Move over, Mary Poppins, 'cause Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick is in the house!
Sixth-grader Carter Jones is doing the best he can while his dad is deployed overseas. He's juggling family issues while trying to figure out the first year of middle school. After his grandfather passes away, Carter inherits the services of Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick, a real English butler, or a "Gentleman's Gentleman" as he prefers to be called. The butler helps Carter solve difficult problems, teaches him life lessons via the game of cricket, and helps Carter learn to make sense of his circumstances (which are present through no real fault of his own). Having the emotional support of the right person at the right time is exactly what Carter needs, and the butler is the perfect man for the job.
I loved this book! Gary D. Schmidt has written other books for older teens, but this one is terrific for those younger children who may be struggling to "sink or swim" in life as they navigate the difficulties of growing up. Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt is a great read for young middle school children who find themselves in difficult situations similar to what Carter is going through. Boys and girls alike will enjoy reading about a boy who learns that he can overcome hardship and be the hero others look up to.