The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

By Dana Alison Levy
Published on July 22 2014
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Net Galley
Perfect for fans of The Penderwicks and James Patterson’s Middle School series, this seriously funny, modern family adventure features two dads, four adopted boys, and a variety of pets.

Meet the Fletchers. Their year will be filled with new schools, old friends, a grouchy neighbor, hungry skunks, leaking ice rinks, school plays, wet cats, and scary tales told in the dark!

There’s Sam, age twelve, who’s mostly interested in soccer, food, and his phone; Jax, age ten, who’s psyched for fourth grade and thinks the new neighbor stinks, and not just because of the skunk; Eli, age ten (but younger than Jax), who’s thrilled to be starting this year at the Pinnacle School, where everyone’s the smart kid; and Frog (not his real name), age six, who wants everyone in kindergarten to save a seat for his invisible cheetah. Also Dad and Papa.

WARNING: This book contains cat barf, turtle pee, and some really annoying homework assignments.

This is a fun middle grade book that would be perfect for boys (and girls who happen to love hockey, cat barf, soccer, and turtles!) Like many middle grade novels, it is very episodic.  Instead of focusing on one character or story line The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher follows all four boys and both dads through all the crazy ups and downs that can only happen when so many males are under one roof! It's hilarious and likely will engage all middle school readers.

Things I LOVED about this book:

  • The Fletchers have two dads, and this is normal and not treated like it's a big deal. When one of the boys starts a new school, they have to explain the situation to the teacher, but everyone else in their lives finds this perfectly acceptable. At first, I thought the grouchy old neighbor disliked the family for this reason, but that was quickly disapproved.
  • All four of the boys are adopted, and are different races and religions. This gives the family the opportunity to celebrate literally every winter holiday, including Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas. They are probably the most diverse family I have ever seen in a middle grade novel, and that's really important for kids to see. 
I am super impressed that Levy (a woman) was able to bring to life a family of boys in such a vivid way. The menagerie of animals, various sports, mud, fights and name-calling all add to the Fletcher Family experience. I'm left wondering if this is going to be a series, because I can see a lot more misadventures coming from each boy! I'd read any future books, for a nice change of pace from hard-hitting YA novels and a laugh or two.

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