Monday, May 11, 2020

Sophie Washington: My BFF by Tonya Duncan Ellis (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

Tonya Duncan Ellis


GENRE: Middle Grade



Sophie and Chloe have been best friends since they met in kindergarten. They get along like chips and salsa and do everything together from playing tennis to cheering on the school cheer squad. Lately, Chloe’s been leaving Sophie out, and she doesn’t know why. Sophie does everything she can to make her best friend happy, but it’s not working. Then Chloe asks Sophie to fib to a teacher to help her out and she learns the true meaning of friendship.

This is the tenth book in the Readers' Favorite five star rated Sophie Washington book series that includes:

Kids Ages 8-12



The only reason I’m not at the carnival games is because I want to spend time with my BFF, Chloe. We’ve been friends since we shared a swing in kindergarten, and we do everything together, like cheer for our school and play on the tennis team. She’s taller and noisier than I am, but somehow, we belong together, like chips and salsa.

Chloe isn’t in any of my classes this year. During free periods she gets special tutoring for her dyslexia. Don’t ask me what dyslexia means exactly, but she’s not so great at spelling and takes twice as long as the rest of us to do her school work.

Chloe’s been talking about riding the Killer Whale since we were too short to be allowed on roller coasters. I’d do anything for my best friend, and I didn’t want to look like a chicken, so I faced my fear.

Looking back, I still can’t believe I got in line when Chloe begged. The Killer Whale is a perfect name for that ride. Carts race up and down the grayish blue rails like they’re on a speed track, and then drop down huge hills.

“That’s what I’m talking about!” Toby, the cutest boy in the sixth grade, stood in front of us in line with his mouth open. “Forget about the baby rides; I want to ride this one the whole time we’re here.”

“This is so cool!” Nathan, Toby’s buddy for the field trip, gave him a high five. “and since there are two tracks, we shouldn’t have to wait long to get on.”

The crowded line came to a standstill and we continued to talk.

“Hey, Sophie, did you start that poetry assignment for English class?” Toby edged around Chloe. “Can you help me with it at school tomorrow? I need to get an A or B to raise my grade.”

“You read the poem yet?” said Nathan, pausing the video game he was playing on his phone and also looking my way. “I can’t figure it out.” 

“Why didn’t you ask me what I think about the poem?” asked Chloe with a frown.

“Well, ah, I didn’t think you were doing the same work,” said Toby.

Her lips curled, and I braced myself.

Chloe is super sweet most of the time, but act like she’s not as smart as someone else, and she changes from cuddly kitten to ferocious tiger.

“As a matter of fact, I am doing the same work,” she said, wrapping her arms around her chest. “Just because I go to a tutor sometimes doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s going on. I still have the same English assignments as you guys.”

“I don’t think he meant that, Chloe,” I said.

“Yeah, yeah, everybody knows you’re the spelling champion, while I’m the sixth-grade dummy,” said Chloe.

“Now wait a minute…” I said.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Tonya Duncan Ellis is the author of the Amazon bestselling, Readers' Favorite "Five Star" rated, Sophie Washington children's books series, geared toward readers ages 8 to 12, and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She has received awards for literary excellence, worked as a journalist and freelance magazine writer, and is a graduate of Centre College of Kentucky and Washington University in St. Louis.

The Sophie Washington book series recounts the adventures of a precocious African American preteen from Houston, TX and her diverse group of friends. Each funny and heartwarming story teaches lessons about friendship, responsibility, truthfulness and perseverance. Books in the series include Queen of the Bee, The Snitch, Things You Didn't Know About Sophie, The Gamer, Hurricane, Mission: Costa Rica,
Secret Santa, Code One and Mismatch.

Tonya loves to travel and has visited 49 American states and three continents, but some of her best journeys have been between the pages of a novel. As a girl she could always be found with a book in her hand, and reading is still one of her favorite hobbies. When she's not reading or writing, the author likes to ride her bike, swim, and spend time with her husband and three children. She lives in Missouri City, TX.



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The tour dates can be found here


My review:

4.25 stars

Sophie Washington: My BFF by Tonya Duncan Ellis continues the saga of young Sophie as she deals with peer pressure and expectations of adults. When her best friend Chloe starts acting like she doesn’t value their friendship any longer, Sophie must decide what she is willing to sacrifice to keep her friend in her her life.

The stories in this children’s series are always a wonderful combination of entertainment and education. I enjoy accompanying Sophie through her adventures that touch on very realistic challenges while telling a fun story. Although dyslexia is an element of the tale, angst, jealousy, and peer pressure are also significant aspects as Sophie determines what she is willing to do to fit in. I love that these characters make mistakes but learn from them and continue to grow, and I’m delighted by the way Sophie’s parents approach their children’s problems.

I think this is a great book for stimulating a discussion about such things as dyslexia, plagiarism, peer pressure, and consequences for one’s actions. I always look forward to reading about Sophie’s adventures, and this story was a great addition to a lovely series.

A copy was provided for review


  1. Great post and I appreciate getting to find out about another great book. Thanks for all you do and for the hard work you put into this. Greatly appreciated!

    1. Thanks so stopping by my tour James! Best wishes in the giveaway!

  2. It's great to be featured on your blog again! Thanks so much for the detailed review!! :)

  3. Great excerpt and review, thanks for sharing!

    1. Great to see you again, Victoria! Thanks for following my review tour.

  4. Looks goof! I think my middle school kids would like it <3

  5. Thanks for the review. My daughter is loving this series.

  6. Sounds like a great book