Sunday, August 17, 2014
What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World by Henry Clark mini review
by Henry Clark
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group
From the back cover:
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 friends' 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? ...
My son selected this book when he was let loose in the bookstore to pick out a couple of books to take to camp. He didn't actually get much reading done at camp this year, so he didn't get to it yet. Instead when he got home I ended up picking the book up when I got exhausted with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I needed something lighter and funnier, and this seemed like a reasonable candidate. Turns out it was a good choice because I quite liked it!
It is awfully hard to talk much about the plot because, for the most part, things are what they seem to be - it's just that what they are is rather weird. Kids find sofa ... kids explore sofa ... kids end up going on adventure. It is all familiar stuff but played out with humor and enthusiasm. The book makes some seriously ridiculous things seem perfectly reasonable, just laying them out there without trying too hard, and without taking itself too seriously.
There are some deeper themes in here - alcoholism and some philosophizing about what constitutes death, and the setting is a town located around/above a coal-seam fire - but it is all discussed with a light hand so that things are not nearly as dark as they could have been. I liked the sarcasm - the narrator has a good voice and and the story carried me along quite nicely.
From my perspective - I am looking forward to Clark's next book (though I hope is has a shorter title), can see myself re-reading What We Found in the Sofa..., and I now I am waiting for my son to read it as well. I call it a four and a half claw book.