Cover image for Peril in the Bessledorf Parachute Factory
Peril in the Bessledorf Parachute Factory
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [1999]

Physical Description:
148 pages ; 22 cm
Bernie's attempt to marry off his sister Delores results in mystery and near-disaster at the Bessledorf Parachute Factory.
General Note:
"A Jean Karl book."
Reading Level:
950 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.7 5.0 35630.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.5 8 Quiz: 20362 Guided reading level: U.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The sign in the parachute factory reads: " insure that every parachute will open, each of our employees knows that at any time, an inspector may require him to jump from a plane in the parachute he has just completed."Bernie Magruder does not think this will ever apply to his sister Delores, who works at the factory. What Bernie wants is for Delores to marry, leave home, and give her nice, large bedroom to him. So he and his friends create a romance between Delores and Dwayne Hopper, who also works at the factory.There are puzzling questions about Dwayne, however, and also about a strange building going up in a nearby town. But as Bernie investigates, it proves, as his dad says, that "Magruders welcome challenge, thrive on change, seek out the difficult, go where angels fear to tread, feed a fever, and starve a cold." The results are nationwide publicity for Delores, tense moments for the Magruder family, and a wonderfully funny story for Bessledorf readers.

Author Notes

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was born in Anderson, Indiana on January 4, 1933. She received a bachelor's degree from American University in 1963. Her first children's book, The Galloping Goat and Other Stories, was published in 1965. She has written more than 135 children and young adult books including Witch's Sister, The Witch Returns, The Bodies in the Bessledorf Hotel, A String of Chances, The Keeper, Walker's Crossing, Bernie Magruder and the Bats in the Belfry, Please Do Feed the Bears, and The Agony of Alice, which was the first book in the Alice series. She has received several awards including the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Night Cry and the Newberry Award for Shiloh.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. Those weird, wacky denizens of the Bessledorf Hotel are back for their seventh adventure, and fans won't be disappointed. Bernie Magruder wants his sister, Delores, to marry so he can have her room. The prospective suitor is Dwayne, the newest resident of the hotel the Magruders manage. Delores, however, is torn between true love and job advancement at the local parachute factory. Meanwhile, a mysterious building is going up in a neighboring town, and somehow, Dwayne, the factory, and maybe even the Bessledorf Hotel are involved. The threads come together (with somewhat shaky logic) when Delores must jump from an airplane to test a parachute suspected of being defective. The humor is right on target for middle-graders; more sophisticated readers will appreciate Mr. Magruder's constant cliches and the family dynamics. Naylor mentions previous Bessledorf adventures, but children need not have read them to enjoy this one. --Catherine Andronik

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-This sixth entry in the "Bessledorf" series is disappointing because Naylor has seemingly run out of funny ideas for the Magruder family. In this misadventure, Bernie sets out to match up his sister with Dwayne Hopper, a new employee at the parachute factory where she works. Bernie's goal is to marry off Delores so he can inherit her bedroom. The action picks up when Delores must jump out of an airplane to prove that the parachute she made is not defective. As it turns out, Dwayne is up to no good and has used Delores for his own gains, but he still loves her. Too bad-she has already fallen for another man. Even those who are familiar with the series will have difficulty identifying characters and placing the story in any specific time period. Naylor utilizes advanced vocabulary and underlying themes that are too complex for younger children and there isn't enough here to interest more sophisticated readers.-Sharon R. Pearce, Geronimo Public School, OK (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 The Sign on the Wallp. 1
2 Parachutes and Stuffp. 7
3 Daydreamsp. 16
4 The Big Black Holep. 24
5 Animal Lovep. 31
6 Romantic Persuasionp. 38
7 A Little Help From Felicityp. 46
8 Mortificationp. 54
9 Frazzledp. 62
10 Bad Newsp. 71
11 From Bad to Worsep. 79
12 Profiles in Couragep. 86
13 Parachute Feverp. 93
14 The Man Who Came to Dinnerp. 100
15 Lester Tries Againp. 108
16 The Night Before the Big Dayp. 116
17 What Joseph Foundp. 123
18 A Leap of Faithp. 132
19 Lovep. 138