Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year (Book 1)



Charlie Bumpers worst fear is confirmed: he has the strictest teacher in the school for fourth grade! It doesn’t matter that she’s been named Teacher of the Year. He’s still afraid of her. After a certain hallway incident last year (don’t ask), he’s convinced Mrs. Burke HATES him. Up until now, he’s been able to wriggle out of the messes he gets himself into, but how will he survive a whole year under a teacher who is just waiting for him to make another stupid mistake?


2016 Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award Winner (OR), 2015-2016 Great Kids Can Read Award Winner (Greater Kansas City Assoc of School Librarians {MO}), A Junior Library Guild selection, Parents’ Choice Recommended, 2014-15 Horned Toad Tales List, 2015 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award Nominee, Delaware Diamonds (nominee, 3-5) Diamond State Reading Association 2014-2015, 2015-16 Golden Sower Nominee, 2016 Sequoyah Book Awards Children’s Masterlist (OK), 2015-16 South Carolina Book Award Nominee, 2015-2016 Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (master list), 2015-2016 Flicker Tale Children’s Book Award Nominee (ND), 2016-17 Gate City Book Award nominee (NH)

Reviews & Quotes

“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.” Publishers Weekly

“We loved the book! I read it with my 9 & 11 year olds plus my mom, who is a retired teacher. Thumbs up all around – the kids were understanding of Charlie’s ability to slide into problems so easily. My mom thoroughly appreciated how hard it is to be a teacher (or a kid) and how easy it can be to misunderstand an innocent playground situation. And how kids don’t think teachers are on their side, even when they are. Awesome book. Can’t wait for the next one!” JH

“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.” Center for Children’s Books

“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. Into this series opener, Harley magically weaves the simple lesson that people, even teachers, can surprise you. Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the sarcasm of Wimpy Kid.” (Fiction. 7-10) Kirkus Reviews

“I just finished reading Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year with my seven year old son. What a great book – we both loved it! (Though I must admit I was wiping my own tears away in the last chapter). We can’t wait for the next one!” AHS

“Bill Harley gives readers with pesky little sisters, annoying big brothers, know-it-all classmates, impatient parents and mystifying teachers validation with his usual funny bone humor and kid-savvy insight… and in signature Bill Harley style, Charlie discovers his own strengths and finds that even adults may have something to learn, too.” Parents’ Choice Recommended

“Mr. Harley – I just finished Charlie Bumpers vs. Teacher of the Year. I loved it! I am an elementary library aide and can’t wait to share with my students. The ending was very touching.” Nancy B.


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