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Humorous stories

Whose effect, or some of whose parts, are intended to be comic


The Amber Cat

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

The imminent arrival of Robin's uncle Charley during Robin's bout of chicken pox causes his mother to reminisce about the days she spent with Charley, Nick and the slightly mysterious Harriet.

A combination of ghost story and family fun.

Family, Humorous, Spooky

The Amulet of Samarkand

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Fairly Positive

When Nathaniel summons the Djinn Bartimaeus to steal the eponymous amulet from magician Rupert Lovelace as an act of petty revenge, his plan gets out of control and ends in tragedy for the people he lives with.

Witty and well-paced fantasy adventure. Humorous summoning of Djinni as servants. A childish act of revenge resulting in tragic deaths. Bravery & determination to combat an evil scheme.

Adventure, Fantasy, Humorous

Artemis Fowl

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Fairly Positive

Artemis Fowl, a 12-year-old criminal mastermind, comes from a long line of rich Irish criminals; however in recent years his father, now missing and presumed dead, managed to squander a substantial amount of the family's fortune and drag the name Fowl into disrepute.

Enjoyably different take on the world of Fairies; the 12-year-old main character's amorality in achieving his ends

Adventure, Friendship, Humorous, Magic

Artemis Fowl - The Arctic Incident

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Artemis Fowl wants to find his father, held hostage in Russia; Holly Short wants to find who's supplying the goblins with human technology; Foaly wants to find out who's disabled all the LEP Technology and pointed the finger at him.

Adventure, Friendship, Humorous, Magic

Artemis Fowl - The Eternity Code

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

The C-Cube, built by Artemis Fowl partly from Fairy technology, and therefore capable of breaching the Underworld's defences, is stolen by a shady American businessman who will do anything to obtain power.

Artemis' growing sense of responsibility to his family and to his employee, Butler. Holly's friendship for Artemis & Butler leading her to risk her job for them.

Adventure, Friendship, Humorous, Magic

Artemis Fowl - The Opal Deception

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Artemis Fowl steals the world's most sought-after painting, but becomes entangled in a revenge bid by Opal Koboi against those who thwarted her previously.

Adventure with a little agonising by Artemis over the direction he should take.

Adventure, Friendship, Humorous, Magic

The Box of Delights

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Kay Harker comes home for the Christmas holidays and finds himself helping Cole Hawlings, a slightly unusual Punch and Judy showman, to keep his Box of Delights from falling into the hands of the Wolves, led by Abner Brown.

A magical and exhilarating scramble, full of innocent enjoyment, adventure and friendship.

Classic, Humorous, Magic

The Casson Family Series

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

The Casson family cope with everyday life, their friends, and each other.

Affectionate understanding in a realistic, if occasionally off-beat, family setting. In spite of the sometimes unconventional activities of the Cassons, the family setting is very robust with mostly unspoken affection at its core. Humorous and fresh with believable characters and situations. Eve & Bill are effectively separated. Tom's parents are divorced (and his father has had a daughter by his new girlfriend). Saffy's parents are an unmarried woman and a married man. Bill has a girlfriend in his London flat, and one of Caddy's many boyfriends looks for a while as though he's going to become Eve's partner, but in the end doesn't.

Family, Humorous

Charm School

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Bonny's family has only just moved into the area, her Dad's stuck in a lay-by somewhere and her mother has to take a bookkeeping course at the community centre so Bonny is signed up for an all-day Charm School.

Light-hearted dig at the obsessive preoccupation of young girls with their appearance

Growing-Up, Humorous

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

The Tooting family restore a classic camper van with a view to travelling abroad, only to discover that it has wings and a mind of its own.

Quirky and heartwarming story about a making the best of every opportunity when all you’ve got is a flying car.

Adventure, Fantasy, Humorous

Dog Friday

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The story begins with Robin in hospital after he has been attacked and badly injured by a dog.

Family, Friendship, Humorous

The Exiles at Home

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Ruth, hiding in the school library when she's feeling ill, rashly fills in a form to sponsor an African schoolboy, writing her age in such a way that it looks like she's 18.

Slightly wacky but realistic family of girls. Determination not to let down the African schoolboy they've rashly promised money to. Their ingenuity in trying to get money for a good cause. Valuing older people.

