Bill Allen is the author of several humorous books for kids age nine to ninety. Have a reluctant reader at home?
“It can be hard getting kids, especially boys, to read, at least when it comes to something longer than a tweet or a text message. A lot of authors try to overcome this (quite successfully) with “gross” boy humor–a lot of farting, belching, puking–all those nasty things young boys think are hilarious. When done well it can be a great way to break through to them. One of my good friends, Lisa Nardini, co-wrote an excellent book of this sort (The Underwear Dare), and I must confess, I’ll be ecstatic if my books do half as well.
“But I take what I like to think is the “higher road” with my writing. I use a lot of word play and puns, throw in a heaping helping of sarcasm and snarkiness, and then sneak in some valuable lessons that every child should know. When it comes to humor, I never “write down” to kids. Occasionally adults question if the humor is too advanced for children, but I attribute this to the fact that adults just miss a lot, like the way they fail to hear ghosts in the closet or monsters under the bed. Children are way smarter than we give them credit for. I think they like the challenge of “witty” humor and focus harder on reading so they don’t miss out on something funny.”