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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sophie Washington: Queen of the Bee by Tonya Duncan Ellis - Book Tour - Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hello lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Tonya Duncan Ellis and her new book, “Sophie Washington: Queen of the Bee”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Tonya and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

Sophie Washington: 
Queen of the Bee
by Tonya Duncan Ellis


GENRE: Children's (Middle Grade)



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?



“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 book was such a fun, exciting, happy, suspenseful, enjoyable read!

This book mostly revolves around the main character, Sophie Washington, and her family.  Sophie is a smart, funny, 10-year-old, fifth grader who gets straight A’s, wants to have fun, ride her bike, and play with her friends.  Since Sophie is an excellent speller, her parents strongly urge her to sign up for the spelling bee.  However, Sophie wants nothing to do with it.  Well, that is until her annoying classmate Nathan Jones, aka Mr. Know-It-All, challenges her.  Now the game is on and Sophie is determined to study hard, because she is not going to let that pesky Mr. Know-It-All actually win.  However, Sophie’s busy family life, irritating little brother, and crazy schedule seem to keep getting in the way of her studying.  Will these distractions keep her from learning the words to win or will she be able to come out on top and be the next spelling bee champion aka the Queen of the Bee?

I remember entering a spelling bee when I was in second grade.  It was down to me and this boy, Greg.  We didn’t really get along.  I remember it went a couple rounds back and forth between us before I got the word, “children,” and I spelled it “childran.” [sic] Yes, I have never spelled that word wrong again lol!  Totally makes sense though, child-ran.  Oh, well, second place wasn’t horrible, I still got a ribbon, a certificate, lunch with the principal, and a book.  Anywho, when I heard about this book I was thrilled to read it since it sounded like a great read and I thought I could relate to it a bit.

I loved the main character, Sophie Washington.  She sets a wonderful, positive role model for girls.  At a time when young girls are carefully watching and following the lead of their role models it is important that we are providing them with ones that are not only realistic, but also ones that demonstrate confidence and leadership skills.

I really liked that this book had so many underlying messages.  For example, this book focused on hard work, respect, determination, positive attitudes, self-improvement, confidence, appreciation, overcoming obstacles, being a team player, and so much more.

I really liked the family dynamic of the book.  I enjoyed seeing how Sophie’s family meshed together.  Her family wasn’t perfect, but they were fun, corky, silly, crazy, and, well, typical.

I loved that the author used so many Houston and Texas references throughout the book since the book does take place in the Houston Suburbs.  I have been to Houston many times, and I have lived in several parts of Texas before.  So, I really enjoy when I read a book from there that the real Texas is found in the pages – and it sure was!  The author did a great job listing things like restaurants, local spots, culture references, and even the rodeo!  You definitely know you’re in Texas lol!

I think the best part of this book being for middle graders, is that it’s a fun, cool, intriguing, suspenseful book for them!  It’s not a dumbed down kid’s book and it’s not a book that a parent can be worried that their kid is reading.  It’s a book that a kid will want to read, won’t be embarrassed to read in front of their friends or their parents.  It’s the right kind of a book a kid should be reading and the right kind of book their parent will be glad they are reading!

This book is book one of the Sophie Washington Book Series.  I was thrilled to be able to start with the first one as I can totally see more Sophie Washington books in my near future!

This book is “G” rated as there is no swearing, no violence, no adult situations, and no sexual content.

I would absolutely recommend this recommend for middle graders as I think they would love this book and the Sophie Washington Book Series! 

This book is marketed towards middle grades and I totally agree!  However, I might even go as far as to suggest this book for readers in third grade to seventh grade as they too would also easily enjoy this book and book series as well!

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**

Did you find this review helpful?
If so, please, please, please mark it as helpful on Amazon here:



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.






Goodreads Author Page:

Goodreads Book Page:

Amazon Author Page:



Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble:



Tonya will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Congrats on the tour and thank you for the excerpt and giveaway. I appreciate the opportunity to win.

  2. I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour and I hope it is a fun one for you :)

    1. Great to see you Lisa! Thanks for stopping by my tour!

  3. Thanks for featuring me on your blog Ally!

    1. Oh and I love your review Ally! I can totally see you as a cute second grader in your own spelling bee! :)

  4. Great review! I've really enjoyed following the tour for Queen of the Bee and I'll definitely be sharing this with friends who have children!