Written by Bill Harley
Illustrated by Adam Gustavson
There’s something for everyone in this lively tale of Charlie Bumpers and a Thanksgiving Day. Charlie is the quintessential middle child, picked on by both his older brother and younger sister. When his teacher assigns the class to define family, all he can think of how badly things have gone at home. The teacher is less than thrilled with Charlie’s definition, so he has to observe the family over the holiday and come up with a new definition. In addition to putting up with a whole house full of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors, Charlie has to share his room with the most annoying cousin on the planet, Chip. Add in a trick bathroom door knob, a casserole of Brussels sprouts, and a homemade bottle rocket, and you have a hilarious yet touching book. Of course, Chip ends up shooting himself in the foot with all his antics. Charlie’s final definition for family is, “People who love you and accept you, even when you’re a bozon.” (A bozon is a bozo-moron.)
Third graders will practice their literacy skills while learning about interpersonal relations and what families can mean. There are plenty of wonderful illustrations to add to the fun.