Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Puny Pirates

Part of Charlie Bumpers

by Bill Harley
illustrated by Adam Gustavson

Charlie Bumpers is finally on the same soccer team as his two best friends, and they’re sure the Pirates will be the best team ever! But their high hopes are crushed on the first day of practice.

Not only do they have a bunch of shrimpy and inexperienced teammates, their new coach doesn’t believe in star players. The first few games are a big disappointment to Charlie. So, if they can’t be on a winning team, Charlie thinks, maybe he, Tommy, and Hector can at least win the prize for selling the most candy bars for the fundraiser. But after a series of near catastrophes, Charlie and his friends learn that hotshot plays and gimmicky sales techniques aren’t as effective as hard work, honesty, and cooperation.

Grammy Award-winner Bill Harley continues his fun series for young readers, using humor to illuminate important values such as working together as a team and making the best of a bad situation. For more on this series, visit the Charlie Bumpers website here.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-939-1
Publication Date: 9/1/2016
Page Count: 160
Size: 5-1/2″ x 7-1/2″
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $6.95
ISBN: 978-1-68263-001-3
Publication Date: 9/1/2017
Page Count: 176
Size: 5-1/2″ x 7-1/2″
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English
Format: CD
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-941-4
Publication Date: 9/1/2016
Time: est. 2 hours
Size: 5″ x 5-7/8″ x 1″
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English
Purchase this Digital Audiobook from the following vendors:


Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-991-9
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 3.7
F&P: GRL O, Gr 3, Genre RF
Lexile: 560L
Themes: Cooperation, Family, Responsibility, Team Sports
BISAC 1: JUV019000 / JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
BISAC 2: JUV005000 / JUVENILE FICTION / Boys & Men
BISAC 3: JUV035000 / JUVENILE FICTION / School & Education


“Master storyteller Harley scores again with fourth-grader Charlie Bumpers” ―Kirkus Reviews

“As always, Harley offers a touching glimpse into friendship and family life while creating a relatable story line.”  ―Boys to Books blog

“One of the best things about these books is Charlie’s intact, supportive family, positive role models, problems that actual students face, and sense of humor.” ―YA and Kids Book Central


Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Intermediate) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2017

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Meet the Author

Bill Harley is a two-time Grammy Award-winning storyteller, musician, and writer who has been writing and performing for kids and families for more than twenty-five years. He is the recipient of Parents’ Choice and ALA awards. He won a 2007 Grammy Award for his children’s storytelling album Blah Blah Blah and a 2009 Grammy Award for his children’s spoken-word album Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live. He lives in Massachusetts. You can visit his website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Adam Gustavson is the illustrator of more than twenty books for children, as well as numerous periodicals. He holds a master of fine arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He lives in New Jersey. You can visit his website here.