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Review of middle grade Sophie Washington: Lemonade Day by Tonya Duncan Ellis

cover of Sophie Washington Lemonade Day by Tonya Duncan Ellis

When Life Gives You Lemons…Make Lemonade

Sixth-grader Sophie Washington and friends learn lessons about entrepreneurship and team work when they sign up for a city-wide, Lemonade Day event. Sophie wants to buy her mother something special for her birthday, but she’s short on cash. Her bestie, Chloe, comes up with the perfect solution. Build their own lemonade stand to raise money at Lemonade Day! The girls add friends Carly and Nathan, and Sophie’s little brother, Cole, to their team, and decide to donate some of their earnings to a local animal shelter to help save stray animals. Things are going great, until the family dog destroys their supplies. They get worse when Sophie tries to impress another boy in their class and upsets Nathan. Can they save their business in time for the event?


Lemonade (clap, clap, clap)

Crunchy ice (clap, clap, clap)

Sip it once (clap, clap, clap)

Sip it twice (clap, clap, clap)


Crunchy Ice

Sip it once

Sip it twice

Turn around

Touch the ground

Kick your partner out of town!


“Watch out, Sophie!” Chloe yells.


I accidentally kick a ginormous, cardboard box off the coffee table before freezing into an Egyptian pose.

My best friend and I are teaching Alexis, the five year-old we’re babysitting, a hand game called Lemonade. Back in kindergarten, I was a Lemonade champ. Six years later, not so much.

“Oops!” I squat to pick up the box and tip it over. Papers and file folders spill on the floor.

“Let me help!” Chloe sweeps some of the printouts into a pile with her hands.

“Me too!” Alexis drops her robot pose and slides behind us, tumbling into Chloe. We twist like a pretzel, spreading paperwork all over the rug.

Wiggling near the fireplace, Alexis fans her arms and legs to make a paper snow angel. “This is fun!”

Our spacious den has copy paper everywhere.

“OMG!” I hold my hand over my mouth to cover my giggles.

“Get up, Alexis!” Chloe snickers, scooting to us on her bottom, and one of the papers rips.

“Girls!” Mom rushes into the room, and we freeze for real. “What are you doing?! I spent two hours organizing these files!”

My stomach drops.


I think I say this every time, but this was another great installment in this series. It’s why I keep reviewing them—because they have so much heart and so many lessons. This book did a lot with business, inspiring kids (and, heck, adults) to follow their dreams and put themselves out there.

It was really nice to see Sophie working with her little brother in this one. They’ve had a rocky relationship through the series, as siblings do, but they really came together here. Lots of friend tension and family tension kept things interesting, and there were lots of cute puppies. One was small with puffy ears and named Lady. Do I detect a Disney reference?

So, yeah, read this. And if you haven’t, read the rest of the series. Buy them for your kids, niblings (that’s the gender-neutral term for niece/nephew, case you were wondering), grandkids, friends’ kids, kids in line behind you at the bookstore—you get the idea. It’s good stuff.

About Tonya Duncan Ellis

author Tonya Duncan Ellis

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 perseverance.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.


Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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10 thoughts on “Review+Giveaway: Sophie Washington Lemonade Day by Tonya Duncan Ellis

  1. My grade school daughter loves your books. She loves reading all about Sophie Washington and her stories.

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