Review of middle grade fiction Sophie Washington: Treasure Beach by Tonya Duncan Ellis
A 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.
Excerpt from Treasure Beach
Building a sandcastle is like mixing a batch of cookies. You have to measure the ingredients precisely. Too much water, and it’ll be gooey. Too little, and the sand won’t stick together, and it will crumble.
My best friend Chloe and I have been working on ours all morning. We carefully pack our buckets with sand, make a sturdy base, and even carve in windows and shingles on the roof. It’s starting to remind me of Cinderella’s castle at Disney World.
“Back off, Cole!” I warn my little brother when he kicks sand in my face. He’s hopping around with Granny Washington’s metal detector, trying to find some treasures.
“I think I found something, Sophie!” He starts to shovel in the area where I was going to build a moat.
It’s the second day of our vacation at my grandmother’s house in Corpus Christi, Texas, and we’re spending it at the beach. Cole and I come here for a couple of weeks every summer, and this year, our parents let me bring my best friend Chloe along after I begged for days.
Mom and Dad are at home in Houston having own their vacation. When we FaceTimed them last night, they were on their way out for a date at a fancy restaurant.
Usually crowded by early afternoon, the beach is practically empty with just a few other people around. A cloudless, blue sky stretches over the ocean like a never-ending sheet. The sun shines so brightly that even the seagulls need shades.
My Review of Treasure Beach
I just love this series—keep them coming, please. 🙂
Lots of awesome stuff in here about friendship and what’s really valuable. The treasure hunt was a nice event to have all this built around, and the beach setting made this a nicely timed summer read. I had a nice chuckle about the ranger from Michigan who said the hottest it gets there is 80 degrees—as I read this book from my house in Michigan while it was pushing 95 degrees outside. But I also remember my boyfriend’s sister complaining about how it was 80 degrees and so hot a few years ago, so this didn’t bother me at an unrealistic level or anything. If this guy was from northern MI or the Upper Peninsula, it very well may be that 80 was the high. But I’ve digressed, the book is lovely, and everyone should read it, along with the rest of the series.
About 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/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Want More Bookish Fun?
July’s Author Discovery Project book was EcoQueen by Joanna Measer Kanow.