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Charlie Bumpers vs. The Puny Pirates




At last Charlie Bumpers is assigned to the same soccer team as his best friends Tommy and Hector—they can't wait to try out the stupific offensive plays they've perfected at school recess. Their team, the Pirates, is sure to win the championship this year! The three friends dub themselves "the Pirates of Doom" and eagerly await an amazing season of victories.

But their high hopes are crushed on the first day when they see their shrimpy and inexperienced teammates bumbling around on the field. They also find out that their new coach doesn't believe in star players. He expects everyone to learn all the positions and never gives the dynamic trio a chance to perform together. Even though supposedly no one keeps score in this league, the first few games are a big disappointment to Charlie. To make matters worse, his big brother Matt has joined a video club and he is recording every one of the Pirates' disastrous plays.

If they can't be on a winning team, Charlie thinks, then maybe he, Tommy, and Hector can at least win the prize for selling the most candy bars for the fundraiser. They pool their resources and sell their candy together. What could possibly go wrong with that?

After a series of near catastrophes, Charlie and his friends learn that hotshot plays and gimmicky sales techniques just might not be as effective as hard work, honesty, and cooperation.