Wikipedia’s Description: Shell Shockers is a multiplayer online first person shooter. Players from all over the world will play as brave killer eggs armed with powerful weapons. Choose a type of egg and enter a nickname to step onto crazy battle full of shots and eggsplosions and give your best to blow your enemies’ yolk out. You can use a handgun, a sniper rifle, a shotgun or a heavy machine gun to kill all your opponents and be the best egg on the field.
Readalikes for ages 8-12
Main appeals: Absurdist humor, gross factor, fast-paced action
Amazon’s Description: They sound like the Bad Guys, they look like the Bad Guys . . . and they even smell like the Bad Guys. But Mr Wolf, Mr Piranha, Mr Snake and Mr Shark are about to change all of that! Mr Wolf has a daring plan for the Bad Guys first good mission. The gang are going to break 200 dogs out of the Maximum Security City Dog Pound. Will Operation Dog Pound go smoothly? Will the Bad Guys become the Good Guys? And will Mr Snake please spit out Mr Piranha?
Crossover Appeal: The absurdity of a shark wearing a suit and tie is enough of a sell for this to leave in the hands of your Shellshockers fan (anyone who plays a game where enemies explode into yolky pulp can appreciate the preposterous and macabre). The fringe benefit of this series is that it is soundly well-written . . . with humor ranging from low (gross-out) to high (sharp wit) that can satisfy a wide range of ages.
Amazon’s Description: Magician Uncle Joe’s birthday present entitled “The Book” swirls green mist and grants pal Fred’s wish to “see knights and all that stuff for real”, sending Sir Joe the Magnificent, Sir Fred the Awesome, and Sir Sam the Unusual to King Arthur’s castle opposing the Black Knight, grossly smelly giant Bleob, and fire-breathing leather-winged iron-clawed green dragon Smaug. Fred plays tag and wields a baseball bat. Sam cleverly politicks. Joseph Arthur tricks with cards. But Merlin has “The Book” to get home.
Crossover Appeal: As one would expect from a Scieszka book, the Time Warp Trio series is chock-full of tongue-in-cheek humor (with large does of wordplay) and the kind of non-stop, suspenseful action that will keep gamers used to the fast pace of the games they play so constantly.
Amazon’s Description: A collection of short stories — “. . . each hilarious and harrowing.
A substitute teacher finds out she has some monsters for students. A group of kids attempt a levitation trick with hair-raising results. A neighborhood is so boring the grown ups are turning into…well…you know. And dozens more.
So don’t be a weenie! Read these stories!”
Crossover Appeal: With the same style of humor as the other selections, and with the suspension of disbelief and sequential format of a Twilight Zone episode, the books in this series are designed with a short-story format. This format makes it more easily digestible, especially for inexperienced or rusty readers with anxiety over finishing a whole book.
Amazon’s Description: Hector, Terrence, and Dee have always wondered about their school lunch lady. What does she do when she isn’t dishing out the daily special? Where does she live? Does she have a lot of cats at home? Little do they know, Lunch Lady doesn’t just serve sloppy joes—she serves justice! Whatever danger lies ahead, it’s no match for LUNCH LADY!
Readalike Appeal: With a constantly updated plethora of seriously silly spy gadgets like a “spatu-copter” (a spatula that transforms into a portable helicopter) and a “spork phone” (pretty self-explanatory) and infused with a sassy sense of humor, Shellshockers fans will rip through breeze through the ten volumes in this series.