The Book

When his classmates brag about their parents’ jobs, Charlie's blabby mouth runs wild. Charlie says his dad is the president of his company and that he'll bring free calculators for everyone! But just before the big event, the unthinkable happens: Charlie's dad loses his job. How will Charlie Explain this to his class? Will his dad still even come for Career Week?
Fortunately, Mr. Bumpers has some very surprising plans of his own!

"Charlie Bumpers is the kid you would want your kids to be friends with." Gidget's Bookworms

“...a real-life world in which a likable kid must face the everyday terrors of childhood..." Kirkus Review

"The younger middle grade reader will delight in Charlie's antics while at the same time will relate to the disappointment of not always getting what you want." Boys to Books Blog

"Harley has as good a handle on tumultuous family relationships as he does on school-day mishaps…" Publishers Weekly

"Charlie's interactions with his cousins and brother and sister are wonderful, and his supportive and ALIVE family is so refreshing." YA Book Central

"...but what is there not to like-- intact, supportive families, positive role models, problems that actual students face-- LOVE."  Ms Yingling Reads

The Author

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.

Fun Stuff

Read Chapter 1


Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year

Shortly before school starts, Charlie Bumpers learns that he will have the strictest teacher in the whole school for fourth grade. It doesn't matter that she's been named Teacher of the Year. He's still afraid of her. Last year when he was horsing around in the hall, he accidentally hit her in the head with his sneaker (don t ask). How will he survive a year under a teacher who is just waiting for him to make another stupid mistake?

2016 Beverly Cleary Children's Choice Award Winner

"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

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Really Nice Gnome

Charlie Bumpers has his heart set on playing the role of the evil Sorcerer in the fourth grade play. He's even got the laugh down pat: Mwa-ha-ha-ha! But his dreams of villainous stardom go up in smoke when he finds out that Mrs. Burke has cast him as the Nice Gnome! Determined to rectify this terrible injustice, Charlie concocts one plan after another, but nothing seems to work.
To make matters worse, his dad has assigned chores to all the kids in the family and Charlie's job is walking Ginger - the diggiest, sniffiest, and poopiest dog in the universe. Can Charlie deal with these challenges without causing havoc all around him?

"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

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Squeaking Skull

Can Charlie face his fear of horror movies and enjoy Halloween? Charlie and Tommy have big plans for Halloween. They're going to trick-or-treat and sleep over at Alex's house. But when Charlie finds out that the entertainment at the party will be the "Scariest Horror Movies Ever," he is struck by panic. Charlie loves candy, he loves sleepovers with his friends, but he absolutely hates horror movies.

"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

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Perfect Little Turkey

Charlie is looking forward to the big Thanksgiving gathering at his house this year, but he's having trouble being a polite host to his super-annoying little cousin Chip. It's Thanksgiving in the Bumpers household and Charlie has to be the perfect host to his annoying little cousin, Chip. Chip makes everything hard for Charlie gets him in trouble, ruins his things, and generally makes a nuisance of himself. On top of that, for homework, 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?

"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

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Puny Pirates

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
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