Best read alouds for 5th grade boy – humorous possibly

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  • keechivalley

    We just finished a very heavy amount of reading on World War 2 and Communism and the Cold War and while I enjoy history tremendously it has left me wanting to have some fun and lighthearted moments with our reading for awhile.

    I looking for some fresh or possibly overlooked gems that I can use for some family read alouds.  I am mostly looking for things that are humorous (and intelligent) but not ridiculous and well written of course.  The best examples I can think of right now are Paddington and Winnie the Pooh (the original unabridged stories of course).  I enjoyed reading these aloud and 10 yod son still picks them up and rereads them.  I really think the humor in them is great (especially the sarcasm in Pooh) and probably is lost on most children.  I’m not sure I would have gotten it as a 9 yod but certainly wouldn’t have at 4 or 6.

    So, I’m wondering what we might have missed out there that has some humor and is fun to read aloud together.  I just ordered Hank the Cowdog, Mister Cleghorn’s Seal and The Trouble with Chickens.

    I’m considered Three Men in a Boat – has anyone here read it?  We read The Wonderful O by James Thurber last night.

    What read alouds have you found to be really enjoyable along these lines?



    Well, I only have girls (ages 7 to 12), but we have tremendously enjoyed Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and the sequel, Racso

    From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

    The Switherby Pilgrims (Australia during the 1830s) and the sequel Jamberoo Road

    My girls have enjoyed listening to and reading (and laughing out loud to) the Humphrey Series, the Rush Revere series, the Wayside School series.


    Five Children and It!


    By the Great Horn Spoon (gold rush time, very funny)

    The Phantom Tollbooth – even better if they have a copy to follow along for the word play! Or pull some copywork from it.


    We have read Five Children and It and by the Great Horn Spoon (really liked this one).

    I have The Phantom Tollbooth on my wishlist.  I didn’t know it was funny but I was curious if it was very much magic (ghosts or witches)??

    The Switherby Pilgrims looks interesting.




    Switherby Pilgrims was more drama than funny, but there were humorous moments in it. We were just all fascinated with it (and with Jamberoo Road).


    If you can find them at the library, the Freddy the Pig series by Walter Brooks might fit what you’re looking for. Freddy the Detective is one of our favorites.

    I also love Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. It’s not as dark as some of his other books and the main character is a boy.


    My youngest is on a Freddy kick right now.  My boys also loved Summer of the Monkeys.


    RobinP – Once you start with Freddy, it’s hard to stop, isn’t it? My youngest dd is 7 and she LOVES Freddy and understands the humor so much better than I would think she could. I wish I’d known of these when my other two (now 18 and 22) were younger!We are blessed to be able to find pretty much all of them at the library, though I think many are now reprinted and more readily available to buy.

    Also, the audios of the Freddy books (not all of them, but some by John McDonough are SUPERB!


    We enjoyed Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat.


    I lived owls in the family Too! Also Henry Reed Incorporated and the other Henry Reed books…very funny!


    My kids have enjoyed The Penderwicks. My son is in 5th grade. There are 3-4 different books.

    I’m reading Harry Potter books to them too. (they can read them to themselves, but I am a fan, so don’t mind reading them again)

    We liked Rats of Nimh also.

    He even liked Matilda.

    His favorite book is Spiderwick Chronicles. (I’m afraid he is going to be a fantasy nut like me.)

    We did Five children and it too.

    We are now starting journey to the center of the earth by Jules Vern

    we just finished Thimble Summer and even though it is written from a girl’s POV, he loved the book.

    Oh we are in the middle of Little Britches and he is loving that one too.





    Homer Price by Robert McCloskey

    Another vote for Summer of the Monkeys and Owls in the Family

    Both dc loved Paddington and Pooh.


    Stepping out on a limb…

    As dark as it can be, my boys just love the Lemony Snickets series.  My husband read the series to them a few years ago, and they now re-read and listen to the audio books incessantly.  It’s a dark humor, but witty and absurd at times.


    Half Magic by Edward Eager was one my DC all loved…we were all laughing at parts.  There is a whole series, inspired by E. Nesbit’s books.

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