Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lisa Graff. SOPHIE SIMON SOLVES THEM ALL

Sophie Simon is a third grader who enjoys learning calculus in her spare time. That alone is pretty unusal. But the really unusual (and funny) thing about Sophie is her parents. They just want Sophie to be "well-adjusted." They feel like all her reading and studying is just not normal for a third grader. Here's one of my favorite parts

Her parents have found an offending item in her backpack:
   "Oh, Maxwell, you won't believe what I've found in our daughters bag! It's a..." She pulled out the item, and her husband snatched it from her.
   "No!" he gasped.
   "Yes!" Sophie's mother cried.
   "It's a textbook!"
   "A college textbook!"
   "Mom," Sophie said. "Dad. I--" But she didn't get a chance to explain.
   "Advanced Concepts in Modern Calculus." her father read. "Oh Aileen, just imagine! Our well-adjusted daughter, exposed to this....educational material! The kind of stuff most adults don't understand!"
   Sophie's mother put a hand on his shoulder. "Now Maxwell, calm down. We don't even know if this book belongs to Sophie. Someone could have slipped it in her bag without her noticing. Let's give her a chance to explain before we get worked up."

It's as if her parents have found drugs in her backpack. It's hysterical! Sophie's parents are obsessed with her making friends. But Sophie is perfectly fine without them. She's only interested in learning. But as she learns more about calculus, she realizes she needs a graphing calculator. Her parents refuse to buy her one. So, Sophie uses her genius brain to work on a plan to get one. One by one, she notices other students with similar  problems. Then her problem solving skills really come in handy. Sophie realizes that she can help other students and get her calculator at the same time.

What a wonderful, silly, smart book! Sophie is a fun character. All the additional characters are just as unique and enjoyable. The illustrations are perfect too! Kids will love Sophie and her creative schemes to help everyone. I know just the students who will appreciate her.

You may recognize Lisa Graff from her book UMBRELLA SUMMER (my review here). That was a great book (current Texas Bluebonnet selection). I look forward to more from Lisa Graff. (Check out her website here.) Her characters are endearing and real. I'm hoping that Sophie is the beginning of a series!
Here is the Book trailer for Sophie