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Book 5: Charlie Bumpers vs. the Puny Pirates

a Junior Library Guild Selection


This season Charlie is assigned to the Pirates, the same soccer team as his best friends Tommy and Hector. They can’t wait to try out the stupific plays they’ve perfected on their own. But their high hopes are crushed when the new coach never gives the dynamic trio a chance to perform together!

Well, if they can’t be on a winning team, then maybe they can win the fundraiser prize for selling the most candy bars. They decide to pool their resources and sell their candy together. What could possibly go wrong with that?


"Harley paints a world immediately familiar to most 9-year-olds and embellishes it with the high jinks that life provides. Charlie's soccer team is terrible. Charlie's family drives him crazy. Charlie loses the fundraising money. Nothing life-threatening, nothing alien, just honest-to-goodness growing up while learning to play for the love of the game. The surprise is that it is suspenseful, hilarious, and revealing, with no tidy solution at the end." Kirkus Reviews


Bill Harley



A two-time Grammy award-winning artist and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the RI Council for the Humanities, Bill uses song and story to paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of growing up, schooling and family life. His work spans the generation gap, reminds us of our common humanity and challenges us to be our very best selves. A prolific author and recording artist, Bill tours nationwide as an author, performing artist and keynote speaker.


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Book 1: Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year

Book 1: Meet Charlie Bumpers. He's about to start 4th grade and the worst thing that could happen is happening. His teacher is Mrs. Burke - the Teacher of the Year.

2016 Beverly Cleary Children's Choice Award Winner

  Book 2: Charlie Bumpers vs. the Really Nice Gnome Book 2: Charlie's class is putting on a play, The Sorcerer's Castle. While Charlie has his heart set on playing the Evil Sorcerer Kragon, Mrs. Burke casts him as the Nice Gnome. Perhaps Charlie can change her mind.
"Charlie has the best intentions and the worst luck, a combination that tends to land him in trouble. The swift-paced story is powered by peppy repartee between Charlie and the people in his life, as well as his droll internal monologue." Publishers Weekly   "An entertaining look at the trials and tribulations of a fourth grade boy who can't seem to help being messy and unorganized and exasperating. With plenty of humor and much for children to sympathize with this series is sure to be a winner." Geo Librarian
Book 3: Charlie Bumpers vs. the Squeaking Skull Book 3: This year for Halloween Charlie's been invited to a sleep over at his friend Alex's house. It'll be great except for one thing: Charlie hates horror movies and they are going to watch the scariest horror movie ever!   Book 4: Charlie Bumpers vs. the Perfect Little Turkey


Book 4: It's Thanksgiving in the Bumpers' household and Charlie's cousin Chip makes everything hard - gets him in trouble, ruins his things, and generally makes a nuisance of himself. On top of that, Mrs. Burke has assigned Charlie the task of writing what a family is to him. How will Charlie be able to see past his "turkey" of a cousin to understand the real meaning of family?
"Charlie’s thoughts and feelings are universal, making his realistic situation a learning experience for more than just the main character. Life is the best teacher, and if Charlie can survive all the troubles that come his way, maybe others can too." Kirkus Reviews   "A heartwarming look into family life with Charlie finding a new definition for family. The reader can't help but relate to the real life scenarios and characters while they learn tolerance and acceptance." Boys and Literacy Blog