Most helpful critical review
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Not Henkes's best.
on August 2, 2011
Little Sophie's life is turned upside-down when the obnoxious Wendell comes for a weekend stay, and her parents' maddening unwillingness to discipline the brat enables him to annoy, harrass, bully, and otherwise abuse Sophie for most of his visit. In the end, the only recourse Sophie has is to spray him with a waterhose, an act of revenge which inexplicably brings the two together and causes them to become friends. (Did I miss something?) The message seems to be that if you're being bullied, take matters into your own hands because adults are ultimately no help. To be fair, that's exactly how I was raised myself, but it's the opposite of what we're required to preach in elementary schools. Seeing Wendell abuse Sophie repeatedly bothered me as an adult, and I imagine I'd feel the same if I were 7 or 8. Henkes's stuff has never been my cup of tea, but usually I can see why other people enjoy his work. This book is not representative of his work's usual quality.