Tonya Duncan Ellis
GENRE: Children's Middle Grade
message in a bottle leads Sophie Washington and friends on a seaside treasure
hunt in this exciting, illustrated chapter book adventure. It's summertime, and
Sophie, her best friend, Chloe, and her younger brother, Cole are spending two
fun-filled weeks in Corpus Christi, Texas with her young-at-heart grandmother.
A surprise discovery on a day out at the beach takes them on a quest for
riches. During their search, the kids snorkel, encounter endangered sea
turtles, visit a World War II warship, and learn that honesty and true
friendship are worth more than gold.
Spooked, I backtrack on the slippery sand like I’m dancing
I almost step on a fish skeleton that includes a full set of
teeth. Whatever ate the fish cleaned its bones. Creepy.
“Why’re you jumping around like that, Sophie?” asks Cole. “I
thought you said we should be careful, so we don’t accidentally step on any
“Look!” I gesture
toward the cove, and Granny, Cole, and Chloe gather around.
What I thought was a rock wiggles again. It seems too heavy
to be a piece of paper. Is it an old trash bag? A dead animal?
“Is that rock shaking?” Chloe leans in.
“I think so,” I answer.
This is weird. I’d have goosebumps if the sun wasn’t burning
my arms. I rub my forehead with the back of my hand to stop sweat from dripping
into my eyes.
Peering closer, I
recognize what I see. “It’s a sea turtle!” I exclaim.
At first, the reptile’s head was inside its shell, so we
didn’t recognize it. It’s nearly the size of a dinner plate. Somehow, Cole’s
baseball cap is attached to one of its back flippers.
“Check that thing out!” His eyes widen.
This is my first time seeing a grown sea turtle up close.
“Good morning, Mr. Turtle!” I sing-song.
Its shell is dark, grayish-green, and its body is white. The
reptile’s nose reminds me of a beak.
Spotting us, the turtle shuffles its legs to flee, but its
shell sticks like glue to the rocks underneath.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Tonya Duncan Ellis is author of the award winning, bestselling, Sophie Washington children's book series, geared toward readers ages 8 to 12, and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her independently published books have been featured in the Houston Chronicle and the Baltimore Sun and have seen over 70,000 downloads and sales in the United States, India, Canada, and Great Britain. She has worked as a journalist and a freelance magazine writer, and is a graduate of Centre College of Kentucky and holds an M.B.A. degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
The twelve book
Sophie Washington series stars a sweet and sassy African American preteen from
Houston, TX and her diverse group of friends. Each funny and heartwarming story
teaches lessons about friendship, responsibility, truthfulness, and
Tonya loves to
travel and has visited 49 American states, 20 countries, 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.
Sophie Washington: Treasure Beach by Tonya Duncan Ellis is
part of the 'Sophie Washington' series that centers around a young girl’s
adventures in life. Sophie, her best friend Chloe, and little brother Cole are
visiting Corpus Christi and Granny Washington. Between adventures at the beach,
learning about sea creatures, and a treasure hunt, the fun almost never ends,
until a wrong choice threatens to destroy a valued relationship.
This fun children’s series features the everyday adventures of
a personable young girl and her younger brother as they navigate through life.
I adore these stories because the characters are realistic and vivid, and their
experiences provide life lessons without being preachy. The interactions between
Sophie and Cole seem so normal, with typical sibling squabbles but also
heartwarming love, and I love their zest for life and enthusiasm. This story
has great info about the hazards facing the animals who live in the sea, touches
on jealousy and the importance of being able to understand another person’s
perspective, and allows one to see how the differently abled can adapt their
world to keep from being excluded from things they love. Another great addition
to the series, and as usual, each story can be read as a stand-alone tale, although
once you read one, you’ll want to read all of the others.
A copy was provided for review