Sophie, by Tal Tsfany, CreateSpace, 2018. 216 pp. $12.99 (paperback).

Sophie is a children’s book. This much is obvious from the style, the young characters, and the illustrations. The book begins with a reflection on the day the two main characters meet, and proceeds to tell their story, taking readers through their harrowing and sometimes confusing pursuit of values. There’s childish banter and school bullies and crushes, but it’s far from just a children’s book.

Sophie has complex moral dilemmas that she must solve, intense feelings that she must sort out, and conclusions she must come to based on her values. These are a few things you tend not to hear about in typical children’s books. Sophie makes readers think in-depth and for themselves the whole way through and continue thinking even after they’ve turned the last page. For children trying to get a grip on what matters most to them, that is of life-changing value. . . .

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