November 11, 2013

Treasure in the couch cushions

By Henry Clark
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We’ve all found things under our couch cushions—coins, toys, the television remote, crumbs. Oh, the crumbs. But what if you found something important, something that could even save the world? That’s definitely not what River, Freak and Fiona thought they had found. In Henry Clark’s endearingly wacky debut novel, What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World, the three friends dig through the cushions of a strange couch at their bus stop and find nothing more than a crayon. A zucchini-colored crayon, to be exact. And it’s this crayon that sets them on their path to saving the world—with a little help from some unusual sources.

It turns out that zucchini-colored crayons are quite rare. So rare, in fact, that when the three friends put the crayon up for sale on the Internet, people start offering them thousands of dollars! However, they are soon contacted by the mysterious person who owns the home next to their bus stop, asking them not to sell the crayon because it belongs to him, and it could be the key to saving their town, and the world. River, Freak and Fiona agree to talk to Alf, and they soon find themselves in the middle of a scheme to capture an invader who wants to enslave the entire town, and eventually, the entire world. All they need is a little help from a talking painting, a teleporting sofa, an artificially-intelligent domino and a cat named Mucus.

What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World is fast-paced, witty and full of surprises. Clark creates three very likable characters, each with his or her own strengths and weaknesses, who all need each other to succeed. There is action, adventure, mystery and lots of humor—a mix that makes the book difficult to put down. The reader begins to hope, toward the end of the book, that River, Freak and Fiona save the world, but maybe only temporarily. You know, so we can read about them saving it from danger once again in another new adventure!


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