Benny's parents are splitting up. His mom leaves home after a fight about a mysterious splinter that is supposedly part of an important relic. Benny's dad has always liked clutter, but now, he begins hoarding everything from pizza boxes to old motorcycle parts.
As his house grows more cluttered and his father grows more distant, Benny tries to sort out whether he can change anything at all. Meanwhile, a local teacher enters their quiet Missouri town in America's Most Charming Small Town contest, and the pressure is on to clean up, especially Benny's ramshackle of a house, before the out-of-town guests arrive.
(from the book jacket)
Another Sunshine State Young Reader's Award nominee. I read this book in one day. It was interesting and easy to read. I will admit to watching the tv shows about hoarding from time to time. So, I do have an interest in this kind of situation. Mostly, I'm trying to figure out how to keep my house from becoming over-cluttered. I figured, the more I see how bad it can get, the more inspired I will be to clean up.
Anyway, about the book, Benny is a strong boy and he tries hard to help his father. But his father thinks everyone is trying to steal his "treasures". Benny feels helpless and lost.
The book is set in 1983, and Benny's father has some ideas about the future that are a little ahead of his time.
I've told you, Nola. It's coming. A giant computer network that'll link everyone in the whole wide world. Once we're all connected by computers, I'll be able to sell my collection, piece by piece, right here from the living room. I'll make money twenty-four hours a day.
Benny has people in the small town that support him and that keeps this from being too sad. Because in reality he is on his own.
Another good book for 4th thru 8th graders (and adults too). This one is for kids who prefer their fiction a little more realistic but still charming.