So B. It

So B. It

by Sarah Weeks


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064410472
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/04/2005
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 32,702
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Sarah Weeks has written more than fifty books for young readers. Some of her picture books include Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash, Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth!, and Glamourpuss. Her bestselling novel, So B. It, is a feature-length film starring Alfre Woodard and Talitha Bateman. Ms. Weeks visits thousands of students in elementary and middle schools across the country every year. She is also an adjunct professor in the prestigious MFA Writing for Children and Young Adults program at the New School. Sarah lives in Nyack, New York, with her husband, Jim Fyfe, and their dog, Mia. You can visit her online at

Read an Excerpt

So B. It


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.

The fact is, you can't tell squat about the color of an animal just from looking at its bones, so nobody knows for sure what color dinosaurs really were. For years I looked at pictures of them, trusting that whoever was in charge of coloring them in was doing it based on scientific fact, but the truth is they were only guessing. I realized that one afternoon, sitting in the front seat of Sheriff Roy Franklin's squad car, the fall before I turned thirteen.

Another thing I found out right around that same time is that not knowing something doesn't mean you're stupid. All it means is that there's still room left to wonder. For instance about dinosaurs—were they the same color as the sky the morning I set off for Liberty? Or were they maybe the same shade of brown as the dust my shoes kicked up on the driveway at Hilltop Home?

I'd be lying if I said that given a choice, I wouldn't rather know than not know. But there are some things you can just know for no good reason other than that you do, and then there are other things that no matter how badly you want to know them, you just can't. The truth is, whether you know something or not doesn't change what was. If dinosaurs were blue, they were blue; if they were brown, they were brown whether anybody ever knows it for a fact or not.

So B. It. Copyright © by Sarah Weeks. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Reading Group Guide

About the Book

When she is an infant, Heidi and her mentally disabled mother arrive rain drenched at the doorstep of Bernadette, who suffers from agoraphobia. Throughout Heidi's childhood, Bernadette takes good care of Heidi and her mother, but eventually Heidi begins to question her past and the mysterious word her mother constantly repeats: "Soof." Each time Heidi asks Bernadette where she and Mama came from, Bernadette simply answers that the day they walked into her life was the best thing that ever happened to her. When Heidi finds an old camera and develops the film, she sees glimpses of her family's past in the pictures. Twelve-year-old Heidi then sets out on a cross-country bus trip to find answers to her many questions. What she discovers will not only change the way she lives, but forever change how she views life.

Discussion Questions

  1. The Title, So B. It, could have several meanings. What do you think the title means?
  2. Bernadette selflessly and patiently takes care of Heidi and her mother, who both need a caretaker. Why do you think she is willing to spend her time and money on people she does not know? What benefits, if any, does Bernie receive?
  3. As a young child, Heidi has tremendous responsibilities; shopping with her mother, running errands for Bernie, and baby-sitting for a neighbor to earn money. How do these experiences influence Heidi as she grows up?
  4. When Heidi develops the mysterious roll of film and brings the pictures home to view, Bernie asks her, "What's the worst it could be?" Heidi responds: "nothing. The worst would be if there was nothing" (p50).Why would nothing have been the worst thing for Heidi to find?
  5. Heidi is afraid she will end up like her mother, full of missing pieces, if she does not go to Liberty to discover her past (p85). Do you think that taking this journey is worth the pain it causes Bernie?
  6. Heidi is afraid to take the trip to Liberty alone, and several times en route she is ready to turn around and return home to Bernie. What is the driving force that keeps her on the road to Liberty? Does she have any regrets. If so, what are they?
  7. When Heidi lies to Alice, she realizes her lies are unnecessary but that she doesn't feel remorseful until she gets caught (p117). What do you think this indicates about Heidi's character and her search for identity?
  8. Heidi realizes she doesn't miss her dad because she has never known him, therefore life without him seems normal. She tells Georgia, "You can't miss what you don't remember having" (p126). Do you think this is true? Why or why not? What are some experiences you have longed for even though you have never had them.
  9. Ruby tells Heidi that it probably doesn't mean anything that Elliot says "soof" regularly, but Heidi says, "I think everything means something, even when you don't know what it is" (p181-182). Based on Heidi's life experiences, how would you support her belief?
  10. Roy and Ruby cannot understand why Mr. Hill is not telling the truth about Heidi's mother. But even though Heidi does not know why, she knows that "sometimes people lie because the truth is too hard to admit" (p201). What truth is Mr. Hill afraid to admit? How do the choices he made affect Heidi's life?
  11. Mr. Hill tells Heidi that someday he would like to know her (p240). Do you think Heidi will ever allow him to know her? How do you think she will get to know her father, Elliot?
  12. One of the lessons Heidi learns is that life is not fair. Discuss the people and events in Heidi's life, and list the ones that are unfair. How do these life experiences help Heidi become a stronger person?
  13. Until Heidi's trip to Liberty, she lives a sheltered life with only one friend and very little communication with anyone other than Bernie. Even though Bernie teaches her a multitude of lessons, do you think Heidi's social development suffers? How do you think Heidi will adjust to attending school for the first time in junior high? What hurdles will she have to overcome?
  14. In chapter one, Heidi says, "I'd be lying if I said that given a choice I wouldn't rather know than not know." What does Heidi learn about knowing and not knowing on her journey to find her identity?
  15. After Heidi's journey to learn about her personal history ends, her lucky streak seems to disappear. What is the significance of Heidi losing her luck?

