Suerth’s (The Wig: Happy Holidays, 2013, etc.) fourth in the madcap middle-grade Wig series continues to follow Sofie’s trials and tribulations at home and at school.
Snarky fifth-grader Sofie lives in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, with her parents, little sister, Izzy, and eccentric Grandma Ursula, whose pride and joy is her growing collection of identical wigs, each resembling “a hairy French beret” in Sofie’s embarrassed estimation. Grandma loves her wigs so much, in fact, that when one blows off during a convertible joy ride, she reverses in traffic to collect it—much to the consternation of not only Sofie, but Izzy and new family cat Winston, “a.k.a. the Orange Blob,” who are sharing a seat belt in the back seat. Luckily, everyone comes through unscathed. It’s the first adventure in another slice-of-life collection that goes on to include the hazards of intergenerational Facebooking (Ursula’s friends respond to Sofie’s tween complaints with huffy lectures: “When I was YOUR age, we lived in a one-room house”); the terrifying announcement that Sofie’s class will hold a spring dance where the girls ask the boys; dirty-diaper misadventures in babysitting, as Sofie and her friend Madison earn some cash for new dresses; an impromptu lecture on the importance of matching one’s bra and underwear; and more. Sofie’s spur-of-the-moment decision to buy her grandmother another wig—with her babysitting money, no less—from the local thrift shop (which she’s previously derided as “the Museum of Ugliness”) is a nice touch of maturity, as she discovers “it felt pretty good to do something for her for no special reason. I think it also felt good BECAUSE I didn’t plan it in advance.” Overall, it’s another quick, fun read for the Ivy and Bean crowd.
Middle-grade readers will laugh and cringe their way through the over-the-top antics of Sofie and her family and friends.