Category Archives: Humor Books for Kids


WE’RE NOT FROM HERE is the story of a family of humans who immigrate to an alien planet after Earth is destroyed in a nuclear war…only to discover that the aliens who invited them have changed their minds about opening their society to a species that just blew up its own planet.

It’s funny, scary, entertaining, and has a lot to say (metaphorically) about real-world debates over immigration and refugees.

But don’t take my word for it! Check out this starred review from Kirkus…

Or this starred review from Publishers Weekly…

Or this very thoughtful review from School Library Journal’s Betsy Bird…

Or these kind words from the award-winning, bestselling, generally amazing Katherine Applegate and Adam Gidwitz:

If you’re a teacher or librarian, there’s a lot about the book that’s discussion-worthy. This educator’s guide from Random House has some great suggestions. I also explain one of the book’s most unique elements in this post at Nerdy Book Club, and there’s a ton of information about both the origins and the message of the book in this interview at MG Book Village.

If you’d like a physical copy of the educator’s guide, or a free 3-chapter preview of the book, drop me a line and I’ll get one in the mail to you ASAP.

WE’RE NOT FROM HERE comes out March 5th, and you can pre-order now from Indiebound, McNally Jackson, Books of WonderBarnes&Noble, or Amazon.


Posted in Best Adventure Books, Best Middle Grade Books, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Reluctant Readers, School Librarians, Uncategorized, We're Not From Here | 2 Comments

TWO starred reviews for STUCK IN THE STONE AGE! (from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus)

The first review of STUCK IN THE STONE AGE is in, and Publisher’s Weekly thinks it’s worth your time!

“…this two-for-one tale is as smart as it is entertaining…”

“Jam-packed with both writing advice and jokes…”

“…this madcap tale also serves as an instruction manual for children thinking of writing their own books…”

Check out the full starred review here!

Learn more about the book here! 

AND OH, HEY, LOOK: a second review just came in from Kirkus, who also gave it a star! You can read the full review here, or just enjoy this fancy graphic the publisher created to highlight a quote from it:

If you’re a kid (or know a kid) who either loves to laugh OR has any interest in creating stories of your own, you might really dig this book. It comes out on March 6th, and you can preorder it at Powell’s, IndieboundBarnes&Noble, iBooksBooks-A-Million, or Amazon.


Posted in Best Adventure Books, Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Creative Writing, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Reluctant Readers, School Librarians, Stuck in the Stone Age, Texas Librarians | Leave a comment


It’s a comic novel for middle graders!

It’s a how-to guide that can help kids create awesome stories of their own!

It’s illustrated by the amazing Hatem Aly!

It’s the first in a new book series by the amazing STORY PIRATES, whose nationwide shows feature improv comics acting out stories written by actual kids!

It’s got a premise–that a brilliant scientist and a much less brilliant janitor find themselves battling angry cavemen and a dyspeptic saber-toothed tiger in 10,000 B.C. due to a malfunctioning time machine–that was cooked up by the I’m-embarrassed-to-admit-he’s-funnier-than-me 11-year-old Vince Boberski of Memphis, Tennessee!

Actually…I think Vince might be 13 by now. But he was 11 back when he submitted the contest-winning idea that led to our collaboration! The book business moves reaaally slowly. But I digress. Back to the hype:

STUCK IN THE STONE AGE IS ALL OF THESE THINGS AT ONCE! It’s like the Swiss Army knife of books!

And if you’re a kid (or a kid at heart!) who wants to A) laugh a lot, or B) learn how to tell awesome stories of your own, at any length and in any genre, you should check it out.


Most books do. I realize that. But the cover was JUST REVEALED TODAY! You can read more about it here on super-librarian Betsy Bird’s blog!

OR you can watch the LIVE FACEBOOK BROADCAST (okay, it’s not live anymore, but it was at the time) of the cover reveal at the Drama Book Shop in NYC!

Or you can click this link to preorder the book!

Or look for it in stores when it comes out on March 6th! It’s a really cool project, and a ton of fun whether you’re interested in learning how to write cool stories of your own, or you just want to laugh and not learn anything at all.

Here’s that cover again, only bigger. (Nice! Right? Hatem Aly is awesome.)


