At the beginning of this third book about the Blossoms, things look typical: Junior is in the barn building another impossible invention (a flying saucer made from air mattresses and garbage bags), and Pap is getting stuck in a dumpster while trying to rescue a puppy. This time, however, there's an edge of pathos to the humor, as Junior realizes that no one will ever say (as he has always wanted) that his father would be proud of his inventions; and Pap, in the dumpster, confronts humiliation and his own mortality. It takes a Blossom promise to make things right again: inspired by their mother, Maggie, Vern, Ralphie and Vern's new friend Michael work together to make the Green Phantom fly. After a first, painful launch, occurring on the night while Pap is still missing and during which Junior gets stuck on a roof, things come together: Pap comes home to the quiet understanding of his family and Junior's invention actually flies. Junior, at last, feels his father's pride. This series strengthens as it continues, revealing the powerful love beneath the quirks, which Byars shows with a sharp eye and deadpan humor. As the story closes, another one beckons. It will be welcomed by those who enjoy funny stories--and stories that tell the truth.