Charlie Bumpers vs. the End of the Year

Charlie Bumpers vs the End of the Year book cover

“I liked things the way they were. Except for maybe getting to have Tommy in my class, I didn’t want anything to change.

As far as I was concerned, I could stay in fourth grade forever.”

Narrated in a balance of warmhearted insight and wacky naiveté, Charlie’s life will resonate with readers trying to navigate the simple but realistic perils of elementary school.

About this Story

When Charlie learns that Hector’s family is moving back to Chile at the end of the year, he is crushed. With Tommy’s help, he immediately starts cooking up schemes to keep Hector here. But moving away from his friends turns out to be the least of Hector’s problems. Three mean boys have targeted him for bullying and are making his life miserable. Charlie and Tommy see that he needs help, so they begin a campaign to save Hector and defeat “The Jerzollies of Darkness.” This fun series uses humor to illuminate important values such as learning to live together as a family and making the best of a bad situation.

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, 2019  |  ISBN-13: 978-1-68263-042-6 |  Ages: 8-12 
Hardcover: 189 pages; Paperback: 190 pages |  Also available: ebook and audio book




As a mother of young children I feel that anti-bullying messages are sometimes too sweeping and over-exaggerated, and this book discussed this a bit and showed an accurate example of real bullying.

Making friends, getting along with siblings, avoiding trouble at school—these situations matter to young readers, and Harley captures these emotions with a light and humorous touch.

It is VERY hard to get bullying right in a fiction book, but Harley does a great job. It's pitch perfect that Squid's teacher instructs the kids to do all the right things in second grade, but by fourth grade, Charlie starts to doubt all of these methods. Still, he does keep these actions in mind, and does watch out for his friend. He and Tommy are such typical students-- they come up with great ideas and questionable ways to implement them, but do so with SUCH enthusiasm.

One could say that by now Charlie should have learned his lesson, but then he wouldn’t be Charlie. Harley’s delightful friendship story, with Gustavson’s spot-on illustrations, is humorous, yet poignant, and portrays the heartfelt good nature of true friends.


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