Spirited Sophie is back for a fourth tale in this highly readable series (Happy Birthday, Sophie Hartley, 2010, etc.), trying to walk the line between growing up and holding onto the fun and innocence of childhood.
Things are changing all around 10-year-old Sophie: Her mother seems irritable with her family all the time; older sister Nora has developed a distressing obsession over the state of her hair; and annoying classmate Destiny is determined to prove that Sophie and her friends are immature babies since they do not show interest in the movie shown to the fifth-grade girls. Greene captures the trials and tribulations of growing up in a loving but often bickering family through humorous details and a perfect mix of emotional outbursts, earnest worries and deadpan dialogue. Good thing Sophie can depend on her loyal friends Jenna and Alice to get her through her most recent snafu: a promised talk delivered by her mother, a nurse, about “P-U-berty” that will one-up the obnoxious Destiny. But when her mother is unexpectedly unable to give it, what will she do? Help comes from the most unexpected places. Older brother Thad provides a laugh-out-loud explanation of hormones and glands, Nora softens to offer advice, and the new yoga classes Sophie has been taking help her with self-control.
Those readers ready to graduate from Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones will find a kindred spirit in Sophie. (Fiction. 8-12)