- Grade Level: 4 - 6
- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 9, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 197784555X
- ISBN-13: 978-1977845559
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sophie Paperback – January 9, 2018
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About the Author
When Tal Tsfany was looking for books with role models for his three children, he had a difficult time. He couldn’t find many stories with strong, virtuous role models, so he decided to make his own! The title character of Sophie embodies integrity, independence, and rationality. Sophie’s story portrays the importance of discovering and practicing the right principles.
Tsfany is an entrepreneur and an executive in the computer software industry. He received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and master’s in business administration. He is the proud father of Ron, Shiri, and Yael. His son Ron illustrated Sophie’s journey.
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I have waited a long time for this book. Sophie is a story grounded in Objectivist morals, told for the layman. It's not a book about wealthy industrialists or genius architects. It's about people in small towns, and the heroine is a Syrian immigrant. I love stories like Sophie, about young people who are trying to find out who they are, learning right and wrong. The movies Pinocchio, A Bronx Tale, and Mud come to mind. Sophie brings a simple, captivating story, building a propulsive momentum by the end. I finished the book in a day of on-and-off reading.
Sohpie's story conveys the value of hard work, the necessity of reason, and the joys of curiosity. While I don't think every tax or social program is an evil oppression, the story does show how the rhetoric of "the greater good" can be used to conceal dark motives. I have particular praise for the "sharing is caring" episode. After Sophie receives a telescope as a gift, her classmates pressure her into sharing it with them. They claim they have a right to the telescope, so Sophie proposes that everyone bring one of their valuable possessions to a slumber party. The lesson becomes apparent soon enough.
The cover art by Ron Tsfany is pleasingly simple, but his interior illustrations feel like placeholders. I could not overlook an unfortunate its/it's typo on the back cover. The good news is, with self-publishing, new editions are a snap.
These bloopers aside, the story itself, and Tsfany's telling of it, is good narrative. It evokes Mediterranean restaurants seated in strip malls and dusty computer workshops. It brings back memories of that one teacher who worked hard to make their subject engaging. The passion and deceit of a political election, the same in towns big and small. The panic of seeing a loved one rushed off to the emergency room.
I dare say I might read Sophie again some time, and as my cousins grow up, I will be sharing it with them. Tal Tsfany has mentioned other Sophie adventures he wrote for his own children, and I'll be ordering those should they be published some day. "Sophie" is named for Philosophy, the love of wisdom. I'd say that captures the emotional experience of Sophie quite well.