Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lisa Graff

Lisa Graff has officially made her way onto my list of favorite authors. Two of her previous books, The Truth About Georgie and Umbrella Summer*, have been featured on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master Reading List.

In her newest book, Sophie Simon Solves Them All, Graff writes for a little bit younger audience and gives us a little bit younger protagonist. Sophie Simon is not your average third grader. She's a genius, who is completely misunderstood by her parents. Her parents simply want her to be a well-adjusted kid. They would rather she speak Pig Latin than teach herself Japanese. They are absolutely horrified when they find a calculus textbook in her backpack. And, they want her to have friends. Sophie, though, isn't sure why she needs friends. She is content to read about civil disobedience and calculus, and try to figure out to get her parents to buy her the Pembo Q-60, a $100 graphing calculator which will come in handy for her calculus.

When one of Sophie's classmates comes to her with a problem, Sophie figures out a way to help her classmate and earn some money. Soon, she finds herself helping several other classmates, and comes to realize that maybe having a few friends isn't a bad thing.

One of my favorite things about this book? The terms of endearment Sophie's parents call her - things like walnut, snickerdoodle, garbanzo bean and lemon wedge.

Sophie Simon Solves Them All by Lisa Graff, pictures by Jason Beene
Farrar Straus Giroux  2010
grades 3-5
Reviewed from library copy

*Umbrella Summer manages to be both sweet and sad - it might make you cry, but it will also make you feel good and maybe even laugh. Read it.

Currently reading: The Confession by John Grisham and Juliet: A Novel by Anne Fortier

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