Author: Sarah Weeks
Publisher: HarperTrophy (2004)
Source: Purchased from Scholastic Book Clubs
Summary from Goodreads:Review:
Heidi lives an unconventional lifestyle with her mentally disabled mother and their doting neighbor, Bernadette. A mysterious word in her mother's vocabulary leads Heidi on a cross-country journey in search of the secrets of her past.
I didn't expect to fall in love with So B. It, but I did from my very first reading with my students back in 2006. Heidi's has a very atypical childhood because she takes care of her mother with a mental disability instead of being taken care of. Her mother only uses a very limited vocabulary of 23 words. All the words make sense except for one, "soof" and it is this very word that sends Heidi on a journey across the country in search for answers about who her mother is and ultimately, who she is.
One of my favorite characters is Heidi's reclusive neighbor, Bernadette, who has her own issues. She ends up being a kind of surrogate mother to Heidi and I appreciate her eagerness to help raise Heidi. It's hard to think about a kid who's in such difficult circumstances being all alone without any support.
I loved that the chapters were each titled with one of the words that Heidi's mother knows, of course ending with "soof." You can't help but admire Heidi's tenacity and courage to find out the truth about her family and therefore herself. She ends up finding out much more than what she expected, but I think that happens very frequently when one decides to go soul-searching. I have a few other books by Sarah Weeks that I've been waiting to read, especially Pie.
I've had such rich discussions in lit. circles with my students over the years with this book and it pushes them to think deeper and ask some hard questions about life. I highly recommend it!
5 out of 5 stars
About the Author: Sarah Weeks
Author's website: http://www.sarahweeks.com/
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