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Soup (Soup #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,142 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
When it came to getting the two of us in trouble, Soup was a regular genius....Soup was my best pal. His real and righteous name was Luther Wesley Vinson, but nobody called him Luther. He didn't like it. I called him Luther just once, which promoted Soup to break me of a very bad habit before it really got formed. As soon as the swelling went out of my lip, I called him So ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published February 12th 1974 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published 1974)
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Jun 27, 2015 Jimmy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult-lit
The great young adult author Robert Newton Peck wrote this book about growing up in the Vermont countryside in the 1920s with his best friend Soup. There's even a one-room schoolhouse. Soup got his name by answering to his mother's call of Soup's On! Now there are over a dozen books in the Soup series now.

In one wonderful scene, Peck and his friends are out playing football. He discusses inflating a football by licking the silver needle before putting it in the football. The taste of that needl
Afton Nelson
Sep 27, 2010 Afton Nelson rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Even though this book pretty much gives directions how to make an acorn pipe and smoke corn silk, with explicit directions on what kind of silk works best, and even though I had to explain to my boys that in the old days, parents, teachers and even random acquaintances could spank kids if the notion crossed their minds, and even though I had to define what "moving your bowels" meant, and remind them not to stick bugs up their friends noses, or play with knives, or tie ropes around people's necks ...more
May 11, 2015 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-lit
This was a re-read for our family, but this series has got to be some of our favorite books of all time. They are laugh-out-loud hilarious and they also teach some great moral lessons. My husband and I thought it was high-time we re-read these so our younger children can hear them.
May 10, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
How I adored this series! Made me want to move to Vermont. The entire line of Soup books are fun to read and a rare find, a series for young boys. I loved the simplicity of small-town life in the 1920's. Similar to The Great Brain novels, the Soup series is told through the eyes of Soup's best friend, Robert, (a semi-autobiographical sketch of the author) the more naive of the mischievous pair. (The Great Brain is narrated vis a vis the Brain's younger brother.) Short books, not a whole lot of w ...more
Juniper Shore
Nov 27, 2015 Juniper Shore rated it it was amazing
The Soup books are set in a fictional Vermont in the fictional 1920s, but the characters read as if they were real. The greatest strength of the books is in their narrative voice--Robert sounds genuinely like a country nine-year-old, like that kid in your school who was always kinda fun but also got in trouble a lot. You don't read these stories for their content so much as for their atmosphere, like Lake Woebegone transplanted to New England.

Each story in this collection is about six or seven p
Jan 06, 2015 Krista rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 14, 2012 Angela rated it really liked it
This is such a great boys' book. I read it when I was a kid and remember liking it. My husband however remembered everything that Soup and Robert did. He read it to our boys and my 7 year old loved it. We discovered however that our 5 year old couldn't handle the toilet humor.
I must admit, I initially picked this book up just because it was filed next to Richard Peck’s books and looked somewhat similar. And there are certain similarities: a sense of fun, a country feel, and a pile of mischief being notable ones. Soup is a collection of episodes that relate Rob’s friendship with Luther Wesley Vinson, affectionately (or not) known as “Soup.” Rob and Soup get themselves into just about as much trouble as two kids could, and into more than most would have the imagination ...more
Barbara Brien
This story of two boys in a bygone era has a certain charm, but I can't help reading through a lens almost a century old. I don't fault the boys for their antics, or for growing up in the time they lived. And I understand that the adults also had to live in that time, not mine. But the first several chapters feature several beatings administered to Robert. Given current events, I feel a little cynicism about how something common less than a hundred years ago can cause such trouble now. I am not ...more
James Vachowski
Jul 27, 2014 James Vachowski rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-boys-like
The “Soup” books are Robert Newton Peck’s fictionalized memoirs about his childhood in rural Vermont. Mr. Peck narrates the stories from his childhood perspective, and most of the stories involve the trouble that his best friend dreams up. There doesn’t seem like there’s much to do out in the country, but Rob and Soup put their imaginations to good use. Usually, they end up in hot water as a result!

“Soup” is more of a collection of short stories than an actual novel, unlike some of the sequels t
When I was eight years old, my family moved to a new state. The biggest tragedy of this for me was that I was part-way through a series of books that my old school's library had. My new school's library not only didn't have them, but had a librarian who looked at me funny for even asking. That series was the Soup books by Robert Newton Peck, and I never did get to finish reading them all.

I'd forgotten about this until a few weeks ago when searching for more books to add to my classroom library.
Nov 21, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-boys
A friend recommended this book - and then a group of friends agreed - for my super picky reader in 6th grade. I grabbed this book and an Arctic adventure book for him and he wrinkled up his nose at Soup and chose the other book.

But as it would be, my husband was gone that night and the boys asked me to read something to them and because my usually right friends so highly recommended this book, I picked up Soup to read aloud.

The boys eyes were wide with "what would you do if we did that?" and I
Nov 13, 2010 Connie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fairly nostalgic look at the author's childhood, well-written and funny... kinda like The Great Brain series, but set in a later decade.

The chapters are self-contained stories, which makes it possible to skip over any you find problematic. There's one chapter where the kids make acorn pipes and smoke cornsilk - they get incredibly sick, and it's highly unlikely that any child will decide to emulate them.

There's another one where the children get it into their head that they MUST see th
Jan 17, 2016 Brett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recall reading the Soup stories when I was in grade school (or perhaps someone read them to me, I can't remember). At any rate, the stories told are just as entertaining now as they were then. A good reminder that boys are going to get into mischief as they go about exploring their world, and it's probably healthy to laugh instead of yell. I hope my own boys will spend their free time outside like Soup and Rob rather than inside with television, computer, or video games.
Such a fun book! Written as a series of stories, or rather escapades, of Robert and his best friend Soup -things like tying people to trees, or rolling down a hill in an old apple barrel. Most of the time their activities got them into trouble, but they had fun anyway.

It was also a wonderful glimpse into life was like for kids before technology, and what they did to entertain themselves. So much fun, and made even more fun by the fact that I listened to the book with my 11 yr old daughter and 8
Mar 13, 2012 Marilyn rated it really liked it
My fourth grade teacher read some of these stories out loud to us. It was by far the most engaging part of the day. My daughter was less impressed with the stories yesterday, but I was laughing so hard I stayed up late to finish. The kicker is these stories are autobiographical!!!!! This is the true Mayberry. Also, I discovered last night that this is the "The Day No Pigs Would Die" author (that book is so well written and it has some sad and disturbing parts which I didn't know going in to it). ...more
Jun 06, 2014 Rich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny, charming collection of tales of friendship, boyhood, and growing up in rural Vermont. I loved this book as a child. It was hard to read it out loud to my kids (I'm too much of a suburbanite for some of the phrases to roll naturally off my tongue), but they both loved it and want to go right on to "Soup and Me." Some chapters were stronger than others -- the final chapter was, by far, the best. Without revealing too many spoilers, the look of shock on my daughter's face when I read Rob's s ...more
Jan 27, 2016 Kathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed in this one. The stories were cute, but there was not as much entertainment as I was hoping for. There were a few cuss words. Not bad, but more than I like in an elementary book. It is obviously a very old book. The ending just suddenly happens without really an ending. I'm not very excited to have to promote this to my students for Battle of the Books.
Jan 03, 2015 Kara rated it really liked it
Great series for little boys (or little girls). Looking forward to sharing these with my kids. So fun to know they're autobiographical from that authors' own rural upbringing.

Also read A Day No Pigs Would Die for a more adult, memoir perspective of the authors' childhood experience. Very moving. (This one is just for the parent.)
Dec 08, 2015 Zzyzx rated it it was amazing
Read this and ALL of the soup books as a kid. Loved EVERY single line of every single book. I remember lying in bed at night after my nightly dose and thinking of what dirt paths felt like, or snow, or just being free like the characters in Peck's series. BTW, I was born/raised in Los Angeles for perspective.
Chocolate Panda
Jan 05, 2016 Chocolate Panda rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I could never get enough of this book! Hilarious and entertaining. The story revolves around Robert and Soup. I have to say These two boys could wreck their whole town If they put their mind into it! In this book You'll see How Robert and soup get themselves into troubles. like, Robert tying up his aunt under the tree while there was a heavy storm out there.. or things like how he survived a barrel race on a steep-drop hill.

I want to give it four stars but it just wasn't that good the ending was really good but just the stories they all got in trouble and it wasn't to funny. But it was still a very good book. And it was the last B.O.B book I had to read which made it even better.
Sep 27, 2014 Olivia rated it really liked it
All three of my kids couldn't get enough of this book. I didn't realize this is only the first book of several. Gabe has since checked out the others from the library and forced us all to listen to various excerpts. Lots of laughing all around!
Sep 13, 2014 Doris rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Loved this as a kid. Recently re-read it. Made me laugh out loud more than once. I kept looking for the bubble gum/haircut story, but finally realized that's in Soup and Me. I highly recommend to anyone ready for a laugh. I read it in one sitting.
Aug 19, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
Just finished reading this aloud to my kids and we enjoyed it as much as I remembered enjoying it as a kid. The older language and cultural references sometimes took some explaining, but it made for good conversation.
Mar 24, 2014 Christie rated it it was amazing
Cannot get enough Soup. Laugh-out-loud funny. There are several Soup books, but some are out-of-print. Worth a search, if you have boys.
Lightweight but enjoyable stories about a boy growing up in Vermont in the 1930s. An early-elementary version of Tom Sawyer.
Oct 05, 2015 Judy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-books
Funny, funny funny! The things that Robert and Soup get into! A great selection of childhood mischief and mayhem.
Sep 21, 2014 Jill rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
Lots of fun, and a great read for grade school children.
Lisbeth Solberg
I'd like to try this with some of my students.
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From Wikipedia--

Robert Newton Peck is an American author of books for young adults. His titles include Soup and A Day No Pigs Would Die. He claims to have been born on February 17, 1928, in Vermont, but has refused to specify where. Similarly, he claims to have graduated from a high school in Texas, which he has also refused to identify. Some sources state that he was born in Nashville, Tennessee
More about Robert Newton Peck...

Other Books in the Series

Soup (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Soup & Me
  • Soup for President (Soup, #3)
  • Soup's Drum (Soup, #4)
  • Soup on Wheels (Soup, #5)
  • Soup in the Saddle (Soup, #6)
  • Soup's Goat (Soup, #7)
  • Soup on Ice (Soup, #8)
  • Soup on Fire (Soup, #9)
  • Soup's Uncle (Soup, #10)
  • Soup's Hoop (Soup, #11)

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