If this is your first time on Mountain Mama Book Reviews, then this may be your first introduction to West Virginia author Kathleen M. Jacobs. However, if you have stayed up to date on previous MMBR posts you are familiar with Kathleen's marvelous works. Adding to her collection in 2019, her latest release, Sophie and the Bookmobile, is a young adult chapter book intended for readers eight years old and up. Though I don’t have children to read to yet it was a special read, and one day look forward to sharing it with my children. When Sophie's family moves from New York City to West Virginia, she not only has to leave her friends and the city and library she loves so much, but she has to figure out what will happen when she discovers that there is no library in her new town. But when she discovers something called a bookmobile and other new treasures, all is right with the world.
From the first page in the Author’s Note to the very last sentence, Kathleen’s spirit and passion for literature is evident. The power of words and the magic of books is a special experience to share, and Kathleen shares it beautifully. As an adult it is easy to picture the scenes with Sophie, and I can only imagine it would inspire a creative young mind as well. From the description of Sophie’s encounters with her friends in New York to her drive into West Virginia each scene is beautifully written. Sophie is a character with spunk and her passion for books is easily relatable to any book lover - young or old. As I read Sophie & the Bookmobile I was reminded of my love of books that began at a young age, which has continued on to this day. In addition to the wonders of books (and bookmobiles), Sophie’s story is a great reminder that change can be good, despite our fears or thoughts that say otherwise. In addition to Kathleen’s writing, the pictures in the book are simply fantastic, offering a special visual to the chapters. As I have said it before and I will say it again, Kathleen Jacobs is a true gift to Appalachian literature.