The Big Nate Middle Grade Novels With Cartoons

01
of 09

The Big Nate Series by Lincoln Peirce

Cover Art for Big Nate Children's Books
Cover Art for Big Nate Books 7 and 1. HarperCollins

The Big Nate Series

Summary: The books in the Big Nate series all revolve around the life of sixth grader Nate Wright and his experiences, adventures and problems in middle school, with an emphasis on humor in both the writing and in the accompanying cartoons and comics Nate creates. Big Nate isn't big, he just thinks he's "destined for greatness."

Nate is basically a good, somewhat hapless kid, who values his friends but also gets in trouble a lot. The books focus on friendship, bullying, schoolwork, teachers, competition, and boy / girl relationships, all with a light touch and from a sixth grader's perspective.

The books are Nate’s first person accounts, in words and pictures, of his life at school and with his school friends. Nate’s parents are divorced and he lives with his dad and his older sister, Ellen, but the focus of the books is on his experiences in sixth grade and with his friends, not home. I recommend the series for ages 8-12.

If the character on the covers of the Big Nate books looks familiar to you, it may be that you recognize Big Nate from the comic strip of the same name. Author and cartoonist Lincoln Pierce’s Big Nate comic strip debuted in 1991 and is now syndicated in more than 300 newspapers. For more about Lincoln Peirce, read my article 10 Things You Should Know About Big Nate’s Creator.

On the following pages, you'll find overviews of the following books in the Big Nate series of funny illustrated novels:

  • Big Nate in a Class by Himself 
  • Big Nate Strikes Again
  • Big Nate on a Roll
  • Big Nate Goes for Broke
  • Big Nate Flips Out
  • Big Nate: In the Zone
  • Big Nate Lives It Up

plus More Funny Books for Big Nate Fans.

02
of 09

Big Nate in a Class by Himself (#1)

Big Nate in a Class by Himself - kids' book cover
Book 1 in the Big Nate series. HarperCollins

Big Nate in a Class By Himself (Book 1) by Lincoln Peirce

Summary: Although sixth grader Nate Wright feels he is destined for great things, he is having a very bad day. When he receives a fortune cookie that says, “Today you will surpass all others,” he’s ready for his luck to change. However, what follows is one mishap – and detention slip – after another and a surprising and funny ending.

Length: 224 pages

Recommended for: Ages 8 to 1

Publisher: HARPER, an imprint of Harper Collins

Copyright: 2010

ISBN: 9780061944345 (hardcover), also available in paperback, e-book and audio formats

Next Book: Big Nate Strikes Again (Book 2)

03
of 09

Big Nate Strikes Again (#2)

Big Nate Strikes Again - kids' book cover
Book 2 in the Big Nate series. HarperCollins

Big Nate Strikes Again (Book 2) by Lincoln Peirce

Summary: Sixth grader Gina drives Nate crazy; she always knows the answer, never gets a detention slip, and the teacher Big Nate detests, Mr. Godfrey, likes Gina. Now Gina and Nate, have been assigned to work as a team on a report, with visuals, on a great American American. Even worse, although Nate is captain of his fleeceball team, Gina is assigned to the team and ends up naming the team - Oh, horrors! - the Kuddle Kittens. How everything works out and what comic strips about Ben Franklin have to do with it all, makes for an entertaining story.

Length: 224 pages

Recommended for: Ages 8 to 12, grades 3-7

Publisher: HARPER, an imprint of Harper Collins

Copyright: 2010

ISBN:  9780061944369 (hardcover), also available in paperback, e-book and audio formats

Next Book: Big Nate on a Roll (Book 3)

04
of 09

Big Nate on a Roll (#3)

Big Nate on a Roll - Book cover srt
HarperCollins

Big Nate on a Roll (Book 3) by Lincoln Peirce

Summary: It's not that Nate dislikes Artur exactly. It just that "Mr. Perfect" always seems to do better than Nate. Now, while Nate is blaming the loss of his skateboard on Artur, Artur joins his Timber scout troop just in time for the scouts' big sale of wall hangings.  Whoever sells the most will win a skateboard. Big Nate and Artur are both determined to win but go about the competition in very different ways. Readers have no idea who will win until the book's end.

