Life at Robby Hummer's house is wild, fun, and a big mess since his twin brother and sister were born. At school, he'd rather read quietly than play games at recess of watch a filmstrip. But his teacher thinks he reads too much and sends him to Mrs. Van Gent, the schol counselor. Sheesh! Since when is liking books a problem?
Meanwhile, some kids at school think it's weired that Robby's father stays home to take care of the twins while his mother works. Robby worries that, if his family is not like everybody else's, the authorities could take him away from them. When he learns that Mrs. Van Gent is coming to dinner, he knows she plans to spy. He's got to turn the Hummers into a normal family-now!
Robby Hummer loves his family, even if they are somewhat unusual. His father stays home with the twins while his mother works, and the house is always messy, frenzied and full of laughter. Robby has never questioned his home life until the new school guidance counselor, Mrs. Van Gent, starts to inquire about it. When one of Robby's classmates is placed in a foster home, the boy begins to worry that he, too, might be separated from his family. Worst of all, Robby fears that Mrs. Van Gent's impending visit for dinner is actually an occasion to spy; he hopes he can visit order upon the chaos before she arrives. The author of Children of the River adroitly employs vibrant characters and believable predicaments to create an animated and true-to-life tale of a dynamic household. Robby is a sensitive, painfully honest protagonist whose fears and concerns will especially inspire those readers who live in unconventional homes. Ages 9-12.