Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Sophie the Awesome

Sophie the Awesome

Lara Bergen
Illustrator:  Laura Tallardy 
Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 10
Scholastic , 2010   ISBN: 978-0545146043

Sophie has convinced herself that she is boring, ordinary, and “blah.” She is the middle child in her family, she of average height and weight. Her hair is average because it is not curly or straight, not blond or brown. It seems that Sophie comes out “somewhere in the middle” in everything, and she is fed up with the situation.

In fact she is so fed up that she decides that she needs to reinvent herself, and a good place to start would be to have a new name. She needs to be Sophie the…something. Many book characters have special names, so why can’t she?

In the end, Sophie decides that she is going to be Sophie the Awesome. Just like Nate the Great, Ramona the Brave, and Harriet the Spy, she is going to be special. Then Kate, Sophie’s best friend, points out that Sophie can’t call herself Sophie the Awesome unless she does something that is awesome. Sophie needs to earn the name and prove that she really is worthy of it.

Not wasting any time, Sophie sets about trying to do something awesome. She tries to jump the most steps on the stairs, and almost breaks her bottom. She tries to stuff more fries in her mouth than Toby, and the principal chides her for her lack of table manners. She tires to break the jump rope record. Everything Sophie tries turns out to be an abysmal failure and she begins to think that perhaps she, Sophie, is never going to be able to live up to the name of Sophie the Awesome.

Most of us, at some point, want to make our mark on the world. It is a very natural thing to want to do. With humor and sensitivity, Lara Bergen tells the story of a child who wants to do just this, and who realizes that being “awesome” is not easy to do. Especially when you are trying very hard to make it happen.