“Homesick” by Kate Klise; Feiwel and Friends, $16.99.

Benny’s dad has always been a collector, but things get totally out of hand after Benny’s mom leaves home in disgust at the clutter filling their house. Among the “treasures” is a splinter that supposedly is a holy relic from the cross of Jesus, along with a mountain of smelly pizza boxes, dirty clothes and old motorcycle parts.

After a pretty young teacher enters their rundown tiny community of Dennis Acres (a real community that lies on the edge of Joplin, Mo.) in a contest for “America’s Most Charming Small Town contest,” the heat is on to clean things up. Benny gets welcome advice from his kindly teacher about how to do the laundry. But how much can a boy do when his father is dead set on stuffing their home and yard with “treasures” that everyone else would call junk?

This entertaining and thoughtful novel examines the difficulty of living with a parent with untreated mental health issues. And it certainly ends with a lot of excitement, as the author finds a surprising way to get rid of all the clutter!

– Jean Westmoore


The KeyBank Sunday Family Film Series continues with “Brave” (PG) at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda. Cost is $2. For information, call 692-2413 or visit