"Charles Harrisong is a neurotic 11-year-old from a poor family who believes there is bitter irony in living in Normal, Illinois, with a family that is not normal. At night he reviews his list of "most embarrassing things in my life." When his sister's campaign for class president turns ugly, the family leaves town in the middle of the night, headed for Alabama to live on a houseboat they have bought without viewing. Johnny Heller's reedy, youthful voice is superb for capturing the uncertainty and gawkiness of Charles, whose voice quavers with fear and soars with hope as the story progresses. Heller projects Charles's perpetual worrying effectively by speeding up the pace when necessary. A.B. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine"