In this amusing story—that is both slightly vintage and completely timeless— good old Ralph Jackson has deserted Brookfield School (his family has had to move to another city) just four weeks before the “picnic day” baseball game against the Lawson Lions. His buddies Trent, Wilmer and Harley are not happy, but they get only gleeful heckling, rather than sympathy from classmates Wonderful Wanda, Gorgeous Glenora and Susie Scott. The dismal situation is not improved by the arrival of a new boy, Archibald Brewster, who wears a suit and tie and is taken to and from school by a chauffeur—he is NOT the answer to the Brookfield Bumblebees’ prayers. However, the boys, especially Trent, cannot get rid of Archibald—he is there every time they turn around. He seems to be particularly captivated by Trent’s offbeat and lovable family made up of dad, mom and seven sons. So begin four rather harrowing weeks in which the Brookfield Bumblebees have the opportunity to discover that things are truly not always what they seem to be.
Written by an accomplished storyteller, this touching and humorous tale is a great family read-aloud.
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