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What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World
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What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  434 ratings  ·  123 reviews
When River, Freak, and Fiona discover a rare zucchini-colored crayon between the cushions of a mysterious sofa at their bus stop, they quickly find themselves in the middle of an evil plot to conquer the world! The plot's mastermind, Edward Disin, is responsible for starting the underground coal seam fire that continually burns just beyond the kids' backyards, a dastardly ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 2013 by LittleBrown (first published January 1st 2013)
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I adored this book. It is over-the-top wacky in a way that felt normal and comfortable - kind of like the sofa. Wait until you read about the sofa! I love the sofa! Adventure, friendship, science fiction awesomeness. Also, well crafted writing with quite a bit of clever wit and wordplay that I totally enjoyed. This will definitely make it into my roster of booktalk titles.
Tony Keefer
Interesting middle grade sci-fi tale that is the first book by Henry Clark. Hopefully he writes more. In this book the Earth is about to be taken over by an alien who came to our planet in the 50s. And it is up to three kids, their rather goofy neighbor and a variety of trinkets and furniture enhanced with futuristic artificial intelligence to save the world. Very wacky, but very entertaining.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
This review is easy; I really don’t have to tell you much more than the title. I can pretty much guarantee that if you like the title, you are gonna love the book. It’s that simple.

As for me, I loved the title the minute I saw it. So there you have it.
This is such a great middle grade read! It was engaging and fun. I also love all of the allusions (A Wrinkle in Time, Picasso, Dilbert, Superman and more). I know my 6th graders will eat this book up.
Kathy Martin
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 fathe ...more
This is a wild, goofy ride of an adventure story, laced with slapstick humor and hair-raising stunts for the young, along with clever allusions and puns for the aware, making it a perfect read-out-loud parent-child experience. Three ordinary 12-year-olds are pressed into service to do nothing less than save the world from an evil mastermind whose only weakness is a bad case of CCD -- Compulsive Collecting Disease. The proceedings run apace with frequent nods to prior fantasy adventures, includin ...more
Reading this, I had flashbacks to Adam Rex's Cold Cereal and thought, "this is a cute idea but..." Maybe I'm just too old, but there was something a little missing here.

The idea of Indorsia and a computer disguised as a living room set was interesting. Likewise the "Victory Garden" crayon set, including rutabaga and zucchini colored crayons. Freak, Fiona and River's adventures in the Underhill house and Hellsboro were, as per the genre, a little over the top. More on the flash mobs might have be
This book was really good! If you liked the book "The Mysterious Benedict Society" then you will love this book. It was about three kids who find a rare zucchini crayon and a double six domino in the cushions of a sofa. They didn't know it at first, but they led them to solve mysteries and save the world from evil Edward Disin. It was such a great book. I think that this is a "must read" for all mystery lovers.
Rachael Stein
River, Freak and Fiona are three unlikely friends united by their outcast status and by the tragedies in their families' pasts. They are also the only kids in town who still live in the neighborhood closest to the mysterious underground coal fire known as Hellsboro. When they find a rare zucchini-colored crayon between the covers of a sofa that appears one day at their bus stop, it launches them into the midst of an intergalactic mystery. Surrounded by teleporting furniture, talking dominos, ecc ...more
Look at the title. Read the summary: "Finding a rare zucchini-colored crayon leads twelve year old River and his friends on an adventure with their eccentric neighbor to save Earth from invading interstellar storm troopers." Not for me. Enough said.
Kim McGee
What doesn't this book have? Adventure, friendship, evil corporations, toxic waste and a teleporting sofa
can all be found in this debut by Henry Clark. Three friends find an old sofa at the bus stop and uncover a variety of objects but most importantly a special crayon. That crayon leads them to a creepy mansion and its interesting owner who really is not from this world but from Indorsia. Freak, Fiona and River try to help save the world by eliminating the terrible Edward Disin and must cross i
children's fiction/fantasy-adventure. This was okay, but maybe about 150-200 pages too long. I was getting really bored around p.200 (there were action sequences, but they didn't really serve to propel the story any further) so skipped ahead to read the last 50 pages or so, and sure enough didn't miss anything important, just filler. If I were a kid I probably would've stuck with it, but since I've read enough books to know there are better things out there, it didn't measure up as well. Still, ...more
What a super fun science fiction book for middle grade readers! River, Freak, and Fiona find a random sofa by their bus stop, which starts them on an incredible journey to save not only their town, but the entire Earth. The good guys are never flawless, though the bad guys remain truly evil, in this exciting adventure. A computer embedded in a variety of inanimate objects helps them become a team and work together as they aliens in the form of a super corporation hoping to enslave the earth. Rec ...more
Katie Bruce
A fun, laugh out loud at times, sci fi middle grade romp. At times I had trouble following what was happening during some of the action sequences. This book also seemed to suffer a bit from trying too hard. All of the main characters were dealing with at least one death in their family, another from abuse/alcoholism, and there was typical middle school drama on top of that. The juxtaposition with the silliness of the story seemed jarring at times.

This reminded me a lot of "The True Meaning of Sm
Waiting for the school bus one day, Fiona, Freak and River sit on what appears to be an abandoned sofa. They start to dig around to see if anything has been left between the cushions and finds among other things, a zucchini colored crayon. Zucchini? Yes, in fact, it is the rarest crayon color in existence, so they decide to try to sell it on Ebay. But as the bids climb, River begins to feel like they need to contact the owner of the couch to see if they realize what was left behind. That's when ...more
Wonderful :) 4.5 stars. Great sci-fi for kids who don't think they like sci-fi. AND funny.