Length: 224 pages

Recommended for: 8 to 12 year olds, grades 3-7

Publisher: HARPER, an imprint of Harper Collins

Copyright: 2011

ISBN: 9780061944383 (hardcover), also available in paperback, e-book and audio formats

Next Book: Big Nate Goes for Broke (Book 4)

05
of 09

Big Nate Goes for Broke (#4)

Big Nste Goes for Broke - kids' book cover art
Book #4 in the Big Nate Series. HarperCollins

Big Nate Goes for Broke (Book 4) by Lincoln Peirce

Summary: It just isn't fair. No matter what the competition, Jefferson Middle School always wins, so why are the kids from Nate's school temporarily attending Jefferson? What about the name calling? What's this about a cartooning club? What happens at the "Ultimate Snowdown" and what does Achilles have to do with it all? Fun and surprises characterize this story as Big Nate and his classmates strive to beat Jefferson once and for all.

Length: 224 pages

Recommended for: Ages 8 to 12, grades 3-7

Publisher: HARPER, an imprint of Harper Collins

Copyright: 2012

ISBN: 9780061996610 (hardcover), also available in paperback, e-book and audio formats

Next Book: Big Nate Flips Out (Book 5)

06
of 09

Big Nate Flips Out (#5)

Big Nate Flips Out - kids' book cover
Book 5 in the Big Nate Series. HarperCollins

Big Nate Flips Out (Book 5) by Lincoln Peirce

Summary: Nate is not known for being neat; in fact, he is known for being messy. When his sloppiness threatens to ruin his friendship with Francis, he'll try anything to mend his friendship, including asking Teddy’s Uncle Pedro to hypnotize him so he becomes neat.

Recommended for: 8 to 12 year olds, grades 3-7

Publisher: HARPER, an imprint of Harper Collins

Copyright: 2013

ISBN: 9780061996634 (hardcover), also available in paperback, e-book and audio formats

Next Book: Big Nate in the Zone (Book 6)

07
of 09

Big Nate: In the Zone (#6)

Big Nate: In the Zone
Book 6 in the Big Nate Series. HarperCollins

Big Nate: In the Zone (Book 6) by Lincoln Peirce

Summary: A homework disaster, the War of 1812, love, a school-wide emphasis on healthy eating, a lucky foot and more make Big Nate: In the Zone full of fun and surprises. Nate's luck improves when Chad shares his lucky foot with him, but Chad's luck seems to run out when the girl he likes starts going with seventh grader Marcus who verbally bullies the sixth graders.  All is not lost, however, when Marcus gets his comeuppance.

Length: 224 pages

Recommended for: Ages 8 to 12, grades 3-7

Publisher: HARPER, an imprint of Harper Collins

Copyright: 2014

ISBN: 9780061996658 (hardcover), also available in paperback, e-book and audio formats

Next Book: Big Nate Lives It Up (Book 7)

08
of 09

Big Nate Lives It Up (#7)

Big Nate Lives It Up - Kids' Book Cover
Book 7 in th Big Nate Series. HarperCollins

Big Nate Lives It Up (Book 7) by Lincoln Peirce

Summary: There's a lot going on in Big Nate's world. His school, P.S. 38, is celebrating its centennial, he's been asked to serve as a "buddy" for new student Breckenridge Puffington III and doesn't know if they have anything in common. Add in some comics that are 100 years old and an incredible scavenger hunt and you have a book full of action and laughs.

Length: 224 pages

Recommended for: 8 to 12 year olds, grades 3-7

Publisher: Balzer + Bray, an imprint of Harper Collins

Copyright: 2015

ISBN: 9780062111081 (hardcover), also available in e-book and audio formats

Next Books: More Funny Books for Big Nate Fans

09
of 09

More Funny Books for Big Nate Fans

Star Wars Jedi Academy
Scholastic

More Recommended Books that Kids Love

If your middle grade readers enjoy funny books that include illustrations, I recommend the following:

For an annotated list of these and other recommended books, see Funny Boys! 10 Books for Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.