Customer Reviews

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So B. It 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 442 reviews.
Neacky Whats-it-to-ya More than 1 year ago
I personaly cried my eyes out at the end if the book! Now every time when I read this book I will ask myself, WHY is life so Cruel. I BEG YOU TO READ THIS!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So B. It is an amazing book! I have read it 7 times and loved it every time! There's one part that makes you cry but it really is a good story. It made me laugh, cry, and slide to the edge of my seat. !!!!!!I WOULD TOTALLY RECOMEND IT!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much. Infact, i Just got done reading it today! When I got to the chapter called Uh-oh, from then on, I cried through the book, it has been the only story I think I have cried for. I love this book!! I suggest it for all 11-13 year olds!! Love it love it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sarah Weeks does a phenominal job writing about Heidi a girl who is unsure of her past. Heidi doesn't know her father, her mothers name, let alone her birthday!Heidi lives in an apartment with her mother who claims her self to be "So B. It" is mentally disabled and her apartment neighbor Bernadette who comes through a door which that seperates the two apartments. Bernadette has home schooled Heidi has an aphobia were she is frightened to go outside she says something terribly bad would happen. "So. B. It" has one word she says constantly. Soof. Heidi is so determined to find out what soof is that she embarks on a remarkable journey from Reno Nevada to Liberty New York to Hilltop Home; A Place a picture found in her apartments junk drawer where her mother stayed. Hilltop Home is a rehabilitation home for the mentally disabled. Heidi thinks Hilltop Home may still have her mothers records where Heidi may find her mothers past let alone hers. Heidi find out way more than she expected. Heidi also has her 1st experience with death. Sarah Weeks has a great imagination to write a story great as So B. It. 5 stars for Sarah Weeks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hey i think that so b it is an very inspiring novel is great and is has great lessons and a great moral if your looking for a book to read to pass the time by read so b it it just sucks you into the book parents if you have work or are driving or something give your kids this book to read it will keep them quiet for a good while it was so good i read for a whole day it was just that good you should definetly read so b it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made me sob my eyes out but I was drawn to it the whole time it was in my reach. This novel is a perfect example of sceptical, beautiful, cruel life. Once you pick up this book you will be unable to set it down. I am dead serious, you would bring it on your honey moon if thats what it came down to. It is sad, yes but I strongley advise poking your nose in the one and only: So B It. No matter your age or gender
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By Sarah Weeks review by Mitchell Benson So B. It has one word that really describes it, truth. The idea that you can't know everything sticks throughout the story as well. Heidi, the main character is 12 and lives with Bernadette, a adopted mother and her bum brain mama. Heidi lives in Reno Nevada and is all consumed by her curiosity about her mama's word soof. Soof haunts Heidi and it seems like she will never find the meaning until one day she finds a old Kodak camera. After she has the pictures developed she learns that her mama lived in Liberty, New York she thinks she will find some answers there. After deciding to go on a bus to Liberty she uses a bit of her luck (she's real sweet with the slots) to get some cash. She then travels cross country over thousands of miles on a bus to find the truth in her world. I liked this book because it had a good moral, you can't know everything. I really think this applies to all people because what point is there to live if you already know everything? It also has a good story line that kept me reading the entire time. My favorite part is when Heidi is on the bus and makes several friends and learns a lot about lying from doing so. One down side to So B. It is that it doesn't have much humor and has some very sad parts. It also doesn't really have any amazing descriptions or metaphors but it really makes you look into yourself and do some deep thinking. I would recommend this book to any one who wants to learn about their virtues and have a wonderful read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so touching. It really gives you a different view on the mentally disabled. I bawled my eyes out towards the end. It IS definitely the best book I have EVER read. Please read it too!!!!!!!
