SOPHIE WASHINGTON: HURRICANE
by Tonya Duncan Ellis
A hurricane’s coming, and eleven-year-old Sophie Washington’s typical middle school life in the Houston, Texas suburbs is about to make a major change. One day she’s teasing her little brother, Cole, dodging classmate Nathan Jones’ wayward science lab frog and complaining about “braggamuffin” cheerleader Valentina Martinez, and the next, she and her family are fleeing for their lives to avoid dangerous flood waters. Finding a place to stay isn’t easy during the disaster, and the Washington’s get some surprise visitors when they finally do locate shelter. To add to the trouble, three members of the Washington family go missing during the storm, and new friends lose their home. In the middle of it all, Sophie learns to be grateful for what she has and that she is stronger than she ever imagined.
“Ahhhhhowwwww!!!” my little brother Cole’s screams combine with our dog Bertram’s howls, as a blinding light flashes near the backyard. The hair on my arms stands on end. We zoom to the kitchen race car fast.
“Mooom!” I call.
Thunder booms. I cover my ears to stop the ringing. My mother, wild-eyed, joins us.
“It’s lightning!” she cries, pulling Cole and me in for a group hug; Bertram shivers in the middle.
Outside, rain pounds down in sheets. The power cuts off.
“Great,” says mom, as she stumbles through the blackness to the pantry to find candles and a lighter.
For about three minutes, we huddle together quietly in the dimly lit room.
“What do we do now?” Cole breaks the silence.
He edges way too close to me, and I have the urge to shove him off like I usually do, but I feel sorry for my little brother because if I’m scared, I’m sure he’s terrified.
“Ewwwww! You are so nasty, Cole!” Now I do push my little brother back. Leave it to him break wind at a time like this.
“Excuse me,” he says.
My mother starts giggling.
“I can’t believe you’re laughing, Mom!” Pinching my nose, at the sulfurous odor I stamp my feet.
The lights flick back on, and I squinch. Bertram barks and wags his tail happily.
I exhale, then sharply breathe back in a few seconds later, when we hear a clatter coming from the garage.
“Wait here, kids,” our mother cautiously moves toward the door that leads outside.
“Be careful,” I warn.
~Buy SOPHIE WASHINGTON: HURRICANE on Amazon
Ellis does it again with another fantastically cute Sophie Washington story! This time, Sophie and her family are facing a hurricane. Along the way, Sophie learns a lot, realizes how grateful she is for her life, and even makes some new friends.
Like the Sophie Washington books that come before, Hurricane doesn’t fail to entertain or educate. The Hurricane itself is scary, but Ellis weaves humor through the story to take away from the frightening parts. She doesn’t downplay how severe a hurricane can be, though, and strikes the perfect blend for a young audience.
Sophie is still a terrific protagonist for early middle school/late elementary school readers. She’s realistic, and Ellis has such a great voice for her. It’s interesting to see Sophie’s relationships with her friends and family change as the series progresses. If you’re just starting here, the book stands alone, and the characters are easy to get comfortable with.
All in all, this is a quick and fun read that teaches important lessons, as well as interesting facts about many things. Looking forward to more in this series!
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. 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 and Mission Costa Rica (Due to be released June 2018). When she\’s not writing, Tonya enjoys reading, biking, swimming, travel and spending time with her husband and three children. She lives in Houston, TX.
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Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway