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Sophie Simon Solves Them All

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  489 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
For a third-grader, Sophie Simon is one smart cookie. She enjoys teaching herself advanced calculus and has performed successful heart surgery on an earthworm. She's also very clever when it comes to dealing with her clueless parents. But Sophie is no genius when it comes to calculating the high value of friendship--until, that is, she has to use her incredible IQ to help ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Sophie is brilliant- stratospherically brilliant. In third grade, she is reading college texts-- her parents are clueless, her teacher is clueless, her classmates uninterested in and uninteresting to Sophie- all fine with her until she realizes that her calculus text is useless without a $100 graphing calculator.
Her classmates are having parent problems of their own and realize a brainiac like Sophie should be able to figure out how to help. Ever logical (a somewhat unappealing) Sophie has no i
Stephanie Croaning
Sophie Simon is a quirky, 3rd-grade genius. Sophie wants two things in life -- 1) a graphing calculator so she can teach herself calculus; and 2) for her parents to accept and feel proud of who she is. What Sophie doesn't think she needs are friends. In this tale of interwoven character lives, Lisa Graff reminds us that many times in life we have to rely on other people to accomplish our goals and solve problems that seem insurmountable on our own.

I read Graff's more recent TANGLE OF KNOTS befor
Kelly Hager
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is absolutely adorable. I immediately loved Sophie Simon (who is smarter than I am, and probably has been her entire life) and---while she doesn't have any friends---she knows pretty much everything and once you do know essentially everything, who needs friends anyway?

Except it turns out Sophie does, because she wants a graphing calculator, which is $100, and her parents won't buy it for her. (Well-adjusted children don't want a graphing calculator because well-adjusted children hate m
Jul 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is a rather annoying book, filled with stereotypes, unsympathetic adults, and bratty or stupidly portrayed children. The stereotype that hits home most with me is the characterization of Sophie, the gifted genius. Her nose is always in a book, she has no interest in friends or people at all, she only helps the other kids, because she wants money to buy a graphing calculator, so she can teach herself calculus. The second most annoying caricature is Sophie's parents, clueless grownups who cal ...more
Melissa West
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eled-380, favorites
Sophie Simon is a genius. Her parents are discouraged that their child is not normal. When other kids want to play outside, she wants to be reading. When other kids are asking for the new toys to play with, she's asking for a graphing calculator. Her parents are not happy. So when she wants the calculator, her parents refuse her. Now she has to solve her problem to figure out how to get it on her own. She finds friends that need her help and realize that they will pay her for her help and she ca ...more
Mar 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This was an odd book. I got it as a read aloud for my 1st grade daughter. She LOVED this book. There were things I liked about this book - good writing, an unexpected story, a girl not afraid of being smart and exactly who she is - and things I didn't like about this book. The adults were cartoonish buffoons. The kids were, while not stereotypes, cartoonish as well. The story revolved around Sophie Simon, girl genius who would rather not relate to people, solving other kids' problems to secretly ...more
W.H. Beck
May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny, realistic, math, 2011, 4-5, 2-3
Sophie can't be bothered with things like friends. She's got more important things to think about--like complicated math equations. Only for the kind of math she's interested in, she needs a special graphing calculator: the Pembo Q-60, which costs $100. But when her classmates come to her hoping she can help solve their problems, Sophie just might find a way to get her calculator...and make a few friends along the way.

For fan of Lisa Graff( Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff, The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff), mathletes, and any who feels like their loved one
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
I've always wanted to like Lisa Graff's books but none of them have really ever grabbed me. Until now. Sophie Simon is a uniquely self-interested genius who wants only one thing: a brand new graphing calculator. Trouble is, she has moron parents who would sooner drop dead than give her own. Meanwhile, three of Sophie's schoolmates have problems of their own. It's possible that if Sophie solves their problems, she'll be able to make enough for her calculator. What she doesn't count on is the poss ...more
Jan 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sophie Simon is VERY advanced academically for a 3rd grader. She loves calculus and psychology, but her parents want her to be "normal" and giggle with her friends; her teacher wants only rote compliance. Sophie wants a graphing calculator. In the course of the story, Sophie finds that some of her classmates have problems, too, problems that she can help solve. In the end, Sophie finds there is a place for her in school and and in life and that sometimes her classmates can help her to get her he ...more
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tweens, children
This book won me over with its humor (a similar tone to the Mercy Watson books) and some puzzle solving that was just complicated enough to keep the reader's attention and yet not frustrate the intended age group. I appreciate that Lisa Graff created a character that is so resolutely into what she is into that her social life suffers. The vast majority of girl characters in books do not swing this way, and its good to see one that knows what she likes to do and is very smart. This has the making ...more
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
This book is adorable and perfect for 3rd graders who are just starting to delve into longer chapter books. It just makes the required length of 100 pages! It's a fun, somewhat silly book, but it has a message of some depth underneath--parents should let children be who they are. We used it for a lunchtime book club and had fun with snacks that corresponded to the many endearments Sophie's parents use with her--everything from dill pickles to snickerdoodles! Lisa Graff seems to have her pulse on ...more
Jul 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: yh-int-14-15
Sophie is a smart kiddo who sees the world a little differently than most of her peers. When her one goal can be accomplished by helping others meet theirs, Sophie finds out that it actually is nice to have friends after all. The story is funny with clever bits. I thought Sophie Simon's Encyclopedia of Things She Can't Believe You Don't Know Already was a fun conclusion. My only problem with the book was that absolutely every adult was baffoonish or out of touch with kids. Was that really necess ...more
The Library Lady
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
When all the grown up reviewers start going on about "cute" and "adorable" my alarm warning of approaching saccharine begins to beep. And sure enough, by the time I'd read the first chapter it was beeping loudly.
There are lots of jokes here for the grownups about helicopter parents, wrapped around a slight story about a kid who resembles Roald Dahl's Matilda in her genius. Only Matilda really WAS adorable and likeable, and Sophie isn't. And I'm not sure there's as much kid appeal here as there i
Dana *
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: childrens, friendship
Shelves: childrens
A novel about independence and making friends, and figuring out how to help others.
Sophie is very smart, so smart that everybody makes fun of her and she has no friends. Her smarts make her the go-to person when a few kids have a dilemma that they need a way to solve. Sophie helps them all solve their problem, and one of her own at the same time.

