Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Squeaking Skull

Part of Charlie Bumpers

by Bill Harley
illustrated by Adam Gustavson

Can Charlie Bumpers face his fear of horror movies, come up with a genius costume, and enjoy Halloween? From the award-winning middle grade series by Bill Harley.

“Another great story for young boys…. An exceptional choice for fans of this series and of Sally Warner’s EllRay Jakes series and Tommy Greenwald’s Charlie Joe Jackson series.” ―Booklist Online

Fourth graders Charlie and Tommy have big plans for Halloween. They’re going to trick-or-treat and sleep over at Alex’s house. But when Charlie finds out that the entertainment at the party will be the “Scariest Horror Movies Ever,” he is struck by panic. Charlie loves candy, he loves sleepovers with his friends, but he absolutely hates horror movies.

There is yet another wrinkle in Charlie’s Halloween plans. He is determined to win the big prize (ten movie tickets) that will be awarded for the best costume, but when he finally comes up with a genius prize-winning idea, he runs into an unexpected obstacle. How will Charlie be able to enjoy Halloween this year? Black and white illustrations throughout. Available in eBook.

The laugh-out-loud Charlie Bumpers series from Grammy Award-winning author Bill Harley is perfect for reluctant and transitional readers. Humor and heart combine with relatable problems and themes surrounding family, friends, and school.

Also available from Bill Harley:
Charlie Bumpers vs. His Big Blabby Mouth
Charlie Bumpers vs. the End of the Year
Charlie Bumpers vs. the Perfect Little Turkey
Charlie Bumpers vs. the Puny Pirates
Charlie Bumpers vs. the Really Nice Gnome
Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year

Format: Hardcover
Price: $13.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-808-0
Publication Date: 9/1/2014
Page Count: 176
Size: 5-1/2″ x 7-1/2″
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $6.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-888-2
Publication Date: 9/1/2015
Page Count: 176
Size: 5″ x 7-1/8″
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English
Format: CD
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-809-7
Publication Date: 9/1/2014
Time: est. 2 hours
Size: 5″ x 5-3/4″ x 1/2″
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-765-6
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

Purchase this Digital Audiobook from the following vendors:


AR Level: 3.4
GRL: P, Gr 3
Lexile: 490L
Themes: Facing Fears, Family, Creativity
BISAC 1: JUV019000 JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
BISAC 3: JUV017030 JUVENILE FICTION / Holidays & Celebrations / Halloween


“Fans of the [audiobook] series will enjoy this third installment, and those new to Charlie will have no trouble following along.” ―School Library Journal

“Harley serves up hilarious high jinks squirming with Halloween trouble…. A learning experience for more than just the main character.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Harley develops all of Charlie’s concerns with a nice sense of balance and levity, and Gustavson’s uncommonly good spot illustrations are frequent, adding notes of creepiness or humor at all the right places.” ―Booklist

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“Author and narrator Harley delivers another great story for young boys… An exceptional choice for fans of this series and of Sally Warner’s EllRay Jakes series and Tommy Greenwald’s Charlie Joe Jackson series.” ―Booklist Online

“Occasional ink and watercolor illustrations highlight the installment’s funniest moments.” ―Horn Book Guide

“The more I read of Charlie, the more I like him for a good series for younger readers.” ―Ms. Yingling Reads

Read Less


Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Intermediate) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2015

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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.