Posted in Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Creative Writing, Humor Books for Kids, Reluctant Readers, School Librarians, Stuck in the Stone Age | Leave a comment

An Awesome Writing Contest for Kid Authors! (And a New Book!)

[FYI, the following post was published in July 2017, and the contest it’s describing is over…but the book it’s describing will be out in 2018, and there may be a third book in the series at some point…in which case, I’m sure the Story Pirates will have another contest to pick the idea for that book…so you should keep an eye out for that at]

Are you (or do you know) an elementary- or middle-school-aged kid who likes to write stories?

If so, the always amazing Story Pirates arts and education group is looking for a kid-generated story idea for their new book!

It’s going to be a mystery, it’s going to be funny, and it’s DEFINITELY going to be awesome, because it’ll be written by New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline West, creator of the Books of Elsewhere series!

If you’ve got an idea for a mystery, click this link to submit it — and if your idea gets chosen, you’ll not only get the unique thrill of seeing Jacqueline turn it into a book-length story, you’ll earn $500 cash and a Story Pirates performance at your own school! (Just make sure you get your submission in fast, because the deadline is JULY 21st!)

In case you’re wondering how I know so much about this particular project, it’s because Jacqueline’s mystery is the second installment in the new STORY PIRATES PRESENT book series that pairs up kid writers with professional authors…and I wrote the first one! It’s a science fiction comedy called STUCK IN THE STONE AGE, it’s based on an idea from the truly hilarious 12-year-old Vince Boberski of Memphis, Tennessee,and it’s coming to a bookstore near you on March 20, 2018! (That’s me and Vince on the right. Vince is the one who still has hair.)

STUCK IN THE STONE AGE is a ton of fun to read — and if you’re an aspiring writer, there’s a whole section at the back of the book that’ll help you write stories of your own! It’s called the STORY CREATION ZONE, and if you’re into that kind of thing, it’s as much fun as the story itself!

You can preorder STUCK IN THE STONE AGE now at Powell’s, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Indiebound.

And if you enter the contest before July 21st, you could find yourself having as much fun as Vince looks like he’s having in this video the Story Pirates took of the day they announced that we’d picked his story for the first book! Check it out:

Posted in Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Creative Writing, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Stuck in the Stone Age | Leave a comment


In honor of THE TAPPER TWINS GO VIRAL, the funniest and also last (at least for a while) Tapper Twins book, you are all cordially invited to…


Tuesday, April 4 at 6:00pm at Books of Wonder on West 18th Street in NYC!

What makes this such a great book party, you ask? I will tell you.


(See that pizza place next door to Books of Wonder in the photo? Convenient, isn’t it?)

But even better and MUCH MORE RARE than free pizza are…


We will be raffling off a select number of the stuffed Calvin the Cat mascots used as props in the photos for THE TAPPER TWINS TEAR UP NEW YORK!

Like this one!

And this one! 

But not this one. Because it’s a hot mess.

The Calvin mascots we’re raffling off are all in excellent condition, I promise. How many will we be giving away? I don’t know. It depends on how many people show up for the book party.

I’ll see you there! (Right?)

Posted in Appearances, Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Tapper Twins | 2 Comments


It’s just 30 days until the fourth–and ABSOLUTELY BEST (or so I think) Tapper Twins book comes out: THE TAPPER TWINS GO VIRAL!

In honor of the occasion, Claudia Tapper is devoting her Instagram page to 30 days’ worth of new, old, rare, not-so-rare, behind-the-scenes, and in-front-of-the-scenes photos from all four books in the series!

Want a sneak preview? Okay, fine.

Here’s a representative sample of what you can expect over the next month:


The real-life models who inspired Claudia and Reese!

Alternate takes for the mean rich lady and her mean rich dog in THE TAPPER TWINS RUN FOR PRESIDENT!

The real-life art director — the fabulously talented Liz Casal — who created the drawings of Claudia and Reese (and everybody else) for all the books!


Horrifying full-color photos of the cheese fries Xander Billington stuck up his nose!

The totally awesome Chinatown dim sum place that I couldn’t figure out how to fit into THE TAPPER TWINS TEAR UP NEW YORK!

