Sophie, whose overprotective parents run a bookshop but have a risky, secret side business collecting and selling people’s dreams, suddenly faces, on her 12th birthday, all the dangers of the dream trade.
As the cover art suggests, this fantasy tale is cinematic and madcap. Because her parents want to keep their daughter as inconspicuous as possible, Sophie’s only friend has long been Monster—a cuddly animal rescued from a nightmare and possessed of soft fur, tentacles, and a penchant for cupcakes and self-improvement. Monster has to keep an even lower profile than Sophie, but an unexpected visitor exposes both of them to possible harm from an entity called the Night Watchmen. Also, Sophie’s marginal involvement with certain classmates now endangers them as well. Sophie’s parents discuss the situation behind closed doors: “ ‘But what if the Watchmen—’ Mom cut herself off, then said loudly and clearly, ‘Sophie and Monster, if you are up there listening at the door, I will revoke all book privileges so fast, you will have whiplash.’ ” With similar humor throughout, the book lets readers know that, however dire the situation, Sophie will be all right—but will Monster? Readers will not want to stop reading this quirky, fast-paced adventure until reaching its satisfactory, heartwarming conclusion. The text happily borrows familiar genre elements but wraps them in an entirely fresh package.
Funny, warm, and highly imaginative. (Fantasy. 8-12)