Triple Trouble for Rupert

Triple Trouble for Rupert by Ethelyn M. Parkinson (1960) A follow-up to Double Trouble for Rupert, and more of the same—short stories, some originally published in magazines—focusing on Rupert Piper and his small circle of friends, their teachers, parents, and some small town characters. I believe that Wisconsin author Ethelyn M. Parkinson was never married and had no children, so it's interesting that she chose to focus on boys in her books—I mean rather than girls. She has a fascinating take on family dynamics, though, with a very warm and wise portrait of Rupert's mom, which reminds me somewhat of my own mom, which is maybe why these books appealed to me so much. Plus, Rupert is an instigator, which I was as a kid. In most of these stories the boys learn a little bit about maturity, in tackling some problem, anxiety, or misconception. The oddest story is the last one, where the boys make a fake “Univac” computer out of an old piano box, with blinking lights and a kid hidden inside with a typewriter. They feature it at a charity event and charge five cents to answer questions. I didn't realize that computers were so much in the popular conversation this early; people really had to wait for a long time before they were able to have all the fun we have these days!