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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

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,428 ratings  ·  261 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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Juliana Yes, I feel it's okay for a 10 year old. It's got some boy humor, but nothing they haven't heard at school before. The book is very clever, goofy, hys…moreYes, I feel it's okay for a 10 year old. It's got some boy humor, but nothing they haven't heard at school before. The book is very clever, goofy, hysterical in parts, and has a good take away message with a satisfying ending. One of the boys has a father who is stressed and drinks too much. He does a lot of yelling, but there is no physical violence. (less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,428 ratings  ·  261 reviews

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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.
Jan 13, 2014 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
Jan 16, 2014 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.
Aug 30, 2013 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.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Sep 14, 2013 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 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked it. The title is deceiving. You think it might be stupid (well the premise kinda is), but actually not bad.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. Cute ya scifi book about three friends who discover a mysterious sofa sitting near their school bus stop and then their lives get really, really weird.
Mar 11, 2015 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
Weird as all get out but in a whimsical way. Full review to come.
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review by James, age 9, 11/10/18

This story is about a zucchini-colored crayon from the rare "Victory Garden" set of crayons. The crayon is extremely rare. Three kids found this crayon in a sofa by their bus stop. The sofa hadn't been there last time. The found the crayon and start an online auction for it. They are very surprised when the high bid is $7000. They go to Old Man Underhill's house - he lives in a mansion - because the crayon was found in his sofa and they know it belongs to him. The
Aug 24, 2013 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 20, 2013 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
Harry Brake
Nov 02, 2014 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 admit ...more
Jul 22, 2013 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.
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, middle-grade
Inventive, fun, touching, action-filled story. The female lead, Fiona--the smart one--is an excellent role model for girls. Kids with realistic family and peer problems who buck up and save the world.
Jun 04, 2013 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
Kathy Martin
Jul 03, 2013 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
Jeff Harris
Aug 04, 2015 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
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Sep 20, 2015 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
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book starts off well with 3 kids finding a sofa on the curb at a bus stop. They search it for contents and find a unique crayon. They try to sell it online and find it is really valuable. Feeling guilty that it belonged to someone else they go to the recluse old man who owned the sofa. This is where the story was lost on me. He's trying to enlist their help to stop the evil plot of big corporate greed. The town had a big chemical spill from a company and it covered it up saying it was a coa ...more
Emily Andrus
Sep 27, 2014 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 19, 2013 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 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s, abandoned
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 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
Katie Bruce
Jun 29, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jul 24, 2013 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 :)
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook-reads
I don't usually like quirky, silly sci-fi, but this book made me laugh so many times that I couldn't help but give it 4 stars. The premise is pretty funny--three kids find a green crayon in a maybe-some-kind-of-intergalactic sofa, and this discovery leads to mystery, hijinks, and the fate of Earth as we know it. Clean and great for kids, but so hilarious.
Jul 04, 2016 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.
Jul 15, 2014 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.
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