Charlie Bumpers vs. the Puny Pirates


Not goalkeeper! I didn’t want to stand around the entire game and hope nobody kicked the ball at my head. I wanted to be a forward where I’d get to score goals!

Master storyteller Harley scores again with fourth-grader Charlie Bumpers and friends as they suffer on a losing soccer team.

About this Story

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?

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, 2016  |  ISBN-13: 978-1-56145-939-1  |  Ages: 8-12 
Hardcover: 160 pages;  Paperback: 176  pages  |  Also available: ebook, audio book, and audio CD



Junior Library Guild


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.

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


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