Books like “Hyperbole and a Half”
October 12, 2020 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Seeking books like “Hyperbole and a Half” for a bright 9 year old who doesn’t normally like to read.

Bright, sensitive 9 year old doesn’t usually like reading, but adores Hyperbole and a Half. (And to a slightly lesser degree Solutions and Other Problems.)

I suspect he likes:
- laugh-out-loud funny
- goofy and unexpected
- silly cartons to break up the text
- absurd but relatable
- discrete chapters that don’t need to be read in order
- nothing too scary (I know, varies by kid)

He’s also liked Captain Underpants. The goal is to move toward more advanced text and themes.

Can you recommend more like it? Prefer paperback books but would also consider blogs etc.

Thanks MeFi!
posted by nicodine to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
At that age I loved Calvin and Hobbes treasuries. And Far Side.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 7:07 PM on October 12, 2020 [13 favorites]

Perhaps Lumberjanes would hit the spot?
posted by humbug at 7:08 PM on October 12, 2020 [3 favorites]

DC Comics is doing a series of graphic novels - I can't vouch for all of them, but Shannon Hale, author of the Princess in Black series, wrote Diana, Princess of the Amazons which is an action-packed, silly-but-sometimes-suspenseful graphic novel about young Wonder Woman. There are many other books in the series.
posted by rogerroger at 7:15 PM on October 12, 2020

It's a bit different, but I immediately thought of "What If" by Randall Munroe (of XKCD fame). YMMV, but for me, it hits some of the same delightfully absurd notes as Hyperbole & a Half. The What If section of the XKCD site is also worth reading -- it was the precursor to the book, and several of the chapters were adapted from there.
posted by yuwtze at 7:43 PM on October 12, 2020 [7 favorites]

Hark! A Vagrant! is a very similar vibe. There are a few adult themed ones, but if said kid can handle Hyperbole then he deserves to know the glory of Fat Pony. Also, he will be tricked into learning history!
posted by theweasel at 7:58 PM on October 12, 2020 [6 favorites]

Soonish, by Zach and Kelly Weinersmith
posted by nickggully at 8:50 PM on October 12, 2020

Strange Planet!!

My son loves Strange Planet and Hyperbole and a half. I do too!
posted by beccaj at 9:49 PM on October 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ursula Vernon’s Hamster Princess does need to be read in order, but there are lots of illustrations - including segments that are straight up graphic novel, word balloons and all. Extremely snarky humor. Sequels if it takes! BUT it might be marked too Girl, depending.
posted by clew at 9:41 AM on October 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sounds like our kids have very similar taste. Which means I can strongly recommend "Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales", which are an impeccable mix of goofy humor and actual history in cartoon form.

(I'll also second the recommendation above for What If, which remains high on our bedtime reading list despite us both having basically memorized it from years of bedtime re-reading)
posted by ook at 10:11 AM on October 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

My nine year old went from Captain Underpants to the Diary of a Wimpy kid books. He also loves Calvin & Hobbes and re-reads them a lot, and he's into Hilo and Bad Guys. I am not sure of the reading level of those last two, so no idea if it's a step up, but it's relevant for kids who like CU!
posted by hought20 at 10:44 AM on October 13, 2020

Allie Brosh reminds me of Jenny Lawson, who doesn't do comics, but has a very similar sense of humor. She has both a blog and several books (mostly collections of essays/true stories). I started reading them out loud to my daughter when she was 9, I think, partly to censor some of the swearing, and partly to pick out the funny ones.
posted by Margalo Epps at 5:03 PM on November 2, 2020

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