Also worth noting that one of the characters' father is an alcoholic and that impacts his life. It's not heavy-handedly talked about and (view spoiler), and I think kids could miss it if it's just not something they're aware of, but I appreciate it when people mention things like this in reviews, so I figured I'd do the same :)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
WWFSHSW is a sweet, weird book that’s almost, but not quite, great. It reminded me of Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday, another middle grade fantasy with a lot of heart buried beneath its absurdity.

Like Smekday, it’s a little too strange for its own good, and I don’t see this book becoming a huge success in the manner of Percy Jackson. There was sometimes an uneasy balance between (literal) toilet humor, arch literary allusions, and the everyday struggles of the three heroes. Clark also ha
Three friends, River, Freak, and Fiona live in a community that has been affected by dangerous mining practices that are less than green. Consequently, part of the area right outside Freak's home has been condemned and is fenced off to prevent anyone from entering it and coming to harm. The youngsters happen upon a sofa near the bus stop one day, and upon searching beneath its cushions, they find several interesting items, including a zucchini-colored crayon. When they decide to sell it on the I ...more
Harry Brake
Think Beverly Cleary, Ralph the Mouse, the books you read as a young reader that yeah, okay, it is not real life and could not happen yet, you loved them. Welcome to the silliness, the moral, the funny, the profane, the silly, yet the entertaining tale that Henry Clark spins that does in fact intriguer us. OftenI found myself smiling, laughing, and shaking my head, yet the pages turned and I wanted to know what happened next.I loved the title as it reminded me of Bill & Ted's Adventure. I ad ...more
Humorous and page turning, this book is full of things to notice. Henry Clark is certainly not shy on the Lord of the Rings references, pulling things like Bree, Underhill, Took, and assortment of amusing chapter titles from the great work. But they blend seamlessly into to story of a world we know and how it just might collide with a reality outside our own.

3D computers and TV's, show tunes, and descriptive back stories make this far fetched story one which is accessible and relate-able to pra
This is a fun, creative mystery adventure for its target audience of upper elementary/middle school kids. You have a trio of misfit but intelligent children who have real heart. The tragedies of their lives are just under the surface (bullying, alcoholic father), but they just give the kids depth without dragging down the essential adventure. The villains and oddball mentors of the quest are definitely unique and entertaining (a sofa, a painting of Geurnica, a domino). In some ways this is simil ...more
Emily Andrus
The story is thoroughly inventive; it takes quite the imagination to hatch a plot to takeover the world based on something found in a sofa. The characters are endearing, each with their own challenges that shape their actions. And some (younger) kids may really go for this. It is, after all, a rather fantastical adventure. So stop here if you want to read it.

Because, oh my, I could barely finish it. And I only did so because it was a book club book. It was definitely not my style with the far-fe
One morning a sofa appears at the bus stop. While searching for loose change, River, Freak, and Fiona find:
- A peanut shell
- A chewing gum wrapper
- A plaid sock
- A two-headed coin
- A double-six domino
- A zucchini-coloured crayon
- A fishhook
Three of these things are not what they seem. Another has a surprising purpose.

The sofa and its contents lead the three friends to Alf, the owner of the sofa, who enlists their help to thwart a world domination plot. But Alf won’t tell them everything, so the
Becky B
The town of Cheshire is burning. No really. There's a seam of coal under the town and an accident at the chemical company in town turned the entire surrounding area into a constantly burning inferno dubbed Hellsboro. Most people have moved as far away as possible from the hot spot, except for three families. Those of River, Freak, and Fionna. That's why these three are the only ones venturing out to wait for their bus one morning and find a very comfy seating option on the side of the road. The ...more
Melissa Mcavoy
Freak, River and Fiona find an old sofa sitting near their bus stop just outside the creepy Underhill house. The objects the twelve-year olds discover hidden under the cushions launch them into the midst of an intergalactic mystery. In this debut novel Clark has packed his plot with fast paced action, tons of goofy plot twists and off-the-wall humor: the couch has consciousness and can move, sibling extra-planetary geniuses are struggling for control of Earth, and cell phones, flash-mobs and jun ...more
River, Fiona and Freak are surprised to find a couch sitting at their bus stop one morning. Delighted with the find, they explore the cushions and find a unique zucchini colored crayon. Fiona researches the crayon and discovers that it's actually quite valuable. They post it on ebay and immediately get bids in the thousands. Feeling a little guilty, they set off to find the crayon's owner.

Enter Alf, their eccentric neighbor. Alf informs them that he needs their help fighting an evil mastermind
Freak, Fiona and River live in Cheshire. Cheshire is just your normal small town except for the fact that there is a giant wasteland eating up the middle of it. Years ago the Rodmore Chemical plant ignited the coal under the ground and it has been burning ever since. It has created the Hellsboro area and the kids are the only people living on one side of town because all the houses were destroyed. One day while waiting for the bus they find a sofa sitting at the bus stop. The sofa leads them to ...more
Emmet O'Neal Library- Children's Department
River, Fiona, and Freak arrive at their bus stop one morning to find a sofa. A sofa, it turns out, that seems to know more than it should. A zucchini green crayon between the cushions leads them to meet their neighbor in the walled off Underhill place…and then to uncover a vast diabolical plot by one of the world’s richest men.

The three misfit friends’ adventure takes them across the nearby wasteland of Hellsboro, where an underground coal seam fire makes the ground too hot for people to live th
When a sofa mysteriously appears at their bus stop, three kids think it's junk to eventually be picked up but in the meantime they will enjoy it. Turns out this sofa is much more than it appears and is a computer used to help stop the takeover of the world! This at first appeared to be a fantasy to me but I loved that it turned out to me more science fiction. And full of humor, to boot!

These three kids are amazing--we were quickly introduced to them but they were slowly revealed to us in that w
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