 2002Genre Graphic Memoir , NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Language, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Midlife, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Food, Relationships: Mothers, Self Discovery, Society: Class, Society: Education, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Humor

One! Hundred! Demons! is a semi-autobiographical genre-defying graphic novel by American cartoonist and pedagogue, Lynda Barry. Over the course of her career as a prominent cartoonist with nationally syndicated comic strips, published collections, and illustrated novels, Barry has received many national and state-wide awards for her work, including two Eisner awards and MacArthur Genius Grant.Originally published serially in Salon magazine, the collected cartoon chapters were collected and published by Sasquatch Books in 2002, and later... Read One! Hundred! Demons! Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Identity: GenderTags Romance, LGBTQ, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Humor, Magical Realism

Publication year 1919Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Society: Class, Identity: GenderTags Classic Fiction, Humor, American Literature

William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry, published “One Thousand Dollars” in his 1908 collection of short stories The Voice of the City: Further Stories of the Four Million. The stories explore New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Believing every person had a story to tell, O. Henry wrote about the poor and the rich and the shared experience of being human. This study guide references the 1908 edition of... Read One Thousand Dollars Summary


Publication year 1972Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: FamilyTags Realistic Fiction, Humor

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: CommunityTags Humor, Satire

Publication year 2010Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Space & The Universe, Values/Ideas: Equality, Relationships: Teams, Natural World: Place, Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Science / Nature, Humor, History: U.S., Technology

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void is one of several bestselling nonfiction works by science writer and humorist Mary Roach. Published in 2010, the work focuses on the human side of space travel and offers behind-the-scenes accounts of peculiar and taboo topics such as sex, vomit, and toilets in space. Roach writes from a candid, outsider’s point of view and demystifies some of the grandeur of space travel by reporting... Read Packing for Mars Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Romance, Humor, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Romance, Humor, Gender / Feminism, Relationships, American Literature

Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Relationships: Teams, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: CommunityTags Fantasy, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Action / Adventure, Humor, Children's Literature, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Relationships, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Poverty, American Literature

Publication year 1836Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Politics & Government, Society: Community, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: Family, Relationships: MarriageTags Classic Fiction, Victorian Period, Action / Adventure, Humor, Travel Literature, Class, History: European, Politics / Government, Social Justice, Sports

The debut novel of British author Charles Dickens, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (commonly known as The Pickwick Papers) was first published as a series by Chapman and Hall between 1836 and 1837. The Pickwick Papers chronicles the adventures of the members of the Pickwick Club, a group of travelers who journey around England and share their experiences. Because of the original serial format of the novel, the chapters contain individual but interconnected... Read Pickwick Papers Summary


Publication year 1939Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Identity: LanguageTags Humor, Post Modernism

Publication year 1969Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & PrideTags Humor, Love / Sexuality, Psychology

Portnoy’s Complaint is a 1969 novel by American author Philip Roth. The novel is presented as a continuous monologue in which the protagonist Alex Portnoy speaks to his therapist about his difficult relationship with his family, his country, and sex. The novel’s explicit and comedic depiction of sex caused controversy on release though Portnoy’s Complaint was later heralded as one of the greatest English language novels of the 20th century. The novel was adapted into... Read Portnoy's Complaint Summary


Publication year 1979Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Family, Society: ClassTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, Children's Literature

Publication year 1981Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Children's Literature, Realistic Fiction, Humor, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Ramona Quimby, Age 8, (1981) is the sixth book in Beverly Cleary’s middle-grade Ramona series. It follows spirited and curious Ramona as she balances her excitement about entering the third grade with her trepidation over the Quimby family’s financial struggles. Through her misadventures, Ramona learns her place in the family and how to stand up for herself at school using determination and creativity. Known for realistic fiction, Cleary organizes the novel in a series of... Read Ramona Quimby Age 8 Summary


Publication year 1975Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, Children's Literature

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Relationships: Marriage, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Identity: Femininity, Self DiscoveryTags Romance, Humor, Relationships, Depression / Suicide

Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Music, Life/Time: The PastTags Magical Realism, Humor

Reservation Blues tells the story of Coyote Springs, a Spokane Indian rock band. The band is founded on a reservation, slowly gathers fans, and begins to play shows. Coyote Springs is given the chance to audition for a major record company in New York City, but, ultimately, the band does not succeed. The book combines traditional narrative with a mixture of other narrative techniques, including newspaper articles, song lyrics, interviews, and excerpts from journals. Together... Read Reservation Blues Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionTags Humor, Romance, Satire, Asian Literature

Rich People Problems, a contemporary romantic comedy of manners, was published in 2017. It is the third and final book in Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians” trilogy, which includes the first installment, the eponymous Crazy Rich Asians (2013), and the second, China Rich Girlfriend (2015). Crazy Rich Asians was adapted into a film, released in 2018 and starring Constance Wu and Michelle Yeoh. The film was a box-office success.Plot SummaryRich People Problems opens with the... Read Rich People Problems Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Identity: Masculinity, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: Education, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Humor, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionTags Romance, Humor, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 1872Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Society: Immigration, Society: Colonialism, Society: Politics & Government, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Classic Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Travel Literature, Humor, American Literature

Roughing It (1872) is the second major work by American humorist Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens). It recounts his experiences during the Nevada silver rush of the 1860s. After his failed attempts to make a fortune as a miner, Twain would later achieve prominence as a lecturer and writer. He initially drew acclaim for his fanciful short story entitled “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” (1865). His best-known titles include The Innocents Abroad (1869)... Read Roughing It Summary


Publication year 2002Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self Discovery, Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags LGBTQ, Mental Illness, Humor

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs was first published in 2002 as a memoir. After several of the figures it features sued for defamation and dishonesty of its claims, however, it was recategorized as a book. It can also be classified as a bildungsroman since it follows the adolescent growth of its narrator and protagonist. Running with Scissors was adapted into a feature film in 2006.This guide uses the 2002 Picador edition of the book.Content... Read Running With Scissors Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Mythology, Humor, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Race, Society: Class, Relationships: MarriageTags Romance, Humor, Race / Racism

Publication year 1773Genre Play, FictionThemes Society: Class, Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Win & LoseTags Humor, Classic Fiction, Play: Comedy / Satire

She Stoops to Conquer is a play by British writer Oliver Goldsmith, first performed in 1773. The play is a comedy of manners and a romance set in 18th-century England. Goldsmith was an Anglo-Irish poet and dramatist and this play is his most popular and well-known work, with performances still regularly occurring in the 21st century. In 1778, John O'Keeffe wrote a successful sequel to the play, entitled Tony Lumpkin in Town. She Stoops to... Read She Stoops to Conquer Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: DisabilityTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, Grief / Death

Publication year 1978Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: CommunityTags Humor, Magical Realism, Education

Publication year 2014Genre Graphic Memoir , NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Order & ChaosTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Humor, Holidays & Occasions

Skipping Christmas is a 2001 satirical novella by John Grisham. It tells the story of Luther and Nora Krank, a married couple whose adult daughter, Blair, moves to Peru a month before Christmas. Facing their first Christmas without their daughter, and disillusioned by the holiday’s excesses, they decide to forego Christmas that year and go on a cruise instead. However, their decision brings them into conflict with their friends and neighbors, who expect them to... Read Skipping Christmas Summary