Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year (Charlie Bumpers Series)


Shortly before school starts, Charlie Bumpers learns that he will have the strictest teacher in the whole school for fourth grade. It doesn't matter that she's been named Teacher of the Year. He's still afraid of her. Last year when he was horsing around in the hall, he accidentally hit her in the head with his sneaker (don't ask). How will he survive a year under a teacher who is just waiting for him to make another stupid mistake? ISBN-13 Description

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Shortly before school starts, Charlie Bumpers learns that he will have the strictest teacher in the whole school for fourth grade. It doesn't matter that she's been named Teacher of the Year. He's still afraid of her. Last year when he was horsing around in the hall, he accidentally hit her in the head with his sneaker (don't ask). How will he survive a year under a teacher who is just waiting for him to make another stupid mistake? ISBN-13 Description

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 2–4—Just before Charlie Bumpers starts fourth grade, he discovers that his best friend, Tommy, with whom he has always shared a class, will be in the classroom of the nicest teacher. Charlie's teacher will be Mrs. Burke, last year's Teacher of the Year, the strictest instructor in school and Charlie's worst scholastic nightmare. Sincere of heart and often trying to help out the little guy, Charlie finds himself in a series of escalating situations that make him look like a "bozo" to the severe Mrs. Burke and the other teachers, but a comic hero to the rest of the kids in school. Charlie must overcome the school bully, a couple of exasperating siblings, and his reputation for chaos in order to survive the school year. This chapter book (Peachtree, 2013) is narrated by Bill Harley, who is a seasoned storyteller and Grammy Award-winning recording artist, so it's especially surprising when the voices are occasionally indiscernible and run together. Despite these hiccups, the production is good and the story is entertaining. Bonus features include a preview of the next Charlie Bumpers book, Charlie Bumpers vs. the Really Nice Gnome, and Harley performing his song about the titular character.—Jennifer Verbrugge, Dakota County Library, Eagan, MN
Publishers Weekly
Charlie’s fourth-grade year is off to a rocky start. He’s dismayed to learn that his teacher is Mrs. Burke, whom he accidentally hit in the head with a shoe the year before (“I’m glad to see you’re wearing both of your shoes,” she quips on the first day of school). Charlie has the best intentions and the worst luck, a combination that tends to land him in trouble; the playground becomes littered with toilet paper after he uses a roll to create the finish line for a race, and his sneaker gets stuck on the roof after he throws it up there to retrieve a soccer ball. The swift-paced story is powered by peppy repartee between Charlie and the people in his life, as well as his droll internal monologue (including his repeated observation, “Trick question! No good answer!”). Charlie’s kindness to a new classmate from Chile and his growing appreciation of Mrs. Burke supplements the comedy. Dynamic and skillfully drafted ink-and-watercolor spot illustrations from Gustavson, who illustrated Harley’s Lost and Found, help chronicle the hijinks. Ages 7–10. Illustrator’s agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Sylvia Firth
Charlie is very upset when he learns that his fourth grade teacher is Mrs. Burke because she is the sternest teacher in the whole school. He is certain that she will make his life difficult because of a situation involving her when he was in third grade. After all, he (accidentally) hit her in the head with his sneaker and she had informed him that if he “ever threw another shoe in school, [he would] stay in from recess for the rest of [his] life!” His mother tries to be encouraging. She reminds Charlie that Mrs. Burke was honored as Teacher of the Year and suggests that once he gets to know the teacher better everything will work out. Poor Charlie continues to get into trouble even when he has the best intentions. For example, he tries to correct the drawing of his favorite book that was hanging on string with all the others in the hall. Charlie knows it is not a good idea to stand on a desk to reach the picture but he just has to fix the dragon egg. Suddenly, he is grabbing onto the classroom door entangled with string, posters while knocking over the message board, magnets, desk, and chair. Things get even worse back in the classroom. Everything from Charlie’s desk is scattered on the floor where he left them while seeking his colored pencils. But Charlie has good qualities as well, and these cannot be missed. He befriends the new boy, Hector, and helps first-grader Brady by tying the boy’s shoes and helping with the stuck zipper on his jacket. These help him to eventually come to a wonderful relationship with Mrs. Burke. Readers will clearly identify with Charlie and the other characters thanks to the tone of the writing and the clever, humorous black-and-white drawings. This is a perfect read aloud story that will be in great demand for individual reading. All are sure to look forward to the next book, as this is the first of a brand-new series. Add this to the purchase list. Reviewer: Sylvia Firth AGERANGE: Ages 8 to 10.
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—When Charlie finds out that his fourth-grade teacher will be Mrs. Burke, Teacher of the Year, he knows that he's in trouble. The previous year, he accidentally hit her in the head with a shoe. He is also a disorganized mess and she is notoriously orderly. Throughout a rough couple of first weeks of school, Charlie struggles to be more organized and to get along with Mrs. Burke. He befriends Hector, a new student from Chile, and is annoyed by know-it-all Samantha Grunsky. While Charlie seems incapable of avoiding mishaps, he also has some very good qualities, like helpfulness, which will have readers cheering him on. The final conversation with Mrs. Burke includes an explanation of her "dry sense of humor," which is a little awkward, but otherwise this is a fast-paced, enjoyable first entry in a new chapter-book series. It's a good choice for those who have finished Andrew Clements's "Jake Drake" books (S & S).—Laura Stanfield, Campbell County Public Library, Ft. Thomas, KY
Kirkus Reviews
Charlie Bumpers is doomed. The one teacher he never wanted in the whole school turns out to be his fourth-grade teacher. Charlie recalls third grade, when he accidentally hit the scariest teacher in the whole school with his sneaker. "I know all about you, Charlie Bumpers," she says menacingly on the first day of fourth grade. Now, in addition to all the hardships of starting school, he has gotten off on the wrong foot with her. Charlie's dry and dramatic narrative voice clearly reveals the inner life of a 9-year-old--the glass is always half empty, especially in light of a series of well-intentioned events gone awry. It's quite a litany: "Hitting Mrs. Burke in the head with the sneaker. The messy desk. The swinging on the door. The toilet paper. And now this--the shoe on the roof." 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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561457700
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2013
  • Series: Charlie Bumpers Series
  • Format: CD
  • Sales rank: 1,322,930
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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