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So B. It by Sarah Weeks
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So B. It (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Sarah Weeks

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1,726836,047 (4.11)52
Member:maddieperez
Title:So B. It
Authors:Sarah Weeks
Info:HarperCollins (2005), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
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So B. It by Sarah Weeks (2004)

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» See also 52 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
I was intrigued by this book. Heidi knows very little about who she is. What she knows is that she showed up at Bernadette's house with her mother when she was only days old. Bernadette has agoraphobia, fear of leaving the house, but she has somehow managed to take care of both Heidi and her mother for 13 years.The intriguing part is that her mother is extremely mentally handicapped and can only speak 23 words. When she is asked her name she says "so be it," one of her 23 words or phrases. Heidi changes it to So B. It, so it looks like a proper name.

Despite her handicap, Heidi loves her mom and helps Bernadette take care of her. She just wishes she knew more about her. She gets a clue when she finds a roll of film and decides to get it developed. The pictures give clues about a town, a hospital and a possible grandmother. Despite Bernadette's objection, Heidi decides that she is going to travel across the country by bus to Liberty, NY. When she finally gets there, she will get her answers, but she'll have to decide if knowing the answers really makes a difference.

I loved Heidi's and Bernadette's characters. Heidi is so sweet to love her mom and appreciate all that Bernadette has done. She is a thinker, and keeps a journal. She's always trying to understand people and what makes them tick. One of her big entries is her analysis of lying. Why we do it and whether it's ok. Bernadette is a sweet lady who will do anything for Heidi and her mom. She treats them like family. She is full of wisdom, and I love stories where the underdog has more common sense than anyone else. ( )
  valorrmac | May 15, 2018 |
Heidi is a twelve-year-old girl with a mentally disabled mother. Since she was about a week old, she has been taken care of by her next-door neighbor, Bernadette. Heidi tries to uncover her mother's history and her own background by using clues and words from her mother's 23-word vocabulary to determine her origins. Particularly, she is focused on discovering what the word "soof" means; after traveling across the United States, Heidi discovers that her father ,Elliot, used to call her mother "soof" and now her mother uses that word to express love. Due to it's structure and inclusion of special education, this book is likely intended for 6th to 9th graders. I would use this book during historical instruction by focusing on the civil rights movements for people with disabilities. Personally, I enjoyed this book because it did not depict the mother as completely helpless, but humanized the mother to express the importance of inclusion. ( )
  K.Luna | Apr 30, 2018 |
I absolutely adored this book for three main reasons. First, I love the characters. The main character, Heidi, is going through such a unique and important time in her life. I think that it is really unique to have a mom with an intellectual disability. This is very uncommon and leaves the reader wondering how this whole situation happened in the first place. Second, I really liked the plot. It was very suspenseful! I had to read almost 200 pages before I found out all that I wanted to know, like who Heidi's father was. The ending was also great. Although it is sad how Heidi's mom died, I think it did a great job of signifying a new era beginning for Heidi. Last, I loved the writing and language. The book was extremely well-written and organized. I was engaged the entire time and would not change a single thing about the book. The main idea of this book is that finding who you are as a person is so important and every person deserves to know where they came from. ( )
  pculve1 | Mar 15, 2018 |
Summary: 12 year old Heidi It's mom only says only 23 words and short phrases, and are taken care of by their neighbor, Bernadette, who never steps foot outside. When Heidi was an infant, her mother showed up at Bernadette's door one day, she took them in with open arms. Now Hiedi wonders about her past, her mother's past and her father. Heidi goes on an adventure to discover who she is and where she came from.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Medium: Novel
Age Appropriateness: Intermediate- Highschool
Use in a classroom:
  rbrock15 | Nov 14, 2017 |
I read this book as a child at first and am now rereading it for the second time as an adult. This novel spoke to me and made me sob like a baby. It is truly a beautiful story about a girl finding out about her mother's past and her father all while Heidi is finding who she is as a person as well. ( )
  maddiesullivan223 | Apr 28, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Weeksprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jakobeit, BrigitteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To David-

who's taught me so much about both


knowing and not knowing.

With love

-S.W

First words
If truth was a crayon and it was up to me to put a wrapper around it and name its color, I know just what I would call it - dinosaur skin. I used to think, without really thinking about it, that I knew what color that was. But that was a long time ago, before I knew what I know now about both dinosaur skin and the truth.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064410471, Paperback)

One day in her apartment in Reno, Bernadette heard a pitiful sound in the hallway. She opened the door a crack and saw a young woman standing there in her raincoat, her bare legs spattered with dried mud, holding a crying baby wrapped in a blanket. The baby was Heidi, and they had come from the almost-empty apartment next door for help. Heidi's Mama can't tend her week-old child because she has, as Heidi later says, "a bum brain," so Bernadette steps in and cares for them both tenderly. Mama says her name is "So Be It," but with her twenty-three-word vocabulary, this is all the information she can give Bernadette.

Twelve years later this strange but loving household is still together. Heidi does the shopping because Bernadette has "angora phobia," and pays for it with money she wins at the laundromat; Bernadette teaches her at the kitchen table while Mama is happily occupied with her coloring books, and the rent and utilities are always mysteriously paid. But Heidi wonders who she is, where she and Mama came from, why they were alone, and most of all, she wants to know the meaning of Mama's word "soof." When she finds some old photos in a cupboard, she knows where to go to find out, and as she sets out on a long cross-country bus journey, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into surprising places in this intriguing and heartwarming mystery. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:51 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

After spending her life with her mentally retarded mother and agoraphobic neighbor, twelve-year-old Heidi sets out from Reno, Nevada, to New York to find out who she is. Living with her mentally disabled mother who only knows just over twenty words, young Heidi has learned to live in her special world until a new word is suddenly used and repeated by her mother; causing Heidi to think it might be a key to a secret past about which she knows so little.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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