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What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World
Cover of What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World
What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World
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When River Monroe and his friends Freak and Fiona discover a rare, zucchini-colored crayon between the cushions of a mysterious sofa at their bus stop, they quickly find themselves in the middle of an evil plot to conquer the world! The plot's mastermind, Edward Disin, is responsible for starting the underground coal seam fire that continually burns just beyond the kids' backyards—a dastardly cover-up for an intergalactic portal that will soon transport an army of invaders to Earth!

Disin's only weakness is his otherwordly obsession with the zucchini crayon, and thanks to his successful mind control over the whole town, the kids will have to stop him on their own. But with the help of an artificial intelligence in the form of a double-six domino, several DNA-sensitive cocktail trays, a clone-making coffin called a revivarium, two hot air balloons, a cat named Mucus, and one very special zucchini crayon, three kids from the middle of nowhere might be able to save the planet.

Henry Clark's dazzling middle-grade debut novel is a thoroughly original, unabashedly wacky, and surprisingly affecting story about the importance of intelligence and curiosity in a complacent world.

When River Monroe and his friends Freak and Fiona discover a rare, zucchini-colored crayon between the cushions of a mysterious sofa at their bus stop, they quickly find themselves in the middle of an evil plot to conquer the world! The plot's mastermind, Edward Disin, is responsible for starting the underground coal seam fire that continually burns just beyond the kids' backyards—a dastardly cover-up for an intergalactic portal that will soon transport an army of invaders to Earth!

Disin's only weakness is his otherwordly obsession with the zucchini crayon, and thanks to his successful mind control over the whole town, the kids will have to stop him on their own. But with the help of an artificial intelligence in the form of a double-six domino, several DNA-sensitive cocktail trays, a clone-making coffin called a revivarium, two hot air balloons, a cat named Mucus, and one very special zucchini crayon, three kids from the middle of nowhere might be able to save the planet.

Henry Clark's dazzling middle-grade debut novel is a thoroughly original, unabashedly wacky, and surprisingly affecting story about the importance of intelligence and curiosity in a complacent world.

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About the Author-
  • Henry Clark is a couch potato, which is how he got the idea for What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World. He has contributed articles to MAD magazine and published fiction in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, in addition to acting as the head phrenologist—if that is not being redundant—at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, a living-history museum in New York. He lives on Long Island, and his website is www.indorsia.com.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 20, 2013
    Clark’s debut, a complicated and often goofy SF fantasy about an evil power trying to take over the world, brandishes his background as a former Mad magazine contributor. Starring a Harry Potter–like triumvirate—two boys, Freak and River, and sharp, smart Fiona—the story begins with a sofa that has been mysteriously abandoned by their bus stop, in which the children find a rare zucchini-colored crayon. Their discovery launches a complex narrative involving a long-burning underground coal fire and an abandoned chemical plant, which turns out to be a portal to another universe. Offbeat plot elements include mind control through cellular phones and food additives, flash mobs, artificial intelligence in the form of furniture and a domino, an elderly axe-wielding ghost, and human spies wearing dog hats as disguises. The kids’ uncertainty about who to trust and the novel’s swift pace create unyielding suspense. Readers without much taste for this genre may find it too over-the-top, but for those destined to become Douglas Adams fans it will be hilarious and gripping. Ages 8–12. Agent: Kate Epstein, Epstein Literary Agency.

  • AudioFile Magazine Bryan Kennedy deftly introduces listeners to friends River, Freak, and Fiona as well as to a sofa and a zucchini crayon hidden in the cushions. This unusual crayon leads them to Alf, the owner of the sofa, and to rambling, antiquated mansion. The trio's reactions to the existence of another world, sentient furniture, and the looming destruction of earth by invading stormtroopers are delivered with panache. Kennedy's renderings of Alf's friendly eccentricities, the sentient computer's companionable guidance, and the evil Disin's grating voice are especially delightful. No one does deadpan humor better than Bryan Kennedy, and the sound effects of the mansion provide perfect ambience. This wacky sci-fi romp is a great pick for a family road trip. M.F.T. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine
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    Hachette Book Group
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What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World
What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World
Henry Clark
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