Family, Humorous

The Exiles

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Mr & Mrs Conroy send their daughters to stay with their grandmother while they spend a modest windfall on having their house extended.

Unstated family warmth. Sense of honour and courtesy the girls show in public.

Family, Humorous

The Fire Within

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

David, a student, takes lodgings in the Pennykettle household, looked after by Liz, mother of 10-year-old Lucy.

Lightweight and quirky style. Slightly odd family situation. Easy acceptance of an outsider.

Animal, Humorous, Magic

Forever X

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Positive

The Shepherds (Anne & Jack with children Joy and Mel) are on their way to the Lakes when their car breaks down fortuitously near a B&B.

Family, Humorous

Framed

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Dylan unwittingly becomes an art consultant to the National Gallery in exile when one painting a week is to be selected for display in London.

A quirky story using the difficulties faced by a small town and by one family in particular to highlight the effect art has on people. Family difficulties because of money problems. The efforts to make an unattractive town appealing.

Coping with, Family, Humorous

The Golem's Eye

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Nathaniel and Bartimaeus try to discover who’s controlling the Golem they believe is responsible a series of high-profile acts of destruction across London.

Engaging magical adventure story with some intriguing discussions about moral convictions and the rise and fall of empires.

Adventure, Fantasy, Humorous

The Great Piratical Rumbustification

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Three young boys are left in the charge of a rather piratical babysitter when their parents go out to a business dinner.

Humorous

The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

The Earth is to be demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

Humorous, SciFi

Holes

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Stanley Yelnats, sent to a harsh young offenders' camp in the desert when he is wrongly convicted of stealing a pair of shoes, finds his place among the other boys and offers to help one of them, nicknamed Zero, who is illiterate.

Quirky and feelgood story. Bearing misfortune optimistically. The benefits of helping others. Living in the shadow of a curse.

Coping with, Friendship, Growing-Up, Humorous

Horrendo's Curse

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

As a baby Horrendo has a curse put on him by the old Wise woman because she is fed up of the constant fighting and swearing which goes on in the village.

Simple and enjoyable story, painting a picture of how good manners and good cooking can overcome vice and evil.

Adventure, Fantasy, Humorous

If Only They Could Talk

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

First of the autobiographical series about a Yorkshire vet's day-to- day happenings, ups and downs.

Animal, Biographical, Humorous

Indigo's Star

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Indigo, returning to school after glandular fever, keeps his worries about being bullied from the rest of his family, except that Rose finds out and spills the beans, leading Saffy and her friend Sarah to barge right in and subdue the gang leader.

Affectionate understanding in a realistic family setting. Ill-feeling owing to separated parents taking new partners.

Family, Humorous

Johnny and the Dead

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Johnny Maxwell can see the dead people in the graveyard who are like normal people, but dead.

Humorous, Magic

Larklight

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Art & Myrtle Mumby have to flee when their house, Larklight, is overrun by giant spiders.

Brilliantly imaginative; gently mocking Victorian ideals and sensibilities; quietly reconciling faith and science. Wild battles with gruesome spiders; questionable actions by a powerful being. Easy acceptance of other races and sexes. Undemonstrative love between family members and friends.

Adventure, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Humorous, Romantic

The More the Merrier

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Ralph's family have invited the relatives around for Christmas Day, although not certain relatives who turn up anyway, and Ralph weaves his way skilfully through the chaos which ensues, trying to keep his own end up in the face of variously annoying relatives.

Family, Humorous

Mostly Harmless

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Tricia Macmillan is taken by alien Grebulons to the 10th planet in the solar system, Ford Prefect raids the offices of the Hitch Hiker's Guide in search of a new assignment, discovers it's been taken over by Vogons, and steals the Mk II Guide, Arthur Dent hitchhikes round the galaxy a bit before settling down as The Sandwich Maker on a primitive planet, at which point Trillian turns up with their teenage daughter and leaves, the Mk II guide arrives, closely followed by Ford, whose spaceship is stolen by Arthur's daughter Random.

Humorous, SciFi

Ptolemy's Gate

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

As the British Empire starts to implode, the ruling Magicians are unable to subdue the dissent of the increasingly magic-resistant Commoners.

