Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year


“What on earth did you do to your sneakers?” she asked. Trick question! I knew there was no good answer.
“I don’t know,” I said, which is a good thing to say when adults ask trick questions.

Into this series opener, Harley magically weaves the simple lesson that people, even teachers, can surprise you.

About this Story

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?

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, 2014  |  ISBN-13: 978-1-56145-824-0 |  Ages: 8-12 
Hardcover: 138 pages;  Paperback: 160  pages  |  Also available: ebook, audio book, and audio CD


Engage Your Whole School!

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year is one of the titles selected by Read to Them(r) for their One School, One Book program.

The laughs and lessons in this first book in the Charlie Bumpers series, will please a wide variety of ages.


  • Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award Winner 2016 (OR)
  • Great Kids Can Read Award (Greater Kansas City Assoc of School Librarians, MO)
  • A Junior Library Guild selection
  • Parents’ Choice Recommended
  • PA Young Reader’s Choice Award Nominee 2014-15
  • Horned Toad Tales List 2014-2015 (TX)
  • RI Children’s Book Award Nominee 2015
  • Delaware Diamonds Nominee 2014-2015
  • Golden Sower Nominee 2015-2016 (NE)
  • Sequoyah Book Awards Children’s Masterlist 2016 (OK)
  • South Carolina Book Award Nominee 2015-2016
  • Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Nominee 2015-2016
  • Flicker Tale Children’s Book Award Nominee 2015-2016 (ND)



The swift-paced story is powered by peppy repartee between Charlie and the people in his life, as well as his droll internal monologue... Dynamic and skillfully drafted ink-and-watercolor spot illustrations from Gustavson, who illustrated Harley’s Lost and Found, help chronicle the hijinks.

Charlie is personable and well-rounded as a Ramona Quimby-esque protagonist who faces a series of kid-familiar challenges in trying his best to do the right thing.... Charlie Bumpers' first adventures are the start of a series, and readers will welcome him as a bumbling but generous addition to the ranks of novels for novices.

Harley has teamed once again with illustrator Gustavson (Lost and Found, 2012) to create a real-life world in which a likable kid must face the everyday terrors of childhood: enormous bullies, looming teachers and thick gym coaches with huge pointing fingers.


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