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Sophie Someone
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Sophie Someone
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What if you found out your life has been threaded with secrets — ones that rocked you to your core? An affecting page-turner written in a brave, memorable language all its own.Some words are hard...
What if you found out your life has been threaded with secrets — ones that rocked you to your core? An affecting page-turner written in a brave, memorable language all its own.Some words are hard...
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Description-

  • What if you found out your life has been threaded with secrets — ones that rocked you to your core? An affecting page-turner written in a brave, memorable language all its own.

    Some words are hard to get out of your mouth. Because they spell out secrets that are too huge to be spoken out loud. But if you bottle them up, you might burst. So here's my story. Told the only way I dare tell it.

    Sophie Nieuwenleven is sort of English and sort of Belgian. She and her family came to live in Belgium when she was only four or five, but she's fourteen now and has never been sure why they left England in the first place. She loves her international school, adores her friend Comet, and is protective of her little brother, Hercule. But it's hard to feel carefree when her mom never leaves the apartment — ordering groceries online and blasting music in her room — and her dad has a dead-end job as a car mechanic. Then one day Sophie makes a startling discovery, a discovery that unlocks the mystery of who she really is. This is a novel about identity and confusion and about feeling so utterly freaked out that you can't put it into words. But it's also about hope. And trust. And the belief that, somehow, everything will be OK. Sophie Someone is a tale of good intentions, bad choices, and betrayal — and ultimately, a compelling story of forgiveness.

About the Author-

  • I grew up in a seaside town on the east coast of England and spent most of my childhood with my face stuck in a book. When I was eighteen, I moved to a town called Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales so that I could study English literature and read more books. At some point between then and now I started writing books, and I'm glad I did because it means I sometimes get to meet some of the authors I really admire — as well as the lovely young people who read my books. Recently, I completed a master's degree in American literature at the University of East Anglia, and that was great, too, because I got to read a whole load more books. I really like books.

    I started writing for teenagers when I was an English teacher who spent every day with teenagers. I wanted to write something to make them laugh. I wrote a book called Lottie Biggs Is Not Mad, and the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, named it a White Raven book because they thought it was exceptional and innovative. I was pleased about this and wrote some more books. What's Up with Jody Barton? was short-listed for a Costa Children's Book Award, and so was Sophie Someone. Until Sophie Someone, I had never had a novel published in the U.S. Now, thanks to the lovely people at Candlewick Press, I do! This makes me very happy indeed.

    Three Things You Didn't Know About Me
    I am surprisingly good at robotic dancing. I can't breakdance though.

    I backpacked around the U.S. when I was twenty years old. One of my favorite places was an enormous secondhand bookstore I found in Flagstaff, Arizona. I didn't have much money though, so the only thing I bought was a copy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain. I still have it.

    I have an elderly house rabbit named Mrs Irma Chubb. She's an absolute delight.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 2, 2017
    To help her unravel the mystery of her true identity, the narrator of this engrossing coming-of-age story (“Told the only way I dare tell it”) creates her own language, substituting words and changing font size and typeset for dramatic emphasis. While this initially demands focused attention, readers will soon get a handle on translating what she’s saying: “Lifting my phoenix to my eel, I crossed my flamingoes and waited,” notes Sophie, describing making a phone call. In sections labeled “Sophie Shell-Shocked,” “Sophie Nobody,” “Sophie Sherlock,” and “Sophie Pratt,” the 14-year-old recounts several key childhood memories, including an escape from England to Brussels, the destruction of passports, gaining a new noodle (name), and discovering that she lacks a birth certificate. Long (Being a Girl) creates intrigue as she plays with themes of language and communication, as when Sophie’s father denies he speaks English, Sophie makes surprising discoveries on Faxbucket (Facebook), and her mother channels her frustrations by blaring rap music. Readers who embrace Sophie’s eccentric narrative will be rewarded with revelations about the cost of deceit and the healing power of honesty. Ages 12–up.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2017

    Gr 6 Up-Sophie, who has grown up in Brussels, Belgium, has vague memories of leaving England as a small child with her mother. As she grows older, it becomes more apparent that her parents haven't been exactly truthful about their past. When she is 14, Sophie makes an alarming discovery, and her world is thrown out of orbit; she must piece together her identity from what she knows and doesn't know about herself and her family. Can she gather enough information to find out who she really is? Long presents a delightfully unique voice in this dazzling, entertaining novel that deals with identity, family, and friendship. Some teens will be challenged by a cryptic narrative style filled with wordplay. Long also creatively manipulates text, playing with font size, spacing, and form in unusual and engaging ways. The plot moves quickly, though, and once they get used to Sophie's "code speak," even reluctant readers will find it satisfying. Teens will relate to Sophie's challenges as she struggles to learn who she really is.

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from January 1, 2017
    Sophie Nieuwenleven has lived in Belgium for most of her life; now 14, she's beginning to wonder about the odd things her parents say when they're fighting, not to mention certain hazy and mysterious childhood memories that don't add up. Her mother is a rap-loving recluse and her father a garage mechanic who claims a Belgian ancestry. Yet despite giving Sophie's younger brother the uber-Belgian name Hercule Tintin, both parents seem thoroughly English. Still, Brussels is such a cosmopolitan city that a white, sort-of English, sort-of Belgian girl with a black best friend from the Democratic Republic of the Congo flies under the radar at her international school. Poking around online one day, Sophie uncovers a clue that begins the unraveling of all the lies she's been told. Or, as Sophie puts it in her cryptic yet strangely comprehensible way, "You probably think I lost my helix....[C]hasing off to a foreign country to meet a pigeon I've just met on the Introvert isn't anything I'd normally do. But this wasn't a normal situation." Sophie and her circle of family and friends are sympathetic and appealing in all their flawed humanity. Her peculiar way of speech soon reads as clearly as plain English and perfectly mirrors her internal turmoil as she navigates her parents' shift from just mambo and don to people with a past she never imagined--which, to some extent, is a transformation every young person will understand. A creative and memorable story about secrets, lies, and moving on. (Fiction. 11 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from February 1, 2017
    Grades 6-9 *Starred Review* Sometimes it can be incredibly difficult to put something into words, particularly if the experience is traumatic. For 14-year-old Sophie, a recent discovery about her past sets her world reeling, and in an effort to make sense of itand of who she isshe puts her pen to paper to tell her story in her own language. English-born Sophie and her parents moved to Brussels when she was five, which, according to her father, is where his family is from. But as the years pass, clues and memories surface that make Sophie begin to doubt her parents' story. When a school letter arrives asking for copies of Sophie's passport and birth certificate, her parents can't satisfactorily explain why they don't have them. Convinced that her parents are keeping a secret, Sophie starts digging for the truth, growing increasingly angry and confused the more she finds out. Long weaves an inventively written and entrancing story filled with good intentions, poor decisions, meaningful friendships, and complicated but loving family relationships. It takes something of a leap of faith on the reader's part, as Sophie's peculiar writing style seems somewhat nonsensical at first glance; however, those who persevere will quickly understand her true meanings. The result is an original narrative that zigs and zags in inspired ways, with a sympathetic heroine leading the way.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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