Not many writers have the ability to tell a story about a boy in a wheelchair who applies for a stand-up comedian contest without making it cheap and inappropriate. James Patterson is one of those writers. He proves that with “I, Funny”, unusually warm and indeed very funny story published in 2012. This novel, along with its sequels, is a part of Paterson’s “Middle School” series, a string of novels that centers around lovable middle school outcasts, who learn about life through various goofy, but also serious situations.
Order of I Funny Series
|2||I Even Funnier||2013|
|3||I Totally Funniest||2015|
|4||I Funny TV||2015|
As for “I, Funny”, it revolves around Jamie Grimm, a student who has to start a whole new life after a horrific traffic accident that left him paralyzed. Jamie’s parents die at the scene of the crash, thus this plucky youngster has to move in with his uncle and aunt in Long Island. His new guardians are not a very pleasant company- Jamie’s aunt and uncle make a perfect couple of grim faces, thus earning ironic nickname “The Smileys”. Their son Stevie is an even worse deal- he is a first-class bully who does not spare his cousin. Stevie does not miss the opportunity to make fun of Jamie in every possible situation. Things do not look bright for young Jamie, but he does not quail. He uses humor as the best weapon and backbone for his survival in times of pain.
Furthermore, Jamie explores his humor and makes a lifestyle out of it- he exercises it in school, at home with his aunt and uncle (with the feeble outcome, though), and with himself. He makes two very valuable friendships with nerdy Jimmy and womanizer Joey. When Frankie, other Jamie’s (much kinder) uncle informs Jamie that a contest for comedians is going to be held in Ronkonkoma, the young protagonist of the novel finds his aim in life. He is going to win the contest and become a famous funny man. Nothing can end Jamie’s determination as he prepares for the competition.
Middle school novel is not true to itself if it does not include first love or at least a great romantic interest. “I, Funny” is not an exception as a reader learns when Suzie Orolvsky is introduced. This bright, cute girl, also known as Cool Girl, will become very close with Jamies as they learn a little bit about love for the first time in their life.
I, Funny Awards
Although “I, Funny” has not won any awards by its own right, this series is certainly one of the main reasons that James Patterson earned the National Book Foundation’s Literarian Award for Oustanding Service to the American Literary Community, as well as National Parenting Publications Honors Award.
Best I, Funny Books
The “I, Funny” series consists of four parts published from 2012 to 2015, and here is the overview of the critically acclaimed sequels “I, Even Funnier” and “I, Totally Funniest”.
I, Even Funnier is the second part of the series revolving around Jamie Grimm. After his sensational win at state finals in Planet’s Funniest Kid Comic Contest, Jaime has no time to waste as he goes to Boston where national semis are held. The stakes are high and Jaime has to give his best if he wants to proceed to the finals. However, the hero of the story is put on a test as he goes through a series of misfortunate events- his beloved uncle Frankie suffers a heart attack, his best friends’ mother learns she has cancer and his best friend, Joey, goes berserk. Jaime has to find a way to go through a rough patch and qualify for the final competition in Las Vegas.
I, Totally Funniest is the third part of the “I, Funny” series. A reader finds Jamie still chasing his dream to become the best comic in the world. He is on his way to the finals of the great comic competition. The prize is great, as well as the nervousness. For the first time in his life, Jamie’s humor is not a way to relax- it is the source of the stress. As the final competition approach, the question arises- will Jamie resolve his issues and go on to win a prize and reach his dreams?
Other book series you may like
When talking about books that fans of “I, Funny” are going to like, it is an obvious solution to suggest Patterson’s earlier series “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life”, a story which inspired “I, Funny” series, “Middle School” follows the life of Rafe Khatchadorian, a rebel without a cause who tends to break virtually every school rule.
Readers who liked “I, Funny” may also find “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” interesting. This series by Jeff Kinney follows the life of Greg Heffley, a middle-school student with fancy dreams and a little less fancy reality he has to tackle.