GENRE: Children’s (Middle Grade)
About the Book
Sign up for the spelling bee? No way!
If there’s one thing 10-year-old Texan Sophie Washington is good at, it’s spelling. She’s earned straight 100s on all her spelling tests to prove it. Her parents want her to compete in the Xavier Academy spelling bee, but Sophie wishes they would buzz off.
Her life in the Houston suburbs is full of adventures, and she doesn’t want to slow down the action. Where else can you chase wild hogs out of your yard, ride a bucking sheep, or spy an eight-foot-long alligator during a bike ride through the neighborhood? Studying spelling words seems as fun as getting stung by a hornet, in comparison.
That’s until her irritating classmate, Nathan Jones, challenges her. There’s no way she can let Mr. Know-It-All win. Studying is hard when you have a pesky younger brother and a busy social calendar. Can Sophie ignore the distractions and become Queen of the Bee?
Read an Excerpt
“Turn the television off, and you two go get the newspaper and pull the garbage can up to the garage,” says Mom, shaking her head and pouring more pancake batter into the skillet. “All this arguing is going to make me burn breakfast.”
I clench my fists to keep from wringing Cole’s neck. “Did you tell Mom about the contest?” he loudly yells over blips and bleeps. He is playing a Video Rangers cartridge on his Nintendo DS game now that the television is off.
“What contest?” asks Dad, entering the kitchen.
“Oh, it’s nothing really,” I say. “Just something Mrs. Green was talking about at school on Friday . . .”
“It’s the big spelling bee, and they want all the kids in the third grade and up to be in it,” pipes up Cole. “Mrs. Green said she hopes Sophie signs up, since she’s such a great speller.”
“That sounds like a wonderful opportunity for you, Sophie,” Mom says. “You are really good at spelling.”
“Sign up first thing Monday morning,” says Dad. “Maybe we can start you studying this weekend. Did they give you a list of spelling words?”
“I need to check my backpack, Dad. It’s out in the garage,” I say, trying to change the subject.
“Come on, Cole, Mom told us to get the paper.”
“Why can’t you go out to the driveway by yourself?” he complains. “We’re not even through eating.”
“Go help your sister,” Mom commands.
We head out the garage door to the driveway. “You are such a tattletale,” I say, nudging Cole once we are out of earshot. “Why’d you have to tell Mom and Dad about the spelling bee?” He elbows me back, then we both stop in our tracks. Three hairy pigs are running around our front yard.
This is the second book in the Sophie Washington series that I’ve read and reviewed. Queen of the Bee was actually the first book in the Sophie Washington series and I was worried that, having read the second book first, my enjoyment would be spoiled by already knowing the outcome of the story. It wasn’t.
Author Tonya Ellis creates a wonderful middle-grade environment for our mini-heroine, Sophie, and her group of close friends and pesky younger brother. The story line is solid and age appropriate for middle grade reading.
Highly recommended for your pre-teen reader. A solid 4- review!
You may also enjoy my preview/review of Sophie Washington: The Snitch.
About the Author
Tonya Ellis loves reading so much that as a child she took books with her everywhere rather than put them down. She knew she wanted to become a writer after an article she wrote was published in her hometown newspaper when she was fourteen years old. Since then, Tonya has worked as a journalist, written for newspapers and magazines and won awards for her books. She is the mom of three spelling bee champions, and has judged several spelling bee events.
SOPHIE WASHINGTON: QUEEN OF THE BEE is her debut novel in a series about Sophie and her friends. Currently, Ms. Ellis lives in Missouri City, Texas with her husband, daughter, and two sons.
Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the Tour
This is a four-week review tour. You are encouraged to visit as many stops as you’d like to learn more about the book and the author, and to gain more entries into the drawing.
February 27: The Reading Addict
February 27: Andi’s Middle Grade and Chapter Books
March 6: Locks, Hooks and Books
March 6: Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 13: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
March 13: Long and Short Reviews YA
March 20: Fabulous and Brunette
March 20: Kit ‘N Kabookle
~ ~ ~
It was my pleasure having Tonya return for another visit. Please come back again later in the week and throughout the month for more authors, books, and giveaways.