So B. It by Sarah Weeks

So B. It

Today our review is of the Caudill Award winner, the Illinois Children’s Choice award for grades 4-8. 

 

Heidi’s mother is mentally disabled.  She only knows 23 words, one of which is her name: So B. It.  On day she showed up on a strange woman’s  doorstep with a new baby in her arms, dripping wet, holding out the baby, a bottle and some powdered milk.  The woman, Bernie,  has cared for them ever since, even though she has agoraphobia: the fear of going out.  How do they manage?  Bernie has a little nest egg, money left her by her father; also, So B. It’s apartment (which connects to Bernie’s) is paid for and so is the heat and electricity.  Strangest of all, Heidi is lucky. 

The sort-of-family lives in Reno, a big gambling town, and anytime they are short of money, Heidi, who is now 13, goes to the Laundromat and plays the slot machine.  She always wins: she can call heads or tails correctly for 10 flipped coins in a row. 

This ability helps her when she finds a camera in the old suitcase of her mother’s. She develops the film and finds a lead to who she is and where she came from in the pictures. To follow the lead, she makes her way from Reno all the way to New York, all on her own. 

The book is interesting because I was really curious about her mother’s odd name, about how they came to Bernie’s doorstep, about who pays the bills, and what one of So B. It’s words means,  the word soof.  I really wanted to find out the answers  to these questions.  Also, Heidi is a very enterprising and likable heroine.  I wanted her to find answers.  A caveat: there are some mature topics and some unsettling elements of this story.  For that reason I recommend it for girls in 7th or 8th grade.

Posted by: Fran W.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Very nice site. Maria


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