Thursday, November 19, 2020

Review & #Giveaway ~ Sophie Washington: Class Retreat by Tonya Duncan Ellis @TonyaDEllis @GoddessFish #Childrens #MiddleGrade #MG

Sophie Washington: Class Retreat

by Tonya Duncan Ellis


Genre: Children's Middle Grade


About the Book:

There is no such thing as Big Foot! Or is there…

Sophie Washington and her classmates are on their way to Camp Glowing Spring for a class retreat. It’ll be two full days of swimming, eating s’mores around a campfire, tug-of-war, archery, and more! Sophie’s been looking forward to the trip all school year and can’t wait to spend extra time with her friends. It will also be great to get away from her bratty younger brother, Cole, and his constant stories about Big Foot. If Cole warns her about what to do if she sees the hairy ape man on the retreat one more time, she’ll put in ear plugs. Everybody knows Big Foot is a hoax!

Once the kids arrive at the retreat site things are as exciting as Sophie imagined. She has fun exploring nature with her besties, Chloe, Valentina, Toby, Nathan, and Mariama, and meeting new friends too. Then the kids see a giant footprint during a nature hike in the woods and the adventure really begins! 


My Review:

Sophie Washington: Class Retreat is a wonderful story bringing childhood to life. The realism of Sophie and her class going to camp for a couple of days took me back to when I went to camp. I remember being excited to hang out with friends, go hiking, have bonfires, and learn archery. I enjoyed the inclusion of the mystical Big Foot and the ghost stories at the bonfire.  I reveled in Sophie's trip and enjoyed going down memory lane. 

The author brought a sense of what it's like to be an adolescent in today's world where bullying and racism still exist. Her ability to tie in social issues really brought the book home for me. I'd like to think there's been a reduction in the amount of bullying and racism since I was young but this book and the social issues out in the forefront attest that there isn't. 

This is the first Sophie Washington book I've read and there are 11 total. If the rest are as good as book 11, I recommend grabbing them for your child. This book is suitable for all ages and not only tells a story about camp but brings to light larger, more complex issues. The author tells the story with subtle inclusions about bully and racism. She also shows how certain actions or statements, without meaning to, can cause harm. Of course, there are typical camp shenanigans and a cast of classmates who really have fun together.

I was provided a copy of this book to read.

My Rating:


Read an Excerpt:

A twig snaps, and the dark shadow rises. I run like a rabbit through leafy trees. My hair is drenched; I can smell the sweat in my armpits. Down, down, down the trail I race for dear life. As the footsteps get closer, I turn. A tall, hairy man grabs my arm, and I scream.

Heart racing, I jerk up, and pull my comforter to my chest. I see my goldfish bowl on my dresser and breathe a sigh of relief. It’s the third night in a row I’ve had nightmares about Big Foot. I hope they stop soon, because this is getting old.

The dreams started after I watched a show called Finding Big Foot with my parents and little brother, Cole. I want to forget about the hairy ape man, also known as Sasquatch. But Cole’s been talking about it every chance he gets. This morning, unfortunately, is no different.

“What do you call a Sasquatch who loves working with clay?” Cole reads a joke from his library book. “A hairy potter!”

“What do you get when Bigfoot walks in your garden? “Squash!”

“It’s too early for this!” I put my hands over my ears. I should have packed my ear plugs in my bag with my swimsuit.

My father laughs as he pulls into our school entrance. With the orange and pinkish colors of the sun coming up from behind the clouds, the two-story, gray building stands out like a piece in a pop-up book. About twenty or thirty other cars are sliding into parking spaces, and I strain my eyes to find my friends. 

Purchase Link:  Amazon


Meet the Author:

Tonya Duncan Ellis was born and raised in Louisville, KY. She loves reading so much that as a child she took books with her everywhere. She knew she wanted to become a writer after an article she wrote was published in her hometown newspaper when she was a teen. Since then, Tonya has worked as a journalist and freelance magazine writer. A graduate of Centre College of Kentucky and Washington University in St. Louis, she’s an Amazon bestselling and award-winning author of the Sophie Washington children's book series, geared towards readers ages 8 to 12. The books recount adventures of Houston, TX preteen Sophie Washington 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, and Code One. When she's not writing, Tonya enjoys reading, biking, swimming, travel, and spending time with her husband and three children. She lives in Missouri City, TX.


Instagram: @tonyaellisbooks

Facebook: @tonyaellisbooks

Twitter: @TonyaDEllis 



Enter the Giveaway: 

Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for featuring me on your blog, Sapphyria, and for your thoughtful and detailed review. :)

    1. You are very welcome! I'm going to go back and read the rest of books in the series, too!

  2. Sounds like a book both my granddaughter and I will both love. Thanks for the chance.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you for following along my tour. Good luck. :)

  4. Thanks for sharing your book and for the great giveaway too.

    1. Good luck in the giveaway James! Thanks for following along on my review tour. :)

  5. The book sounds very interesting. Thanks!

  6. I like the cover.the design and colors are great.

    1. Thanks Jeanna! This is one of my favorite book covers from my series.

  7. Thank you! This is my youngest son's grade level and I love that each book has a thoughtful lesson taught.