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Tom McLaughlin’s top 10 hilarious books

We all need to laugh, it’s my middle name, or at least it’s in the middle of my last name which is sort of the same – right? Anyway, I’ve made a list of rib ticklers, elbow gigglers and spine chucklers that’ll hopefully give you a laugh or two. This list of is made up of books that made me smile as a kid and ones that I have read over the years to my children that have had us lol-ing and indeed rofl-ing like loons. So put your big clown shoes on, make sure your red nose is attached and get your custard pies at the ready… ahem… in no particular order.

My top 10 hilarious books

Please note: all book links lead to more information on Amazon.co.uk

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾

Sue Townsend
Suitable for children aged 9+

This was like my bible as a child, the bench mark to which all books were compared. I read, reread and rereread. Imagine Wimpy Kid but set in the post-industrial midlands.

Buy on Amazon

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Jeff Kinney
Suitable for children aged 7+

Imagine Adrian Mole but with a tan and nice teeth. This is one I’ve read to my kids, always funny, also it inspired my kids to pick up a pencil and get doodling.

Buy on Amazon

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

Charles M Schulz
Suitable for children aged 4+

I fell in love with Charlie Brown and Snoopy as a child. The drawings were fantastically simple and humour was layered with complexity, hope and belief. A great book, not just for Halloween, but for life.

Buy on Amazon

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Roald Dahl
Suitable for children aged 8+

What? Did I spell ‘chocolate factory’ wrong? No, I mean it. I remember being given this after I’d worn out Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and setting myself for disappointment, but it’s a hoot. Watch out for those Vermicious Knids.

Buy on Amazon

Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire

Andy Stanton, David Tazzyman
Suitable for children aged 9+

I could have picked any of the Mr Gum books – they’re brilliantly anarchic, silly and full of brilliant stories. This was one of the books that I loved reading to my boys at bed time. David Tazzyman’s wonderful illustrations make this a must!

Buy on Amazon

Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder

Jo Nesbø
Suitable for children aged 7+

It’s great to see an adult author stop messing around with grown-up fiction and write a real book for a change. This is great favourite in my house. One man’s dream to be the world’s greatest inventor, it’s got everything: intrigue, dastardly plans and exploding bottoms.

Buy on Amazon

To Wee or Not to Wee

Pamela Butchart, Thomas Flintham
Suitable for children aged 7+

This was one of my son’s favourites. He polished this one off in one sitting, to the point I had to ask him what it was that was so interesting. His answer involved a blow-by-blow account of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. This is a great book to get kids laughing and reading about history. Speaking of which…

Buy on Amazon

Horrible Histories

Terry Deary, Martin Brown
Suitable for children aged 7+

It’s hard to pick one book from this vast catalogue of books and so I’m not going to, so there *sticks tongue out*. History is a veritable buffet of adventure, laughs and ‘what the heck!’, and with this series you can go anywhere, from the First World War to the Tudors. There is something for everyone. Funny, interesting and full of facts. Perfect!

Buy on Amazon

Barry Loser

Jim Smith
Suitable for children aged 7+

This incredible series has is jam packed with chuckles. Easy to read, full of jokes that work for kids and grown-up too, plus throw in the fact that Jim Smith draws all the drawing too and what have you got? My arch nemesis, no, sorry, I mean a brilliant collection books! Sorry, I always get those two mixed up.

Buy on Amazon

The Beano

Suitable for children aged 7+

Wait, does this count as a book, or is it a comic? You get comic books, but are they real books? Well, frankly I don’t care, I loved the Beano as a child and as I haven’t really grown up, I still do. My kids do too. It’s naughty, funny, and brilliantly drawn. Great for those who like their funnies in bite-size form.

Visit the website

Now, what are you still doing looking at this – don’t you have some reading to be getting on with?!


More from Oxford Owl


Books by Tom McLaughlin

The Accidental Billionaire

Tom McLaughlin
Suitable for children aged 7+

Jasper Spam’s science experiments usually tend to end in a BANG, until one day he quite accidentally manages to invent something that will change the world forever.
A poorly aimed laser beam results in Jasper’s cat Rover, becoming the world’s first talking cat, and soon people are handing over all of their cash to get one for themselves. With his new-found wealth Jasper can finally live the life he’s always dreamed of. But there is a huge price to pay for bringing talking cats to the world, and money won’t solve the problem…

Buy on Amazon

The Accidental Prime Minister

Tom McLaughlin
Suitable for children aged 7+

When Joe tells a local news reporter exactly what he would do if he were leader of the country, the video goes viral and Joe’s speech becomes famous all over the world! Before long, people are calling for the current leader to resign and give someone else a go . . . and that’s how an ordinary boy like Joe ended up with the most extraordinary job. Now the fun can really start. A hilarious story of one boy’s meteoric rise to power!

Buy on Amazon

The Accidental Secret Agent

Tom McLaughlin
Suitable for children aged 7+

The secret service makes a major mix up when they mistake 13-year-old school boy Kevin for a secret agent. (So much for an ‘intelligence’ agency)! Kevin’s the kind of kid who would zip wire across a building and end up head first in a fountain with his bum on show. Exactly not the kind of kid that you would want having access to James Bond-style spy gadgets. Yet it’s down to Kevin to save us all from an evil supervillain. Schoolboy turns secret agent in this hilarious spy spoof!

Buy on Amazon