Charlie Bumpers vs. the Puny Pirates by Bill Harley (Author), Adam Gustavson (Illustrations)

Published September 1st 2016 by Peachtree Publishers

4.5 Stars

Synopsis: At last Charlie Bumpers is assigned to the same soccer team as his best friends Tommy and Hectorthey cant wait to try out the stupific offensive plays theyve perfected at school recess. Their team, the Strikers, is sure to win the championship this year! But the three friends high hopes are crushed on the first day when they see their shrimpy and inexperienced teammates bumbling around on the field. They also find out that their new coach doesnt believe in star players. He expects everyone to learn all the positions and never gives the dynamic trio a chance to perform together. Even though supposedly no one keeps score in this league, the first few games are a big disappointment to Charlie. To make matters worse, his big brother Matt has joined a video club and he is recording every one of the Strikers disastrous plays. If we cant be on a winning team, Charlie thinks, then maybe Tommy, Hector, and I can at least win the prize for selling the most candy bars for the fundraiser. They pool their resources and sell their candy together. What could possibly go wrong with that? After a series of near catastrophes, Charlie and his friends learn that hotshot plays and gimmicky sales techniques arent as effective as hard work, honesty, and cooperation.

My Review: The Charlie Bumpers series for middle graders is a great series about families helping one another and sticking together. Charlie Bumpers is the middle child in the family with an older brother and younger sister. When Charlie finds out that Hector, Tommy and himself are all on the same soccer team, The Pirates, he has visions of a great soccer season. Unfortunately, they are one of the smallest and youngest teams and do not win as they had planned. Over the course of the season, their coach continues to teach them the skills they need to become better players and encourages them pointing out all their growth and positive moves. This is not quite enough for the boys, they want to win, or at least, not lose. The season is a tough one for the boys and things get worse. When they are supposed to sell chocolate bars, not only do they have a hard time selling them, but they eat several and lose some of the money. While all this is going on, Matt, Charlie’s older brother is filming the games. Charlie is upset with Matt and does not want him to use the film for his movie. What Charlie forgets is that Matt usually has his back, they just need to trust him. A great story with lots of fun characters and events, that will teach children about what family is all about. I recommend this book for school, public and class libraries. This is a great series for families to purchase for their children as well.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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