This story was a combination of fantastical elements and elements common to all middle schoolers. It had a couch with dragon feet that could tesser (Loved the shout out to A Wrinkle in Time!), a talking domino, an inside out universe, and a villain who wants to use mind control enhanced by cell phones and snack food to take over the world. It also had an orphaned main character, a color blind main character who loved science, and a main character who was dealing with an alcoholic and angry father. River, Freak and Fiona are the only kids still living in an abandoned subdivision. An underground coal fire has made the area dangerous. When they come upon an old sofa outside an old and scary mansion, they don't imagine that they will soon be involved with trying to save the world. I liked the sly humor that permeated this story. I also liked River's thoughtful narration. I liked the way he was equally accepting of the magical sofa and his own state as an orphan. He was a typical middle schooler cycling by the moment from child to young adult. He was also courageous and intelligent. The plot which involved a rare zucchini color crayon and a villain with Compulsive Completist Disorder which compels him to drop his plans of world conquest to complete his collections. The story is filled with action that will appeal to middle schoolers. From exploring the dangerous Hellsboro with its underground coal fires to runaway hot air balloons, the action never stops. I think this book will appeal to many upper elementary and middle school students.