And because no Tapper Twins retrospective would be complete without him, James Mantolini’s dad! 

Want to see more? Head over to Claudia Tapper’s Instagram page for the full 30 days of fun!

And you’ll want to stick around after that…because starting on April 4th, Claudia will be posting all twenty-one parts of James Mantolini’s horror-comedy video masterpiece, THE FURRY MENACE:

(Don’t worry. That’s a rubber knife. I bought it at a Halloween store for three dollars.)

You’re definitely not going to want to miss THE FURRY MENACE videos. They’re a big part of THE TAPPER TWINS GO VIRAL. And due to technological limitations inherent in the “book” medium, they will not be viewable in the book itself. So Claudia’s Instagram page will be pretty much your only source for that.

(Speaking of THE TAPPER TWINS GO VIRAL…if you want to preorder, click here and scroll down to find the big red preorder buttons for Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Indiebound, etc.)

Posted in Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Reluctant Readers, School Librarians, Tapper Twins | 2 Comments

Tapper Twins Fans: Follow Claudia and Reese on Instagram!

If you’re a fan of the Tapper Twins books, did you know Claudia and Reese both have Instagram accounts? They use them to post pics of various things they get up to in New York City — mostly things that AREN’T in the books, so they’re worth checking out while you bide your time before The Tapper Twins Go Viral comes out.

SPEAKING OF WHICH: there are a ton of references in …Go Viral to videos that Claudia posts on line…and after the book comes out on April 4th, 2017,  a bunch of those videos are going to wind up on Claudia’s Instagram page. So you’ll probably want to check those out starting in early April. In the meantime —

Click here for Claudia’s Instagram page!


Click here for Reese’s Instagram page!

When you do, keep an eye out for other Tapper Twins characters in the comment sections. Xander, James Mantolini, Sophie, Carmen, the Fembots, and others all might pop up from time to time.

And if you want to preorder The Tapper Twins Go Viral, you can do that at your local independent bookstore via Indiebound, or at Barnes & Noble, or at Amazon.

Posted in Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Tapper Twins, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Come See Me In Person!

THE TAPPER TWINS RUN FOR PRESIDENT is in stores now (yay!), and I’ll be doing a few public appearances in New York City and Orlando over the next few weeks to talk Tapper Twins and whatever else anybody cares to ask about. If you’re into that sort of thing, drop by and say hi! Here are details:

Saturday, September 17th — 1:00pm — Books of Wonder 18 West 18th Street, New York City — I’ll be on a panel with a bunch of other middle grade authors. Fun! Exciting! (Hopefully!)

Saturday, October 1st — 10:00am-4:00pm — Authors in the Park Book Festival, Winter Park/Orlando, FL — I’ll be giving a “keynote speech” (I have no idea what that means) around 10:00, so show up early if you want to see that. But I’ll also be hanging out until late afternoon, or at least until I have to go to the airport. So feel free to come by later, too.

Friday, October 21st — 4:00 pm — Jefferson Market Library, 6th Avenue at 10th Street, NYC — There will be no speech. But there will be pizza! We’ll be discussing THE TAPPER TWINS RUN FOR PRESIDENT and eating pizza. (At least, I think we’ll be eating pizza…)

Posted in Appearances, Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Tapper Twins | Leave a comment

The Tapper Twins Run for President Trailer!

And now, a 42-second trailer about a presidential election between a thoughtful, policy-minded female and a guy without a shred of experience who’s constantly spouting off the first thing that comes to his mind:

The really great thing? You can laugh at this one without experiencing a gnawing sense of existential dread for the future of American democracy.

To get your copy of The Tapper Twins Run for President (before or after the September 6th release date), click a link below. Thanks!

Books of Wonder



Barnes & Noble






Posted in Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Tapper Twins, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thanks, Librarians! (In Florida! And Maine!)

Woke up this morning to the very welcome news that THE TAPPER TWINS GO TO WAR (WITH EACH OTHER) made Florida’s 2016-17 Sunshine State Young Readers Award list!


Then my (much more successful) friend Tommy Greenwald pointed out to me that THE TAPPER TWINS also made the Maine Student Book Award list! Which is equally exciting!

