Growing Reader

Tween

Books Like Dog Man: 13 Reads for Fans of Dav Pilkey

by Devon A. Corneal

Dav Pilkey, beloved author of the Captain Underpants series, has also delighted readers with the adventures of its part canine, part cop protagonist, Dog Man. If your child can’t wait for the next Dog Man installment, we have some suggestions for books and series we think they’ll love. All have laugh-out-loud plots and fun-filled illustrations to keep reluctant readers and the adults who love them engaged. These are books the whole family can enjoy!

  • Caveboy Dave Series

    by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Phil McAndrew

    Travel back to the Stone Age and meet Dave Unga-Bunga — a kid just trying to figure out his destiny in a world filled with prehistoric monsters and itchy clothing. More Scrawny Than Brawny, the first graphic novel in the fast-paced Cowboy Dave series, will delight readers looking for drama, laughs, and the backstory of how the fork might have been invented. For even bigger laughs, check out Not So Faboo, book two in the series.

  • Max and the Midknights

    by Lincoln Peirce

    Max may be expected to become a troubadour, just like his Uncle Budrick, but he truly dreams of someday becoming a brave knight instead. Then villainous King Gastley takes Budrick captive and it’s up to Max to assemble a group of kids, a.k.a. the Midknights, to help him rescue his uncle. This graphic novel is a delightfully silly and laugh-filled adventure set during the Middle Ages.

  • The Yeti Files Series

    by Kevin Sherry

    Meet the Bigfeet is the first in a wonderful series about a really nice guy named Blizz Richards who, in addition to being a good friend and great boss, is also a yeti. Please don’t hold it against him. Blizz and his friends are cryptids — animals determined to hide from human view — but they have feelings too. Funny, unexpected, and engaging, kids looking for a new animal-based series are going to love it.

  • Dragonbreath Series

    by Ursula Vernon

    So what if Danny Dragonbreath can’t breathe fire? He’s got lots of other talents, like, ummm, well ... Okay, so Danny doesn’t have a lot of talents. But he does have friends, a sense of adventure, and a talented and creative author who brings those adventures to life in vivid text and comic book illustrations.

  • The Bad Guys Series

    by Aaron Blabey

    The stars of this series are your quintessential bad guys: a wolf, shark, snake, and piranha. You know, with dangerous, sharp teeth, vicious attitudes, and bad reputations. But these bad guys would like to turn things around — do a good deed, be a hero for once. With plenty of wit and bold illustrations, these characters will keep your kids coming back for more.

  • Comics Squad Series

    by various authors and illustrators

    Don’t want to choose just one collection? Love multiple authors? Then the Comics Squad series is for you! Comics Squad: Recess! is the first in the series, and it’s a laugh-out-loud compilation of comics from Jennifer and Matthew Holm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Dan Santat, Raina Telgemeier, Jeffrey Brown, Cece Bell, and more. There is something for everyone in these awesome stories about the important things in a kid’s life: recess, lunch, and, gulp, detention.

  • Stick Dog Series

    by Tom Watson

    Stick Dog is drawn the way I would draw a comic book — with stick figures and some pretty sketchy coloring. What Stick Dog lacks in complex illustrations, however, it makes up for with its awesome plot, hungry dogs with names like Poo Poo, Mutt, Karen, and Stripes, and the hunt for their favorite meal. Get ready to laugh (and crave a burger or two) in this first of many Stick Dog adventures.

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series

    by Jeff Kinney

    This series truly is a set of novels in a cartoon format. Jeff Kinney’s protagonist Greg Heffley seems to always find himself in unfortunate (and also hilarious) situations, which he meticulously chronicles in his diary. Thank goodness, or we wouldn’t have the chance to commiserate with him as he tries to get through the hazards of middle school, the perilous days of summer, and everything in between.

  • Lucy and Andy Neanderthal Series

    by Jeffrey Brown

    Kids who love humor and natural history are in luck with this series that follows the adventures and mischief of Neanderthal siblings Lucy and Andy. Inspired by his visits to The Field Museum of Natural History, Jeffrey Brown deftly weaves fact into laugh-out-loud fiction, including modern-day interludes featuring museum historians teaching kids about life in the Stone Age.

  • Big Nate Series

    by Lincoln Peirce

    Nate is amazingly optimistic given the day he’s having — forgetting his lunch, crashing into the principal, and insulting the meanest teacher in school. Nate, however, is always looking ahead to great things. Nate just knows his life is going to be BIG. Readers will appreciate Nate’s sense of humor and the changes in perspective that author Lincoln Peirce creates when he lets Nate doodle in the story. This series will keep you laughing and rooting for Nate, no matter what.

  • Star Wars Jedi Academy Series

    by Jeffrey Brown

    Roan is about to learn that school is hard for everyone, including Jedis. Not even Master Yoda can save Roan from the awkwardness that comes from being the newest kid at Jedi Academy, although learning how to lift boulders with the Force is going to make things a little easier. Filled with unexpected illustrations of young Star Wars characters, this series is a must for any fans of George Lucas’s galaxy far, far away.

  • The Treehouse Books Series

    by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton

    Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton have created every kid’s dream — a magical, wild, crazy treehouse filled with every possible animal, invention, luxury, and marshmallow. Lots of snark, plenty of fun, hysterical illustrations, and adventures galore await readers brave enough to climb up into this one-of-a-kind hideaway.

  • A Binky Adventure Series

    by Ashley Spires

    Binky has never, ever left the house. Really. He’s a true house cat. Except in his mind, Binky is a space cat in training, ready to take on the dangerous outside world. With his trusty companion Ted (a stuffed, but very brave, mouse), the sky’s the limit for this intrepid explorer. This series delivers slapstick comedy, dry humor, and plenty of misadventures for your elementary school readers.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2019.