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MG Fiction to Make You Snort Milk out Your Nose
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MG Fiction to Make You Snort Milk out Your Nose

By 49thShelf
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Here's a great list of middle grade fiction, by Anna Humphrey, whose latest book is Clara Humble: Quiz Whiz When it comes to middle grade fiction, silliness is a serious business. After all, kids in this age group are just beginning to delve into chapter books independently, and if there’s a more sure-fire way to make them readers for life than to get them laughing, I don’t have the first clue what it might be. Our nation’s middle grade writers are masters in the art of mixing big laughs with huge heart, then punctuating it with the occasional perfectly-timed fart joke, and I’m thrilled to share just a few of my recent favourite, funny Canadian middle grade titles.
Wolfie and Fly

Wolfie and Fly

by Cary Fagan
illustrated by Zoe Si
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
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Why it's on the list ...
Renata Wolfman (Wolfie) is a lone wolf. She wears the same thing every day (a white T-shirt, overalls and sneakers), and spends her time the same way (reading books—preferably while avoiding all human interaction).
It’s hardly surprisingly that she’s not-at-all jazzed when Fly, the offbeat, super-chatty, annoyingly sing-songy boy next door bursts into her living room and draws her into an underwater adventure in a submarine made from a refrigerator box. Sipping juice boxes on the ocean floor? Being attacked by a pirate-piloted toast-spewing submarine? The kids end up in magical and unexpected situations that even Wolfie has to admit are fun.
Wolfie’s impatience with the always-exuberant Fly had me smiling all the way through this chapter book. The magic of the story makes for fun, fast reading while Zoe Si’s illustrations up the charm factor. This is the first in a series and I can hardly wait for Wolfie and Fly’s next adventure.
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Zorgamazoo

Zorgamazoo

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
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Why it's on the list ...
This is an older (2008) title, but it’s new to me, and my seven-year-old son and I can’t put it down. With a Dr. Seuss-like rhythm and sensibility, this 281 page novel—written entirely in rhyming verse—is both really really really impressive from a grown-up writer’s point of view and completely delightful from a kid’s.
Young Katrina Katrell has been abandoned by her jet-setting parents and left in the care of a wicked guardian, Mrs. Krabone. While escaping the lobotomy Mrs. Krabone has planned to control her impulsive ways, Katrina meets Morty, a “zorgle” (a horned & hairy creature who wears a tie). Morty is trying to find out where the missing zorgles of Zorgamazoo have gone, and Katrina joins him in his quest.
To solve the mystery, the new friends travel from the “real” world into Zorgamazoo and then onward to the moon. It’s as weird and wonderful as it sounds. Truly a beastly, boisterous read that bops along and just begs to be read aloud.
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Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week
Why it's on the list ...
Jasper John Dooley is so SO excited for his turn to be the star of the week. He’s got it planned out down to the last detail…
But when his friend Ori’s new baby sister gets born, Jasper’s special week suddenly pales in comparison. Jasper brings in a box of dryer lint for his special show and tell only to get upstaged by questions about the new baby… and when he presents his family tree to the class, it’s actually more of a family stick (but what can you do when you aren’t lucky enough to have a new baby and your family’s only got three people?)
Jasper’s quirky way of seeing the world (e.g., “Detergent is ketchup to a washing machine”) and his struggle to stand out and be a star had me laughing and cheering him on from the first page of Caroline Adderson’s six-book series, which is adorably illustrated by Ben Clanton.
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The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library
Why it's on the list ...
“I knew this would happen,” said Ma. “I told her and told her—stop reading! It’s dangerous!”
Eddie’s Aunt Min left several days ago on an adventure to the library, and nobody has seen her since. It wouldn’t be so terrifying if Eddie’s Grandpa George hadn’t suffered a tragic death on p. 131 of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz when a careless child slammed the book shut. Now Eddie must make the daring trek—all the way from his home in a crack behind the blackboard in room 19—to the school library.
Kids will love seeing the familiar landscape of school from a little green beetle’s perspective as he boldly goes where no nearly no bug has gone before, dodging a spider, a mouse, and lots of squishers (humans who stomp on bugs). What’s more, it’s all in the name of a love of reading and—and ultimately, becomes a quest to save the library itself.
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The Awesome, Almost 100% True Adventures of Matt & Craz
Why it's on the list ...
Matt loves drawing. Craz loves writing. And together they love creating comics. Their masterpieces so far include Butt-Ugly Bob and The Adventures of Mary the Meatball Sub… but the editor of the school paper isn’t a fan, and try as they might they can’t get their creations published.
Things take a turn toward the magical, however, when the boys order a cartooning kit online. It promises to get their cartoons noticed and change their lives… and when it arrives, the magical pen in the kit makes good on the internet ad’s claim by turning their cartoons into reality.
At first it’s all fantastic fun, but as the boys get bolder in their drawings, things get completely out of control. This book from Sid Fleischman Award-winner Alan Silberberg demonstrates the power of friendship while mixing fast-paced middle-grade hijinx with cartoons that will make kids chuckle.
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Tank & Fizz: The Case of the Slime Stampede

Tank & Fizz: The Case of the Slime Stampede

by Liam O'Donnell
illustrated by Mike Deas
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
“The principal’s car got eaten first.”
With an opening sentence like this, I knew the Tank & Fizz series would be middle grade gold. Slick City is a quirky community of ogres, trolls, goblins and monsters—not to mention a hub of technological development. All the same, Mr. Snag, Gravelmuck Elementary School’s ogre custodian, still relies on old-fashioned cleaning slimes in his job.
When the slimes are released and run amok, Mr. Snag gets arrested, and the eight-legged Principal Weaver hires the suspicious Mr. Zallin to replace him. Convinced that Mr. Snag is innocent, Tank and Fizz (two fourth graders who happen to be a troll and a goblin) use their detective and engineering skills to find out who done it.
Half graphic novel, half mystery novel this book not only entertains at every turn but has a gross-out factor (with plenty of boogers, slime and breakfast cereal made of bugs) that most middle-graders will love.
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Slacker
Why it's on the list ...
In Slacker, Cameron Boxer has perfected his “lifestyle”: doing as little as possible at school and spending all his time playing video games. Everything’s on track, until disaster strikes in the form of “the Great Ziti Inferno” where Cam’s house catches fire when he’s too busy playing video games to remember to take dinner out of the oven. Cam’s parents decide that enough’s enough. They insist he unplug and do something meaningful with his life.
So Cam and his friends invent a fake club called the Positive Action Group to throw off his parents. The club has no goals and zero purpose, but it soon attracts the attention of do-gooder Daphne, who wants to save an endangered beaver named Elvis. And before long, a host of other kids who genuinely want to make a difference start joining, making it the largest club in the school. Can the biggest slacker ever find a way to get out of this without actually contributing to improving his community?
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Clara Humble: Quiz Whiz
Why it's on the list ...
Anna Humphrey's new book is out now, the second in her Clara Humble series.
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