Third grade Oliver’s biggest problem is his mother. She does everything for him from tying his shoes to doing his homework. Oliver is not terribly brave when it comes to experiencing the dubious wonders of a bouncy room, or having dogs jump on him and sniff in embarrassing areas, but he would really like a crack at doing his own projects. When his teacher assigns a diorama of the solar system to the class, Oliver’s parents jump in with boxes and Styrofoam in characteristic fashion. In a surprising subversive move Oliver makes an alliance with Crystal, a crusading classmate, to do their projects together.This is a spot-on early chapter book. It addresses younger student’s struggles in a believable manner. Subject manner is a bit quiet for readers looking for high humor or wild adventure. The concept is not overly original. The big school projects seems to be a staple of literature at this level, although the break from overly involved parents was fresh and identifiable. Oliver’s thought process was a bit sophisticated for a third grader but gives the adult reader a layer of enjoyment that isn’t always present in books written at this level.