Friday, September 01, 2017

Guy Friday- Charlie Bumpers

34437041Harley, Bill. Charlie Bumpers vs. His Big Blabby Mouth
September 1st 2017 by Peachtree Publishers
ARC received from the publisher

Charlie's class is having Career Week, and parents are coming in to talk to students about their jobs. In typical Charlie fashion, our hero contends that his father is practically the president of his company, is a genius with numbers, and will bring in a calculator for everyone in class! He doesn't mean to do this, but it just... happens. When he asks his father to come, he gets a very negative response, so he mounts a campaign to annoy his father into coming. It eventually works, and his teacher is planning on his father coming in. Then, Mr. Bumper's loses his job in an organization restructuring. Charlie is concerned mainly for himself, and bugs his father about looking for work, and also about coming in for Career Week. He's also struggling with job issues of his own-- he is the class messenger for the week, but has a lot of trouble not running in the hallways. Charlie's older brother is aghast at how stupid and uncaring Charlie is being and calls him on it. When Career Week rolls around, Charlie's teacher tells him that something came up and his father couldn't make it... but there is a surprise guest, a wacky mathematician who looks oddly familiar.
Strengths: This sixth book in the series covers a more serious issue than the other books, but pulls it off in a believable way. I especially enjoyed that Charlie's parents told him age appropriate details about what it meant for the father to be out of work. Matt is becoming my favorite, though-- can we see a slightly older set of books about him?
Weaknesses: I loved Puny Pirates and Thanksgiving Turkey; there were a lot of funny supporting characters in this one. Charlie had to carry most of this story by himself and could have used some help.
What I really think: This series is popular with my younger, struggling readers, so I will definitely purchase.

Emmett, Dan. I am a Secret Service Agent
Published June 6th 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

Emmett was a young, impressionable boy growing up in the South when President Kennedy was assassinated. The event made such an impression on him that he enlisted in Marine Corps, served his time there, and then made a concerted effort to break into the ranks of the secret service. He eventually was hired, and made his way up to working at the white house. He worked for presidents from Ronald Reagan  and was personally in charge of the safety of Bill and Hillary Clinton before he joined the CIA in 2004.

Filled with eye witness accounts of treacherous situations and covert operations, I am a Secret Service Agent also has lots of helpful tips for aspiring agents, from what education and background is important, to what sort of temperament one should have. Young readers will be able to put themselves into young Emmett's shoes, and thrill to behind-the-scenes opportunities like entering President Kennedy's former house at the invitation of his brother Ted or protecting the president in the storm ravaged, dangerous streets of Haiti.

There are lots of details about weapons, strategies, and a huge variety of trips taken with the presidents to exotic locations, all while on high alert for any and all threats to the president.

Readers who like nonfiction books detailing what life is like in the secret service, such as Butts' Bodyguards: From Gladiators to the Secret Service and Janeczko's Double Cross will love reading this memoir with their sunglasses on and one eye watching the door!

What I really think: This had very tiny print, and was not all that exciting. The writing style was very dry, and most of the missions were about as exciting as getting the first lady's make up bag out of the limo. Rather disappointed. Maybe there is an adult version with better details?

Ms. Yingling

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