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Middle Grade Monday – There aren’t any Wimpy Kid books in?!!

I was recently asked by a staff member to come up with a list of suggestions for her 3rd grader who has read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books ‘a million times.’ I run into this problem quite often. Students get fixated on a particular author, series, or format of books and are reluctant to try anything new. I understand their pain; I have favorite books that I reread on a regular basis. They are both comforting in their familiarity and enlightening in their ability to show me new aspects to the story and/or characters each time.

This list is for all of those students who are fixated on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series of books and need emergency care when they are all checked out. It’s not intended to be exhaustive, and seems to land heavily on the male protagonist side. Most of them are also the first book in a series – yay, more to read! Please feel free to add your suggestion in the comments!

“In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel.”

“Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he’s got an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school’s oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class–5,000 points! Running in the hallway–10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm–50,000 points! But when Rafe’s game starts to catch up with him, he’ll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he’s finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he’s been avoiding.”

 

“Roan’s one dream is to leave home and attend Pilot Academy like his older brother, father, and grandfather. But just as Roan is mysteriously denied entrance to Pilot School, he is invited to attend Jedi Academy–a school that he didn’t apply to and only recruits children when they are just a few years old. That is, until now…

This inventive novel follows Roan’s first year at Jedi Academy where, under the tutelage of Master Yoda, he learns that he possesses more strength and potential than he could have ever dreamed. Oh, and he learns other important things too–like how to make a baking soda volcano, fence with a lightsaber, slow dance with a girl, and lift boulders with the Force.”

“Nick is the shortest seventh-grader in the history of the world (he’s pretty sure), doesn’t fit in with any groups or clubs (who needs ‘em?), and spends more time inside than outside his locker (they’re roomier than you’d think). Things only get worse when a well-intentioned guidance counselor forces Nick to join the school’s lamest club-along with fellow misfits Molly and Karl-in her quest to cure all three of their “peer allergies.” What starts off as a reluctant band of hopeless oddballs morphs into an effective and empowered team ready to face whatever middle school throws at them, including bullies, awkward romance, zany adults, and a brave new world of surprising friendships.”

Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn’t hard enough, the kids he seems to have made friends with apparently aren’t kids at all. They are aliens. Real aliens who have invaded our planet in the form of school children and a hamster. They have a mission to complete: to convince 3,140,001 kids to BE SPHDZ.

But with a hamster as their leader, “kids” who talk like walking advertisements, and Michael K as their first convert, will the SPHDZ be able to keep their cover and pull off their assignment? – See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.net/SPHDZ-Book-1!/Jon-Scieszka/Spaceheadz/9781442419865#sthash.Es9qN7tU.dpuf

 “Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn’t hard enough, the kids he seems to have made friends with apparently aren’t kids at all. They are aliens. Real aliens who have invaded our planet in the form of school children and a hamster. They have a mission to complete: to convince 3,140,001 kids to BE SPHDZ.

But with a hamster as their leader, “kids” who talk like walking advertisements, and Michael K as their first convert, will the SPHDZ be able to keep their cover and pull off their assignment?”

“Take Timmy Failure — the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile — Timmy’s mom’s Segway — and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won’t have to stress out about the bills anymore. Of course, Timmy’s plan does not include the four-foot-tall female whose name shall not be uttered. And it doesn’t include Rollo Tookus, who is so obsessed with getting into “Stanfurd” that he can’t carry out a no-brainer spy mission. From the offbeat creator of Pearls Before Swine comes an endearingly bumbling hero in a caper whose peerless hilarity is accompanied by a whodunit twist. With perfectly paced visual humor, Stephan Pastis gets you snorting with laughter, then slyly carries the joke a beat further — or sweetens it with an unexpected poignant moment — making this a comics-inspired story (the first in a new series) that truly stands apart from the pack.”

“Ten-year-old Nathan Abercrombie is having a really bad day. First, Shawna Lanchester, the prettiest girl in his class, doesn’t invite him to her party. Then he gets picked last in gym class. Things couldn’t get any worse…until he gets doused with an experimental serum that turns him into a half-dead zombie!
Nathan soon discovers that being half dead isn’t all bad. He doesn’t need any sleep, so he can stay up all night and play games online. He doesn’t feel any pain, so there’s no need to worry about Rodney the bully anymore. Still, Nathan would rather be human. Will he find a cure? Or will Nathan be half-dead forever?”

“The Dry Creek Middle School drinking fountain has sprung a leak, so principal Walter Russ dashes off a request to Flowing Waters Fountains, Etc.

…We need a new drinking fountain. Please send a catalog.
Designer Flo Waters responds:
“I’d be delighted…but please understand that all of my fountains are custom-made.”
Soon the fountain project takes on a life of its own, one chronicled in letters, postcards, memos, transcripts, and official documents. The school board president is up in arms. So is Dee Eel, of the water-supply company. A scandal is brewing, and Mr. Sam N.’s fifth grade class is turning up a host of hilarious secrets buried deep beneath the fountain.”

” Ignatius B. Grumply moves into the Victorian mansion at 43 Old Cemetery Road hoping to find some peace and quiet so he can crack a wicked case of writer’s block. But 43 Old Cemetery Road is already occupied by eleven-year-old Seymour, his cat Shadow, and an irritable ghost named Olive. It’s hard to say who is more outraged. But a grumpy old ghost just might inspire this grumpy old man–and the abandoned kid? Well, let’s just say his last name’s Hope.”

“Read the hilarious, candid (& sometimes mean) diaries of Jamie Kelly, who promises that everything in her diary is true…or at least as true as it needs to be. In this book, Jamie contends with Angeline, the school’s prettiest, most popular girl (who Jamie thinks is a goon!) and the impending visit of her troll-like little cousin. Will Jamie survive? Will she go mad? Will she send her mom’s nasty casserole to starving children in Wheretheheckistan? You’ll just have to read the first installment of Dear Dumb Diary to find out!”

“Dork Diaries follows eighth grader Nikki Maxwell as she chronicles through text and sketches her move to a snooty new school; her epic battle with her mom for an iPhone; her enthusiasm for drawing and art; and a love/hate fascination with the new school’s queen bee, a girl named Mackenzie, who becomes Nikki’s rival in a schoolwide art competition. Nikki writes about friendships, crushes, popularity, and family with a unique and fresh voice that still conveys a universal authenticity. Nikki’s sketches throughout her diary add humor and spunk to the book, a surefire hit with tween girl readers.”

Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn’t hard enough, the kids he seems to have made friends with apparently aren’t kids at all. They are aliens. Real aliens who have invaded our planet in the form of school children and a hamster. They have a mission to complete: to convince 3,140,001 kids to BE SPHDZ.

But with a hamster as their leader, “kids” who talk like walking advertisements, and Michael K as their first convert, will the SPHDZ be able to keep their cover and pull off their assignment? – See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.net/SPHDZ-Book-1!/Jon-Scieszka/Spaceheadz/9781442419865#sthash.Es9qN7tU.dp

Comments

  1. Great suggestions, Robin! I think I might make a display out of this.

  2. Just updated my Wimpy Kid Readalikes booklist. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Happy to help!

  4. We also like Big Nate!

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