Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. Edited by Betsy Bird. Viking, 2017.
It was the author list and associated cartoons on Betsy Bird’s blog, a Fuse #8 Production, that first drew me to this book (I can no longer find the cartoons, though they were hilarious. But you can read Betsy’s initial announcement of the book ) There are lots of authors I’ve read and enjoyed for comedy, and a very diverse selection of authors I was less familiar with, including Raina Telgemeier, Shannon Hale, Ursula Vernon, Cece Bell, Lenore Look, Carmen Agra Deedy, Akilah Hughes, Rita Williams-Garcia and Michelle Garcia, Mitali Perkins, Christine Mari Unzer. I don’t really like writing one-sentence summaries of lots of different stories. This made my Top 10 Books from the First Half of 2017 list because so many of them were funny enough that I read them aloud, some more than once (“One Hot Mess” by Carmen Agra Deedy, I’m looking at you.) Some of them are appropriate for younger children, while others, touching on periods or bikini mishaps, seem a better fit for middle school and up. Both my son and daughter enjoyed reading this, both listening and reading to themselves. I could see this working well in a classroom setting, keeping students happily entertained without the commitment of a full novel. There is deeper philosophy behind this, about why it is that boys are assumed to be funnier than girls – but maybe just listening to these stories could keep that prejudice from ever taking root in children.
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