Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever.

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. Book Poster Image
Humor collection offers message of strength -- with a smile.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Some information on puberty and getting your period. Some tips on developing and delivering jokes.

Positive Messages

Strong messages about self-confidence and empowering yourself with humor. Instead of letting a bad moment hold power over you, you can decide it's funny and own it. Try to tune out boos and instead focus on positive hecklers. Everyone has experienced moments of humiliation (and lived to tell jokes about it). A good joke requires confidence, practice, and the willingness to take risks. Friends value you for who you are, not what you have. Everyone's family seems a little weird or crazy to outsiders.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lots of affectionate portrayals of families; some friction, but always lots of love and warmth. Many strong, confident girls handling funny mishaps and overcoming embarrassment.

Violence & Scariness

Girl recalls punching boy who teased her.

Language

Occasional juvenile language including "pee" and "poopyhead."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. is a strong collection of short stories, personal essays, comics, tips, and jokes by 26 female writers and artists and compiled by Betsy Bird. Some are frank confessionals (like the time Carmen Agra Deedy's mom set a bathtub on fire -- on purpose), and some are just silly (an advice column written by a dog and a cat). Many stories are refreshingly frank (and funny) for tween girls, matter-of-factly discussing periods, an older sister's prized bra, getting hair "down there," and embarrassing yourself in public. Contributors include Cece Bell (El Deafo), Lisa Brown (Emily's Blue Period), Kelly DiPucchio (Zombie in Love), Shannon Hale (Princess Academy series), Lenore Look (Alvin Ho), Mitali Perkins (Secret Keeper), Raina Telgemeier (Ghosts), and Ursula Vernon (Hamster Princess series).

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What's the story?

FUNNY GIRL: FUNNIEST. STORIES. EVER. presents a mix of personal essays, funny fiction, comics, joke-telling tips, and more, many turning typically cringe-worthy moments (a mangled bra, tripping in front of your crush, bleeding through your jeans) into amusing -- and empowering -- stories.

Is it any good?

The rock-star talents behind this entertaining anthology help kids find the humor in the moment -- and be stronger for it. Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. isn't only a book for girls -- tween boys can learn a thing or two here, as well. Humor is presented as a superpower, as armor for your self-esteem. And what better way to make that point than with howlingly funny -- and true! -- accounts of mortifying moments and short fiction that resonates with tweens.

Highlights include Carmen Agra Deedy's hysterical retelling of the way her Cuban mother cleaned bathtubs with flames, Alison DeCamp's adorable back and forth with a girl pressing her patient grandfather to give her money so she can have "the newest everything" to impress a friend, Akilah Hughes' true story about a humiliating wardrobe failure, Mitali Perkins' "Brown Girl Pop Quiz," and Adrianne Chalepah's advice on how to be funny.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why these creative authors and illustrators put together Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever., a collection of humor by and especially for girls. What material in this book do you especially relate to?

  • Why is embarrassment such a common theme? Have you used humor to make an embarrassing moment less upsetting?

  • Try writing a funny story of your own, or practice your joke-telling.

Book details

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