If you’re an eligible schoolkid in Florida or Maine, please vote! For any book on the list! Doesn’t have to be the Tapper Twins. (Although it’d be awesome if it was. Especially because the more votes the Tapper Twins get in this kind of thing, the more likely it is that there will be more Tapper Twins books beyond the first four.)

Below is the original tweet from the Florida Association for Media in Education, along with a link to a Youtube video featuring all the books on the list. And click here for the full Maine list!

Many, many thanks to all the awesome librarians in Maine and Florida who thought enough of the Tapper Twins to include it in the company of such a great group of books.

Posted in Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Reluctant Readers, School Librarians, Tapper Twins | Leave a comment

Books! And Pizza! In Greenwich Village!

Going to be in New York City on Friday, January 15th at 4:00pm? Come by the Jefferson Market Library at 6th Avenue and 10th Street for Books and Pizza, courtesy of the New York Public Library and the Jeff Market branch’s awesome youth librarian Rebecca Schosha! exterior_jeffersonmarket__3609

There will be pizza!

There will also be books!

Specifically, The Tapper Twins Go To War (With Each Other), which we’ll be discussing.

I’m not 100% sure, but I think you might have to be willing to discuss the book in order to get the pizza.

Also, I’ll be there! And I will happily answer any of your Tapper Twins-related questions! As long as my mouth isn’t full of pizza. And maybe even if it is.


Hope to see you there!

Posted in Appearances, Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Tapper Twins | Leave a comment

ATTENTION HOLIDAY SHOPPERS: Autographed Book Plates! For Free!

Considering a copy of one of The Tapper Twins or Chronicles of Egg books as a holiday gift?IMG_8173

You should! Seriously. These books are AMAZING, and I’m not just saying that because I get royalties from them.

And if you are…why not make that gift EXTRA-SUPER-SPECIAL by having it signed and personalized to your friend/loved one/person-you-got-stuck-with-in-the-Secret-Santa-drawing?

Because for a limited time only, I will autograph and personalize as many books as you want FOR FREE!

Well, not exactly. It’d be kind of a hassle for me to sign the actual books unless you’re within a five-block radius of my apartment (if you are, email me and maybe we can work something out).

But what I WILL do for free is send you a personalized, autographed Tapper Twins or Chronicles of Egg book plate that you can affix to the inside of your copy!

It’ll be almost exactly like my having signed the book itself, and it’ll look something like one of these:


Nice, right? Do you like the “Get hooked” catch phrase on the Egg plate? And the little drawing of a hook? There’s no extra charge for that kind of thing.

For those of you unclear on the concept of a “book plate,” it’s basically a fancy sticker. You can peel off the back and stick it pretty much anywhere you want. Most people choose the interior title page, but it’ll stick to anything, so if you’d rather put it on a notebook, refrigerator, the back of an unsuspecting victim, etc…have at it. I’m not going to judge you.

And again: THIS IS FREE, and I’ll send as many book plates as you have books to stick them in. Just send a mailing address and the first name of the recipient to geoff(at) (using an @ instead of the (a) – I have to type it this way or Internet-trolling spambots will harvest the address from this post and send me spam email for years) and I’ll hook you up.

Email me by 4pm on December 18th, and I guarantee delivery in time for Christmas!

Any later than that, and I will guarantee delivery by Martin Luther King Day. (For which the Tapper Twins and Chronicles of Egg books would also make fine, if somewhat inexplicable, gifts.)

Posted in Best Adventure Books, Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Chronicles of Egg, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Reluctant Readers, Tapper Twins | Leave a comment

The Official Tapper Twins Scavenger Hunt!

Thanks to the good people at Little Brown Young Readers, now you can create your very own Tapper-Twins-themed scavenger hunt in your local library and/or bookstore! Just download this handy PDF, print one out for everybody who’s playing, and have at it!

(No purchase necessary. Library and/or bookstore not included.)


Posted in Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Reluctant Readers, Tapper Twins | Leave a comment

Tapper Twins Tales From Times Square!

Tapper_Twins_1and2_coversLike most comic novels for middle graders, the Tapper Twins books are illustrated—but they’re unusual in that most of the illustrations aren’t drawings, but photographs.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag. Even my stick figures look incompetent. And not funny-incompetent. Just incompetent-incompetent.