Magic & Djinni in an alternative modern world. Friendship and affection with a light dusting of humour. An appeal to the honour and morality present in people despite the apparent pragmatism of their day-to-day struggles. Heroic self-sacrifice for the common good.

Adventure, Fantasy, Humorous

Pure Dead Brilliant

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Baci has invited her fellow classmates from the Institute of Advanced Witchcraft to stay, unaware that one of them is a demon from the Hadean Executive, after the legendary Chronostone.

Family, Humorous, Magic

Pure Dead Magic

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Luciano Strega-Borgia has gone missing after storming out of the castle, and his wife has to go on a training course for witches, so she engages a Nanny who sidesteps the younger Strega-Borgia's attempts to repel her and takes on the running of the house, which soon becomes a complicated business.

Family, Humorous, Magic

The "Pure Dead" Series

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

The general plot lines involve various or all of the family members finding themselves in self-imposed scrapes and trying to get out: Titus creates too many mini clones, Damp sends the family's pet rats off by email, the house roof falls in, Luciano is kidnapped by the mafia when he walks out after a row, Ffup finds herself giving birth to the Loch Ness Monster's baby, etc.

Fun; Close family; Some earthy humour

Family, Humorous, Magic

Pure Dead Wicked

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

The roof of Stregaschloss has collapsed, and the Strega-Borgias are forced to live in the local hotel while their house is being repaired.

Family, Humorous, Magic

Saffy's Angel

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Saffy, the second of four children, discovers that she is adopted and is determined to regain the Angel her grandfather left her in his will as a mark of something which is really hers.

A lighthearted look at family and friendships. Cheerful and close family, although the father is effectively living elsewhere. Positive look at wheelchair-bound youngster.

Family, Humorous

The Sheep Pig

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Babe, a piglet, is won by the farmer in the village show, and is adopted by the farm's sheepdog Fly.

How a piglet on a farm is trained as a sheep-‘dog’ and wins trials

Animal, Family, Fantasy, Friendship, Humorous, Short

Starcross

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Art, Myrtle and Mrs Mumby visit the new Starcross hotel on an asteroid near Mars only to discover that a more sinister scheme is afoot, involving mind-controlling top hats, a time-travelling ship from the American War of Independence, and a set of French Secret Agents.

Imaginative cybersteam adventure story. Slightly less pacy than the original. All manner of heroism, bravery, self-sacrifice, humour, and gentle romance.

Adventure, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Humorous, Romantic

Three Men in a Boat

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

George, Harris and J are three rather lazy young men around the turn of the century.

Classic, Humorous

Time Stops For No Mouse

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Hermux Tantamoq is a watchmaker living a quiet and comfortable existence until an attractive and dashing lady fails to return for her repaired watch.

A gently entertaining book, without originality, but with charm.

Adventure, Humorous

Treasures for Cousin Crystal

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Three children of (roughly) 1, 8 and 10 are put with a childminder when their parents are both forced to work away for a while.

Family, Humorous

Up on Cloud Nine

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Positive

The narrative is led by Ian, a 14-year-old schoolboy, at the hospital bed of his best friend Stolly (Stuart Terence Oliver) who's just recovering from a serious fall, which may or may not have been from an attempt at suicide, which has left him with breaks and bruises and concussed.

Play-like appreciation of the life of an unusual boy; the support and friendship of the main characters and their families. Possible suicide attempt.

Coping with, Friendship, Growing-Up, Humorous

Which Witch

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Arriman Canker is the mighty Wizard of the North of England.

Humorous, Magic

The Wild West Witches

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

As the Light Witches prepare for the Pageant of Merlin's Sword, Wolfbane and his family are attack them to steal the Sword, forcing Abby and her friends to flee to the American Wild West a century before.

Simple Good & Bad tale with undemanding and mildly comic style.

Fantasy, Humorous, Magic

The Wish List

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

Meg and Belcher are both killed as they argue about letting an old man bleed to death whose flat they've tried to burgle.

Quirky take on the afterlife. Amusing in many places and sympathetic treatment of an old man trying to right the wrongs of his life. Probably rather dubious theologically. (But who knows?)

Humorous, Thought-provoking