The Original Freddie Ackerman
By Hadley Irwin
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Copyright © 1992
Trevor Frederick Ackerman is lost in a sea of humanity. His mom seems to love to get married and she has done it again. The current father, Charlie, is number three, and Trevor isn’t real sure about how this one is going to turn out. Charlie has so many step-… moms, dads, brothers, and sisters that it is hard to keep track of them.
Charlie and Trevor’s mom are going away for the summer for a work assignment combined with an extended vacation in Bermuda and Trevor has to go stay with one of his extended families’, But who? It turns out that he will be flying off to Maine to stay with two of his great aunts on a little island called Blue Isle. Trevor is not too enthused about spending the summer with two old ladies, and it gets even worse when he realizes that the only form of entertainment they have is books. There is not a television to be found in their house.
It doesn’t take long for Trevor to realize that he is going to have to make some money to buy a ticket off this island if he is going to have any fun this summer. After a little searching and dumb luck Trevor comes up with the perfect way to make some money but it involves a little planning, a little research, and a whole lot of sneaking around. It turns out Trevor’s summer is going to be better than he expected.
“The Original Freddie Ackerman” is an enjoyable book about a boy dealing with step-families, girls, and boredom. It touches on the confusion and resentment that ultimately occurs in children in mixed families while not hammering the subject painfully. The occasional lapses into alter ego “Freddie Ackerman World War II flying ace” do not add anything to the story and seem to distract the reader mainly because of the infrequency in which they occur. Outside of those lapses this is a great book that is sure to be appreciated by children 10-14.