Harley, Bill. Charlie Bumpers vs. the Perfect Little Turkey
September 1st 2015 by Peachtree Publishers
Copy provided by the publisher and reviewed at YABC.
It's Thanksgiving time, and there is a lot of activity going on in the Bumpers household. Not only are Charlie's grandparents coming for dinner, but Aunt Sarah and Uncle Brandon are bringing bratty cousin Chip, who is going to be staying at the house! Uncle Ron, the fun uncle, is coming as well, as are the Grizbachs and Mrs. Walcott, who don't have anywhere else to spend vacation. Uncle Ron has all sorts of borderline dangerous activities for the children, and Chip is constantly in the way. He gets Charlie in trouble when he kicks the soccer ball against the garage door, eats too many Swedish fish and throws up on Charlie's bed, and interferes with Charlie's attempts to watch a television special about his favorite spaceman character. Charlie, his brother Matt, and his sister Squid (who is just learning to read and spell) team up to try to prevail against Chip so that they vcan have a little peace... as well as whipped cream for their pumpkin pie.
Strengths: There are so few middle grade books about holidays, and I do get requests for them. For a long time, Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday, and in middle school I would have loved to read about how other people celebrated. Charlie's interactions with his cousins and brother and sister are wonderful, and his supportive and ALIVE family is so refreshing. I am enjoying how Charlie is becoming less scared and more mature over the course of the books, and I love how he has his own interests. Highly recommended for elementary school libraries!
Weaknesses: Charlie is slightly young for middle school, although my struggling 6th grade readers find that the shorter length, larger font, and inclusion of pictures are perfect for them.
What I really think: Charlie is definitely growing on me. I did end up with all the books in this series, and I will be purchasing this one as well. I do wish Mr. Harley would do a middle school aged book!
In case you've missed the first three books:
Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year
Charlie Bumpers vs. The Really Nice Gnome
Charlie Bumpers vs. The Squeaking Skull