Saturday, July 20, 2013

ARC Review: What We Found in the Sofa and How It Save the World by Henry Clark

What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World
Author: Henry Clark
Publication: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (July 2, 2013)

Description: The adventure of a lifetime begins between two sofa cushions....

When River, Freak, and Fiona discover a mysterious sofa sitting at their bus stop, their search for loose change produces a rare zucchini-colored crayon. Little do they know this peculiar treasure is about to launch them into the middle of a plot to conquer the world!

The kids' only hope is to trap the plot's mastermind when he comes to steal the crayon. But how can three kids from the middle of nowhere stop an evil billionaire? With the help of an eccentric neighbor, an artificially intelligent domino, a DNA-analyzing tray, two hot air balloons, and a cat named Mucus, they just might be able to save the planet.

This clever comic adventure from debut author Henry Clark is a truly original and utterly wacky story about the importance of intelligence and curiosity in a complacent world.

My Thoughts: This story was a combination of fantastical elements and elements common to all middle schoolers. It had a couch with dragon feet that could tesser (Loved the shout out to A Wrinkle in Time!), a talking domino, an inside out universe, and a villain who wants to use mind control enhanced by cell phones and snack food to take over the world. It also had an orphaned main character, a color blind main character who loved science, and a main character who was dealing with an alcoholic and angry father. 

River, Freak and Fiona are the only kids still living in an abandoned subdivision. An underground coal fire has made the area dangerous. When they come upon an old sofa outside an old and scary mansion, they don't imagine that they will soon be involved with trying to save the world. 

I liked the sly humor that permeated this story. I also liked River's thoughtful narration. I liked the way he was equally accepting of the magical sofa and his own state as an orphan. He was a typical middle schooler cycling by the moment from child to young adult. He was also courageous and intelligent. 

The plot which involved a rare zucchini color crayon and a villain with Compulsive Completist Disorder which compels him to drop his plans of world conquest to complete his collections. The story is filled with action that will appeal to middle schoolers. From exploring the dangerous Hellsboro with its underground coal fires to runaway hot air balloons, the action never stops. 

I think this book will appeal to many upper elementary and middle school students. 

Favorite Quote:
The house was big and boxy with castle-like turrets on three of the four corners. It looked old enough for George Washington to have slept in, assuming George was capable of dozing off in a place that looked like it might be infested with zombies. 
I got this ARC at ALA. You can buy your copy here.

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