This second entry in Suerth’s (Crazy Summer, 2013) middle-grade series follows fifth-grader Sofie Czerny through her first few months at a new school in Stevens Point, Wis.
Sofie’s family—herself, her parents and little sister, Izzy—lives with her Grandma Ursula, a scatterbrained free spirit and owner of the titular wig. Rather, she’s the former owner, since Sofie accidentally set it on fire in the previous book. But miracle of miracles, when Grandma Ursula drags Sofie to a thrift store on a school-supplies shopping trip, she finds a new-to-her wig in the same style—a “poop-color brown fur ball, shaped like a football helmet,” as Sofie snidely refers to it. More episodic slices of life follow: Sofie’s lonely first day of school; an embarrassing lice outbreak that she blames on Grandma Ursula’s used wig; failed flirtation with her dreamy neighbor, Andrew; a mortifying YouTube fiasco involving an Xbox-aided dance routine that Sofie unwisely chooses to do in her underwear and training bra. It all culminates in her other (and favorite) grandmother’s Black Friday wedding to motorcycle-riding, ponytailed Earl Lee Burd, who shows up with Hannah, the redheaded granddaughter he raised, with whom Sofie becomes friends. There’s a good deal of madcap action and several embarrassing moments, and kids Sofie’s age and a little younger will be plenty amused. Older readers, especially adults, may be less charmed by the humor and Sofie’s asides: She’s often mean-spirited, as when she complains about the “gross smell” of the thrift store or arbitrarily decides to find reasons not to like Earl Lee. Her continued dislike of Grandma Ursula also seems unfair; despite her dubious taste in wigs, Ursula is a fun, if flighty, character, the kind who could easily be the beloved “wacky grandma” in a different series.
Though the first-person narrator is a bit of a brat, elementary schoolers will likely enjoy her snarky approach to life.