BOOK REVIEW: What Things Mean by Sophia N. Lee

PrintTitle: What Things Mean

Author/s: Sophia N. Lee

Publication Date: May 2016

Publisher: Scholastic

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 133

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What does it mean to be different? 14-year-old Olive is struggling to find out. Everything about her is so different from the rest of her family. She is big-haired, brown skinned, and clumsy in a family of cream-colored beauties who are all popular and Good At Sports. She closely resembles a father she has never known, and about whom her mother never speaks, and no one wants to tell her why. She turns to books and other things in her quest to find answers, and as a way to cope with her loneliness. When she learns the truth about her father, she must decide whether or not she will let the differences in her life define her forever.

A unique coming-of-age story unfolding through dictionary-style chapters, What Things Mean takes a closer look at the things that define a life, and the many ways in which we find meaning.


Each chapter has highlighted words which have been really important parts of the story. Words that played a huge role in Olive’s life.

Filipino cultures and traditions were mentioned in the book, and it made me love it more since I’m a Filipino citizen but to be honest, I don’t know much of our country. Shame on me. So thank you, Sophia for the additional information.
I still can’t understand how a hundred-paged book managed to be so simple yet complex. A girl who feels so different, one who seeks to find answers, but the answers aren’t always what you wanted or expected them to be.
Sophia N. Lee has this writing style that’s really modest, I can easily delve into it. I liked how neutral her diction has been. I’m proud to say that Sophia’s a Filipina! Visit her website and read her “What it Means for me to Read and Write as a Filipino” 
Overall, we’d be more than happy if everyone, mostly Filipino readers, will read this book!




Sophia N. Lee wanted to be many things growing up: doctor, teacher, ballerina, ninja, crime-fighting international spy, wizard, time traveler, journalist, and lawyer. She likes to think she can be all these things through writing. She loves words and the meanings behind them. Her favorite word is ‘chance’. What Things Mean is her first book. She lives in Manila, Philippines.



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