The second is that the photos work well with the premise: that the books are oral histories compiled by twelve-year-old Claudia Tapper from interviews with her friends. Like most tweens I know, if Claudia wants to visually document something, she pulls out a phone and snaps a pic…like this one of her family’s Upper West Side apartment building:


When I first had the idea to photo-illustrate the books, I can’t tell you how exciting it was to realize I could compensate for my total lack of artistic talent by using my phone. By then, I was nearly finished writing The Tapper Twins Go To War (With Each Other), so its illustrations came from a hodgepodge of sources—stock images, photos my son and I took around New York, the iconic Alfred Eisenstaedt “V-J Day” photo that I paid WAY too much money to license, and a dozen screenshots from a fictional video game called “MetaWorld,” which may look vaguely familiar to fans of a currently popular game that also begins with “M”:


But in the sequel, The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York (about a scavenger hunt gone horribly awry), Claudia and her friends’ photo-taking is integral to the plot, and staging the photos was almost as important as the actual writing.

Which is how I wound up slugging my friend Trevor while wearing an off-brand Cookie Monster costume in the middle of Times Square:


Wait, I missed a couple of steps. Let me back up: at one point in the book, Claudia witnesses a fight between two costumed characters in Times Square—which I wrote into the story partly because it seemed like it’d make for a great series of photos.

Unfortunately, it was also logistically challenging. Here’s a fun fact: did you know it’s cheaper to buy an off-brand Cookie Monster costume than it is to rent one? I now own two. And I no longer have to worry about what I’m going to wear on Halloween for the next decade.

Then there was the issue of who would wear the costumes. Since I planned to take the photos myself, I needed two actors, and my budget didn’t allow me to actually pay anyone. So I recruited my wife and 12-year-old son, primarily because my 10-year-old was too short for the costume, and my 14-year-old adamantly refused to have anything to do with the endeavor.

We headed up to Times Square early on a Sunday morning, and at first it seemed like a fun family outing! Here are my wife and son suiting up in the plaza:


Then we started shooting, and the trouble started. It turns out that if you put on a costume in Times Square, tourists will assume you’re there to pose for photos with them. And when they don’t speak English, it’s VERY hard to explain that you’re not that kind of character. In the end, it was less of a hassle to just let them take the photos so they’d quit bugging us:


The second—and much more crippling—problem was the actors I’d chosen. It wasn’t just that they barely fit in the costumes. It was that my wife can’t throw a punch, and my 12-year-old’s attitude was terrible. He was convinced someone he knew was going to see him, despite our pointing out that A) he was unrecognizable as anything but a knockoff Cookie Monster, and B) nobody who actually lives in New York EVER goes to Times Square unless they absolutely have to, and certainly never on a Sunday morning. So my kid spent the entire shoot standing motionless like a statue, with muffled moans of “Can we stop now?” emanating from underneath his giant blue head as my wife poked him with the lamest fake punches I’ve ever seen:


So I had to reshoot. Fortunately, my friend Trevor is not only game for just about anything, but works near Times Square—and so does Trevor’s wife’s equally game cousin, Jesse, who agreed to take the photos while Trevor and I went at each other. We convened at 8:00am on a Thursday and got a bunch of great shots, including this one capturing the stunned reaction of some guy on his way to work:


Unfortunately, we had to wrap up early when a deranged loiterer chased us from the square while threatening us with ACTUAL violence, as opposed to the fake version we were staging. But that’s a story for another time…and probably a less kid-friendly web site, because the things he was yelling at us were pretty inappropriate.

Hope you like The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York! And if you visit Times Square, keep an eye out for deranged loiterers! It’s a lot safer than it used to be…but it’s still Times Square.


(Many thanks to the good people at Nerdy Book Club, where this post originally appeared.)

Posted in Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Tapper Twins | 1 Comment

The Tapper Twins Guide to the Wildlife of New York City!

Claudia and Reese’s latest video is a helpful guide to New York City’s vast array of exotic, glamorous, and occasionally disgusting wildlife: pigeons, rats, cockroaches, celebrities, Times Square cartoon characters…et cetera.