Zoeandthebeast More than 1 year ago
I read this book for the first time when I was somewhat young, around middle school. I remember it was easy to understand and very sweet and cute. Now that I've gotten a little older (17), I can see it for what it is- a girl desperate to know her roots, and her father specifically, rushes across the country to find something that's alluded her for her whole life, a small one syllable word that her mother says 'soof'. Of course the ending made me bawl my eyes out but i appreciate this book for what it is- a triumph in the eyes of inevitable and almost undying adversity. Go Heidi :)
Amari Wright More than 1 year ago
Omg i seriously love this book. I also read it in 4th grade. It was so amazing. I loved every single word of the book. And when i got to a couple of parts, i cried. You geel like you are in the book. You feel for the characters. You love them. When they are in trouble or if something happens, you feel it too. Absolutely the best book i have ever read. EVER. You should really get this book. Truly amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have ever read. It's about a girl named Heidi, and she goes on a long trip to find out where she came from. The rest of the book will be a suprise. So you should get this book and read it. You won't regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read about half of this book and I am loving it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let me just tell you first that I don't like reading. Not one bit. This book is different though. I just couldn't put it down. Such an amazing book. I have read it about five times now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I totally cried and sobbed at some parts it was so awesome like the hunger games so if u like it read the hunger games
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So b. It is the best book i have ever read! My mother and I read it at the same time and it was so sad to read because i thought what if i was like this what if i didnt no my birthday or no my dad the mood was very suspensful i recommend this book to each kind of sex and not only kids
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This great book is about a little girl named Heidi. Heidi has a mentally challenged mother and struggles to take care of her. So she met a person who took them in. Although her mother can't talk she only knows 23 words. But there is a word that she says that drives Heidi nuts. She can't figure out what it means but goes on a trip to find out. This book is great for people who love sad stories but yet it's happy and joyful. The book uses great grammar and helps the reader understand the books purpose. It also has a great suspense. I would say people over the sixth grade. The more challenged readers could read this though. People who do not like sad stories should not read this book. Well I would have to say this is one of my all time faves. As soon as you read the first page you're hooked from start to finish. The book itself it wonderful and so is the author Sarah Weeks. You will not be able to turn your back on this book for more than a second. It's full of surprises!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could NOT put this book down! So B. It is the best book I ever read!!! I do admit, i cried, it was really sad but it was still amazing! you must read this!! (Or any book by Sarah Weeks, best author ever)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it is totally worh buying. I was so addicted I read the whole thing in like 3 hours. This book got me to actually enjoy reading again:) i recommend this book to girls of all ages!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An absolute good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it is very exuiste and uniqe its my fav book i hope you like it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Youll find urself thinking about this book even after ur done. Its really heartwarming and makes u realize well maybe ur lifes not that bad ater all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This made my eyes well up with tears i mean i was such an inspirational book, and not to tell u amazing READ THIS BOOK!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Made me xry so touching
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definate must read i couldnt put it down loved heidi she was a great character because she never gave up there was something she wanted more than anything and she decided that she wasnt going to stop until she found 1 the meaning of soof and 2 her father and relitives i loved how her journey goes it is a long one but she meets incredible peple along the way