cover image Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever.

Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever.

Edited by Betsy Bird. Viking, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-451-47731-6

In this winningly diverse collection edited by librarian and author Bird (Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature), readers can sample highly entertaining entries from more than two dozen contemporary female writers, including Cece Bell, Libba Bray, Lisa Graff, Mitali Perkins, Ursula Vernon, and Rita Williams-Garcia. The short contributions burst with self-deprecating humor regarding friends, families, and the awkwardness of growing up, and they come in all formats, including short stories, exchanged letters, comics, verse, and magazine-style quizzes. Several writers mine real-life embarrassments for material: YouTuber Akilah Hughes recounts a traumatic bikini-related “wardrobe malfunction” (“My best life will be lived warm and dry, away from parties, fun, and freshman boys); Meghan McCarthy recalls stapling her own thumb at school, an injury no one seemed to know how to handle; and Adrianne Chalepah closes the collection with an instructive essay that offers advice applicable to these and other situations: “Have an unshakable sense of confidence. Even when you’re literally bleeding.” It’s certain to fit the bill for just about any child looking for a good laugh or 20. Ages 8–12. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management. (May)