Check it out below! With many, many thanks to the extremely talented Adrian Palacios and everybody else at Little Brown who helped make this so awesome:

Posted in Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Reluctant Readers, Tapper Twins | 2 Comments


Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 5.51.04 AM

You know what’s great? FREE PIZZA!

You know what else is great? THE TAPPER TWINS TEAR UP NEW YORK — the hilarious, chock-full-of-photos sequel to the New York Times bestseller THE TAPPER TWINS GO TO WAR (WITH EACH OTHER)!
And if you drop by 
Books of Wonder at 18 West 18th Street at 6:00pm on September 29th, you can enjoy BOTH of these things!

Along with an (optional) in-store scavenger hunt! Which, unlike the scavenger hunt in THE TAPPER TWINS TEAR UP NEW YORK, will hopefully not cause a riot. (At least not in the pejorative sense of the word.)

PLUS, I’ll regale you with behind-the-scenes photos and anecdotes from the making of the book! Including:

— The terrifying story of my near-assault at the hands of a deranged loiterer in Times Square while wearing an off-brand Cookie Monster costume

— The best Lower East Side tailor to use when custom-designing T-shirts for a 9-inch-tall school mascot

— Why forcing my 12-year-old to serve as a photo model against his will was, all things considered, probably not the best choice for either the book or our relationship (and who I found to replace him for the reshoots)

If you can’t make it out for what I promise will be the best free pizza available within delivery range of 18th Street and 5th Avenue, you can still 
order an autographed copy from Books of Wonder OR get a copy from a different purveyor of quality children’s literature and enjoy what I guarantee is the ABSOLUTELY BEST photo-illustrated comedy about a New York City scavenger hunt gone horribly awry that you’ll read all year!

And be sure to check out for a ton of fun content — including the hilarious Tapper Twins Video Guide To The Wildlife Of New York City, which my publisher swears they’re going to post any day now!

Hope to see you on the 29th!


PS: if you ABSOLUTELY CAN’T WAIT until the 29th to see me in person, come by my panel discussion on Sunday, Sept. 20th at 11:00am at the Brooklyn Book Festival’s Youth Stage. You have no idea how grateful I’ll be to see you there. (Seriously.)

PPS: if you live anywhere near Houston, Texas, come by the Tweens Read Festival on Saturday, October 3rd to meet me, Lemony Snicket, and 20 other children’s book authors who are much more famous than I am! 

Posted in Appearances, Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Tapper Twins | Leave a comment

The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York!

rodkey_tappertwins_tearupnewyorkLook what’s available for preorder!

From Powell’s


Books of Wonder…

Barnes & Noble


…and Books-A-Million!

And if you’re in New York City on September 29th at 6:00pm, come by the launch party at Books of Wonder on West 18th Street off Fifth Avenue!

Tapper Twins Tear Up NY  HI-RES

I promise you this is the funniest book you’ll ever read about a scavenger hunt across New York City…

…that incorporates plush-toy school mascots…

7B (1)

…horribly mangled plush-toy school mascots…


…non-mangled plush-toy school mascots in the vicinity of famous NYC landmarks like Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain…


…a fistfight between Times Square cartoon characters….


…and a mass riot of 12-year-olds (photo not available due to budget constraints) all clamoring to win front-row seats at Madison Square Garden!

4G_Madison Square Garden

The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York arrives in stores September 29th…but if you want to avoid the mass riot of 8-to-12-year-olds that will likely accompany its release, you can preorder now and have it delivered to your door when it comes out! Here are those links again:



Barnes & Noble



If you want to read a preview of the opening chapters, head over to!

And if you’ve got a Kindle, download the first eight chapters for free right now!

And if you’re at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday, September 20th, come to my panel discussion at the Youth Pavilion at 11:00am!

Or, if you’re in Houston, come to Tweens Read on Saturday, October 3rd to meet me, Lemony Snicket, and twenty other children’s book authors who are much more famous than I am!

Posted in Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Funniest Middle Grade Books, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Less Than Completely Serious, Reluctant Readers, Tapper Twins | 12 Comments

Hi, 2015. Hi!