But mainly, Sophie learns how to make friends, and what friends are all about.

Great story.
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is another Battle of the Books selection for the grade 3-4 team. Sophie is a highly academically gifted girl who is determined to obtain a graphing calculator - total focus on her goal. Graff weaves in many threads about how parents' hopes, dreams and expectations for their children often differ from those of the child. Driven by her own personal goal, Sophie helps parents and children come into closer alignment. Lots to discuss with your child if you read the book together.
Laura Salas
Sep 20, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Accessible to slightly younger audience than her usual work. At times it tries a little too hard to be flippant or clever resulting in a condescending tone for adults & confusing one for kids.
Fun story with some highly desirable silliness and a satisfying conclusion. Interesting character & character growth in Sophie. I have used it with great success as a read-aloud choice in 3rd Grade.
Amber Lineberry
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have the joy of working in an elementary school media center this year so am fitting in some of our sunshine state books and decided to start with this little gem! This book was really cute and shows how friends are important and can help each other out even when you least expect it! Is an excellent read for 3-5 graders!
Sep 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Cute book on an anti-social child prodigy. Pretty harmless for most parents but probably not one I'd let my kids read:(. Adults and/or teachers are depicted as dumb almost idiotic. It's done in a comical and silly way but does not encourage respectful behavior, particularly to your own parents or teacher. Cute book but kinda a bummer for me.
Sep 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, arcs
Adorable story about a girl who values learning over friendship and how her life is impacted by the people who need her brains to help them with their problems. This was a short, enjoyable read.

This was an ARC received from the author for review on my blog.
Jan 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Nice to see a "girl genius" for students of this age. This book is definitely intended for a high 2nd grader, 3rd grader - but I wonder if the content would be interesting to them?
Will definitely recommend this to my little guys and see what they think.
Karen Arendt
May 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun story about a genius, Sophie, who only wants a graphing calculator and not friends. There are three students in her class who need help to solve their problems, problems only a genius can solve! Very humorous and full of genius skills!
Chris Hays
Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children, teaching
This is a quick and whimsical story told from the view point of 5 different students. Though I feel it would be hard for students to delve into the character's development it was recommended by a couple of fourth grade students. Bonus that it has a female protagonist who is a genius.
Rebecca Berry
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book and so did my students! It enabled them to make meaningful connections between characters and truly practice their inferencing skills through those relationships. Good Read!
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
its about Sophie Simon really wants a new caculator,but her parents want her to have friends (because she didn't have any).Sophie ignores them and earns the money,but she still has to go to Oscar's birthday the end she ends up not getting the caculator,and makes some friends.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
We read this together as a read aloud and were all laughing the entire way. The kids still talk about the teacher, Mr. St. Cupid. But the aspect of this story I liked is the message for kids that are gifted, have Aspergers, or are just a bit quirky all need and can make friends, too.
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Have liked Graff's more recent books much better. This was too cartoonish for me. I think the different characters of Daisy, Sophie, and Julia might be a little confusing to students, especially since Sophie is the title character, but the book begins with Daisy.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Sophie wants a calculator. Owen wants a rabbit. Daisy doesn't want to be a ballerina. And Julie needs a spectacular story. A story of kids who find an unexpected solution to their problems and maybe a little friendship along the way.
Apr 25, 2015 rated it liked it
A cleverly woven plot, but the characters did not quite pull me in. I had hoped to be caught up in a circle of friends, but instead, enjoyed a quick tour of the neighborhood and a chuckle or two at the quirkiness therein.
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Lisa Graff is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots, as well as Lost in the Sun, Absolutely Almost, Double Dog Dare, Umbrella Summer, The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower, The Thing About Georgie and Sophie Simon Solves Them All. Originally from California, she lived for many years in New York City and now makes her home just o ...more
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