by Kate Klise
For fourth grade boys and girls and older.
Benny Summer is having a rough time – his mom walked out on his dad and will come back when his dad agrees to throw one thing out or “when pigs fly.” As his dad is a pack rat who only seems to have gotten worse recently, it doesn’t seem likely.
The sixth grader lives in a tiny town. When a local teacher with aspirations of writing enters a creative writing contest which could result in the town being wired for computers (it is 1983), something will have to be done about the mess of a house.
Benny decides that cleaning up might qualify as his sixth grade, community service project and his teacher agrees, but Benny’s dad has gotten so bad that he won’t even throw away old pizza boxes and has taken to visiting area dumps to bring back more “finds.”
The clean up will have to take place soon – before the vermin take over – but Benny is just not sure how to go about getting his dad to agree.
Well-told story with many interesting characters. Dad’s growing obsession is believable.