Hello! I’d start this post by apologizing to longtime readers of this blog for the fact that 2014 brought only two new posts, both of them blatant acts of book marketing.

But let’s be honest: this blog has no longtime readers.

Judging by my traffic stats, only two kinds of people wind up here: kids who googled “geoff rodkey author” because they’re trying to pad out a book report, and the unfortunate tourists who googled “best ride at Universal Studios” and clicked on this post in the vain hope of actually learning something useful before their trip.

(Sometimes, the tourists get angry. I know this because they leave comments. Like this guy. If you are one of these people, hello! And I’m sorry. Have fun in Orlando. Just make sure you hit the Harry Potter stuff early. It gets crowded fast.)

Anyway, it makes sense that if I only post twice a year, and then only for totally self-serving book marketing purposes, I won’t get a lot of repeat business.

But this year, I’m going to post a lot more!

That’s because The Tapper Twins Go To War (With Each Other) is coming out April 7th…followed by The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York in early fall…and at least two more Tapper Twins books in 2016.rodkey_tappertwins_pob

The good news is that most of these posts will NOT seem like totally self-serving acts of book marketing. I am going to do my best to just write things that are fun to read for their own sake.

Like, say, the Letters To My Kid At Summer Camp series.

Or The Slightly Strange Saga of My Son’s Soccer Ball.

Or even The Absolutely Best Ride At Universal Studios Orlando (hello again, tourists! Try not to let your kids pester you into buying a $36.95 wizarding wand that they will play with exactly twice before forgetting they own it. Although to be fair, they’re quality wands. We still have a Narcissa Malfoy somewhere in a desk drawer, and I think there might be a Cedric Diggory stuck between the sofa cushions in the living room.)

The bad news–and I’m telling you this up front because I respect you–is that even the posts that don’t SEEM like self-serving acts of book marketing actually ARE.

It’s just that their M.O. won’t so much be “HEY, YOU, BUY THIS BOOK!” Which I’ve realized is kind of tacky. (And, judging by the sales to date of The Chronicles of Egg trilogy, was also totally ineffective.)

Instead, it’ll be more of an “ohmygosh, it’s so much fun to read this post! Maybe this person’s books are also fun to read! Perhaps I should buy one” kind of a thing.

And you really should. Because The Tapper Twins Go To War (With Each Other) is a whoooole lot of fun. And its sequels will be, too!

And they have pictures! Tons of them. Like this one, which appears in The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York and was shot in Times Square last fall: TT2_Times_Square2

I’d explain what’s going on there, but crotch-kicking jokes are pretty much self-explanatory even out of context.

The last time I counted, The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York had about 100 photos in it. So there’s a lot more where this one came from (although at the moment, it’s the only one that involves a kick in the crotch).

Since the Tapper twins characters are mostly 12 years old and all live in NYC, I plan to write a whole bunch of posts in 2015 about either A) 12-year-olds or B) New York City.

So if you have any particular questions about either of those topics–or, really, anything at all you’d like me to address in future posts–feel free to leave a comment below. It doesn’t have to be about 12-year-olds or New York City, either. I’m happy to discuss anything.

(For example, if you came here looking for information about my screenwriting career, and are wondering why Roger Ebert’s review of Daddy Day Care was so vicious and mean-spirited, I can discuss that, too. I have theories.)

And please come back! There will be new stuff here all year long. And it’ll be much less blatant than the old stuff.

Incidentally, if you’re looking for a great blog full of stuff that’s fun to read, check out Laura Belgray’s Talking Shrimp blog. Laura’s hilarious, she posts regularly, and she’s not nearly as blatantly self-promotional as I am. (Warning: Laura’s a marketing copywriter, not a middle grade author, so some of her posts may not be appropriate for 8-to-12-year-old kids. Hey, kids: quit reading this and get back to your book reports.)

(You know what’s another great blog? Wait But Why.  Just don’t go there if you’re trying to get work done today. You could lose a week of your life on that site.)

Okay, now I’m rambling. Bye! Come back soon.

Posted in Best Middle Grade Books, Best Middle Grade Series, Film and TV, Funny Middle Grade Books, Humor Books for Kids, Less Than Completely Serious, Tapper Twins | 3 Comments