Middle-grade readers will laugh and cringe their way through the over-the-top antics of Sofie and her family and friends.




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.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: 136

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.


From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 1

First volume of a planned three, this edited version of an ongoing online serial records a middle-school everykid’s triumphs and (more often) tribulations through the course of a school year. Largely through his own fault, mishaps seem to plague Greg at every turn, from the minor freak-outs of finding himself permanently seated in class between two pierced stoners and then being saddled with his mom for a substitute teacher, to being forced to wrestle in gym with a weird classmate who has invited him to view his “secret freckle.” Presented in a mix of legible “hand-lettered” text and lots of simple cartoon illustrations with the punch lines often in dialogue balloons, Greg’s escapades, unwavering self-interest and sardonic commentary are a hoot and a half—certain to elicit both gales of giggles and winces of sympathy (not to mention recognition) from young readers. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-9313-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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