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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  ·  Rating Details ·  912 Ratings  ·  201 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.
Sep 19, 2015 Kelsey rated it it was amazing
Age: 5th-8th grade
First line: "The sofa wasn't there on Monday but it was there on Tuesday."

I kinda became obsessed while reading this. The snarky humor is full of wit and one-liners without feeling egotistical and the plot moves fluidly and is full of action. This book would make an excellent introduction to science fiction and fans of Hitchhiker's Guide will find Douglas Adams' influence where the plot reins supreme--but fresh, silly jokes abound.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Sep 14, 2013 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 19, 2014 Aimee rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 24, 2013 Lt rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 30, 2013 Laura rated it liked it
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
Jul 22, 2013 Anastasia rated it really liked it
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.
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.
Jeff Harris
Aug 04, 2015 Jeff Harris rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, LOOOOOVED this book! "What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World" is an exceptional blend of adventure, mystery, science-fiction, realism, humor, and heart, and they're all woven together like the upholstery on the sofa shown on the cover to create something that's entirely awesome. In this book, three young friends, River, Freak, and Fiona discover a sofa mysteriously sitting by the side of the road near their bus stop and the rambling old Underhill House. On a whim, t ...more
Sandra Dussault
J'avais lu beaucoup de critiques positives sur ce roman et j'étais intriguée, même si ce n'est pas le genre de romans que je lis habituellement. Je ne suis pas déçue, mais pas enchantée non plus.

L'humour déjanté m'a beaucoup plu au départ, me faisant penser à celui d'Éric Godin dans Le sac d'arachides et Le Flâneur, mais trop, c'est comme pas assez : un m'ment donné faut savoir doser. C'est comme si l'auteur s'était donné comme mission de faire rire ses lecteurs à toutes les 30 secondes et j'avo
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Oct 11, 2015 Vernon Area Public Library KIDS rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adventure-seekers looking for smart humor, 5th-8th grade
When a bedraggled couch appears on the roadside by River's bus stop, he decides to examine the contents before it is hauled away. With his two friends Freak and Fiona, the trio find a brand new Zucchini colored crayon which turns out to be worth thousands of dollars. What River and his friends don't know is that this crayon is about to set them on a path of adventure and discovery, unveiling a cast of otherworldly beings and an evil mastermind bent on exhausting Earth's resources.

I kinda became
Aug 14, 2015 Hollowspine rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World, is a really long title. That might be my criticism of the book. Maybe one more about needing a bit more diversity. However, other than that, this was a wonderfully funny, heartwarming, good message filled, action packed and original story for middle grade kids. And I had a great time reading it.

We start out with our three heroes, River, Fiona and Freak discovering an abandoned sofa sitting near their bus stop. The three kids live on the edge
Rachael Stein
Jun 10, 2013 Rachael Stein rated it liked it
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
Jan 13, 2014 Bibliomancy rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
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
Kathy Martin
Jul 05, 2013 Kathy Martin rated it really liked it
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
Apr 09, 2016 Tara rated it really liked it
This book was super quirky and took me places I never expected. Lots of fun! Three kids discover a random couch by the road and of course sit down on it. Inside the couch is a rare colored crayon, and the kids decide to sell it online. When the bidding goes astronomical, questions are raised...Then the adventure begins. Action, adventure, imminent alien invasions, mind control- this book has it all.
Jul 04, 2016 Cheryl rated it liked it
The kids often do not talk or think like kids, and it's more serious and less 'wacky' than I had expected, and it's easy to blame aliens for the evil in the world but unfortunately "AgraNation" and coal seam fires and cell-phone addiction are all too real. Otherwise It was a fun read, I guess. There are hints of a sequel but I have no interest.
Harry Brake
Nov 06, 2014 Harry Brake rated it really liked it
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
Jul 15, 2014 Stacy rated it it was ok
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.
Emily Andrus
Jun 18, 2015 Emily Andrus rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade
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
Kim McGee
Jul 21, 2013 Kim McGee rated it really liked it
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
Aug 06, 2013 Tracey rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned, children-s
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
Jun 16, 2013 Yapha rated it really liked it
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
Jun 01, 2016 Josh rated it it was amazing
yes I remember this book from your class
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
Eden Prairie
River, Fiona and Freak live on the edge of Hellsboro (how cool is that) and their bus stop is next to a mansion where a crazy man lives, though no one's seen him. One day there is a sofa at their bus stop too. Which brings us to the super long title of the book, what they found in the sofa: a zucchini colored crayon, a domino and a fish hook (ouch!).

These three objects may mean the difference between freedom and eternal servitude to one crazy obsessed dude, in fact, for River, Fiona and Freak,
May 26, 2015 Jenny rated it really liked it
Hyperdiculous. . . a new word introduced in this zany novel and an ample descriptor of some plot elements in this contemporary preteen sci-fi book What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World. Three unassuming middle school students and neighborhood friends--River, Freak, and Fiona—take a rest on a unique green upholstered sofa with wooden ball-and-claw feet that appears by the curbside near their bus stop. Supposedly it was left by a Mr. Underhill for the large item trash pick-up day. A ...more
Jul 24, 2013 Ellie rated it really liked it
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 :)
SF Davenport
Apr 11, 2016 SF Davenport rated it it was amazing
this is possibly my favorite book!i have read a gigantic number of books, so that is a good complement. the story is about three 12-year olds who (s) SPOILER! find a zuchini colored crayon and a double-six domino inside a green sofa (it has been a while since i read this book, so if i get plot details wrong,sorry). they then learn by means of their reclusive neighbor that the crayon is the only weakness of Edward Disin, a person who wants to take over this universe and who is from the alternate ...more
Mar 24, 2016 Daniela rated it really liked it
Whoa! This book caught me by surprise! I originally picked it up in audio book (a great reading including character voices and a good pace and timbre) because it is a 2015-2016 Mark Twain Reader's Award Nominee (voted by MO kids as best book for upper elementary), but it was a dramatic tale! Mind control, another world, a sofa, a sentient super computer, villains, and a crayon.

Something that struck me about this was the clash of the mundane with the fantastic. The characters want the villain to
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