FAST FORWARD FRIDAY – Great New Funny Stories by Joanne O’Connell

Joanne O’Connell’s debut book, BEAUTY AND THE BIN, comes out on February 18/21. Today, she’s sharing more great new funny stories with our readers.

Most of us could use a laugh right now (it’s the best medicine, right?) and that’s doubly true for children. Funny books are the perfect way to cheer readers up in troubled times. So, here’s a roundup of some great new stories to make you LOL even during lockdown. You’re welcome!  

Pizazz vs the New Kid: The super awesome new superhero series! 

By Sophy Henn. (out 7 January 2021, Simon & Schuster) 

HELLO! My name is PIZAZZ and I’m a superhero . . . You probably think that’s really AWESOME, and while it can be, it’s also REEEEEEEAAALLLLY annoying. 

So goes the latest fun, energetic read by illustrator and author Sophy Penn (she wrote the Pom Pom series, and the Bad Nana books). This is the second in the series about Pizazz, a child superhero who really wishes they could be normal.  

Mort the Meek and the Ravens’ Revenge 

By Rachel Delahaye (out 4 March 2021, Stripes Publishing). 

On Brutalia violence is a way of life. Ravenous ravens circle overhead, monstrous grot bears cause chaos, and the streets are bulging with brawls. But Mort isn’t like the other islanders – he’s determined to live peacefully… 

Mort is a boy who is determined to be a pacifist despite his gruesome upbringing – and the book is an adventure full of lots of ridiculous characters and predicaments.  

The Accidental Diary of B.U.G 

By Jen Carney. (Out 15 April 2021, Penguin Books) 

There is a new girl at Billie’s school, and Billie takes it upon herself to show her around, teach her the Biscuit Laws, and remind her that yes, two women can get married (after all, Billie’s mums’ wedding is the event of the year). But then suspicion sets in… The new girl seems very close to Billie’s best friend Layla. And doesn’t she know a little too much about the latest big school heist? 

Contemporary and funny, the diary of B.U.G is about friendship, (modern) families and dismantling biscuits. And the great news is that the second book in the series is also out in 2021. Not we’ve not got long to wait!  

Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Space 

By Katie Tsang, Kevin Tsang and illustrated by Nathan Reed (6 August 2020) 

Sam Wu is not afraid of many things. Definitely not ghosts, sharks, the dark, spiders or EVEN zombies! But space, well … 

In this brilliantly funny book, Sam gets the chance to go to Space Camp with his friends for the summer. All eyes are on winning the Space Camp Challenge trophy but it’s tricky being away from home and not everyone is a team player. 

You could read it as a standalone but it’s even better if you read the full Sam Wu series. 

Orphans of St Halibuts  

By Sophie Wills, illustrated by David Tazzyman. 

After the accidental demise and hasty burial of their beastly matron, life has been pretty perfect for the pupils of St. Halibuts. But they still have to put on a facade of normality for the postmistress and visiting inspectors. They don’t want anyone finding out they’re in the orphanage alone… 

This one’s a real page turner, full of stolen cakes, grumpy goats and some pretty major explosions. The pages are packed with fun. 

The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh  

By Helen Rutter. (Out 4 February, Scholastic). 

Billy Plimpton is an eleven-year-old boy with a big dream. He wants to be a stand-up comedian when he grows up. A tough career for anyone, but surely impossible for Billy, who has a stammer. How will he find his voice, if his voice won’t let him speak? 

This is an against all odds, laugh-out-loud story, with an inspiring, heartfelt message for all readers.   

The Incredible Record Smashers 

By Jenny Pearson 

Lucy is a fixer of broken things. But there’s one thing she can’t fix and that’s her unhappy mum. Until she comes up with an INCREDIBLE plan. Along with her best friend, Sandesh, Lucy is going to SMASH a world record. But breaking a world RECORD when watermelons, kumquats, two baddies and a 30cm shatter-resistant school ruler are involved isn’t quite as easy as Lucy thought… 

Laugh-out-loud, while also dealing with difficult situations (Lucy’s mum suffers from depression) this is the brilliant next read from the author of The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates. 

Joanne O’Connell is a journalist, and author of Beauty and the Bin (‘a fresh and funny debut about friends, family, school and being a young eco-warrior’) which is out with Pan Macmillan on 18 February 2021. When she’s not writing for national newspapers and glossy magazines, Joanne whips up #noplastic homemade beauty recipes, from strawberry bath slushies to minty chocolate lip balm. She lives with her family in the English countryside. You can find her on Twitter @byesupermarkets or on 

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