Reel Girl book rec: ‘Soma So Strange’

With the fabulous book, Soma So Strange, not only did I read a cool story starring a fascinating girl, but I finally got past my ebook block. YAY. I’ve been trying to liberate myself for years, and Soma is only an ebook, so if I wanted to read it, I had no choice but to break free of paper.


Soma lives is a dull, small place, “on a map, it’s the size of a sixth of a pea” where “all the villagers obey ancient, old rules/ Like walking on tip toes and eating fish and gruel.” Soma loves sushi, “she can’t stand fish and gruel!” For this, and many other “strange” attributes, Soma is mocked. “She can’t help but make noise at her school. Asking how and why are quite natural for her. Tip toe around? Stompin’s what she prefers.”

Not only do the townspeople, the Meanies, treat Soma terribly, but her own mother “can’t stand her.” I love this aspect of Soma’s story, because, though lots of children’s narratives refer to mean kids, fewer refer to the feeling of being a stranger in your own family which can be more common than kidlit lets on.

Soma’s physical differences match her mental ones: “Her glasses are funny, she won’t brush her hair/ When she walks into town, you can’t help but stare/ Soma’s so messy, so odd-shaped, so strange, the Meanies say Soma is simply deranged.”

Soma goes on to meet a talking cat who gives her a magical potion allowing her to turn the Meanines into pies. How cool is that?

The lyrics in Soma are beautiful and well, strange. Reading this story, I felt like I’d found a feminist Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein. I love look of Soma, too, with her billowy dark hair, striped shirt, and big glasses. The black and white illustrations pop. Not to mention, reading an ebook is really fun. The pages turn beautifully. My kids loved the story and reading it on my ipad too. Here’s to hoping author, Carrie Rosten, writes many more.

Click here to buy Soma So Strange and use the code SomaFam to get a dollar off.

Read more about Soma So Strange and author Carrie Rosten here.

Reel Girl rates Soma So Strange ***HHH***


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