Sophie Washington: Class Retreat


Children - Grade 4th-6th
152 Pages
Reviewed on 10/04/2020
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

A sixth-grade girl confronts some of her biggest fears in the exciting middle-grade novel, Sophie Washington: Class Retreat by Tonya Duncan Ellis. Three days before going on a camping trip with her classmates, Sophie Washington watched the television show Finding Bigfoot with her eight-year-old brother Cole. For the next three nights, Sophie has terrifying nightmares about a hairy man-beast chasing her through the woods. Spouting facts he is reading from his monster book, Cole insists on giving Sophie advice about Bigfoot, while her parents drive her to the bus. Even though she doesn't believe that Bigfoot or ghosts are real, Sophie is annoyed with Cole, and all of his information has given her an uneasy feeling that the massive furry creature will show up during her stay in the woods. Her worst fears are confirmed when she sees a tall hairy man walking through the trees as the bus pulls into the campground and later he appears at their campfire. Does Bigfoot really exist? Are Sophie and her friends in danger?

Part of a series, Sophie Washington: Class Retreat by Tonya Duncan Ellis is a captivating story with delightful characters and intriguing situations. With an entertaining and uncomplicated plot, the book is ideal for engaging children ages 9 years old on up. Not only is the story enjoyable, but it also presents important life lessons that pre-adolescents experience. The primary concept within the plot teaches children that things that seem frightening or terrifying are rarely as scary as their imagination has built them up to be. The racial aspects integrated into the story are an ingenious way to raise the awareness that not everyone is respectful of others' feelings or differences. It is a delightful story, and I am enchanted with Sophie and her friends and highly recommend this book to readers in the fourth to the sixth-grade range.

Jack Magnus

Sophie Washington: Class Retreat is a social issues/adventure novel for children, grades 4-6, written by Tonya Duncan Ellis. Class Retreat is about to begin, and Sophie and her friends are beside themselves with excitement. As they wait for the buses to load and carry them to Camp Glowing Spring, they discuss the activities they’ll be taking part in. Cole, Sophie’s eight-year-old brother, is still obsessing over Big Foot, which he’s been teasing Sophie about since the Washington family watched a show about the legendary creature. Sophie’s been having nightmares about Big Foot. Would there be a Big Foot in the woods surrounding the camp? She was determined not to go anywhere near those woods by herself. But there were so many things going on at Camp Glowing Spring, starting with a swim in the lake and later on a campfire where s’mores and a spooky story about the Ghost of Camp Glowing Spring were the featured attractions. This was the sixth-graders’ first trip on their own, without parents or pesky little brothers, and Sophie and her friends were determined to enjoy every moment of it.

Tonya Duncan Ellis’ Sophie Washington: Class Retreat is a marvelous coming of age story. Sophie and most of her friends have been relatively sheltered as students at Xavier Academy since they started school. The retreat is a grand adventure for Sophie and her friends. Anyone who’s ever been to camp will find themselves reliving the experience, and those who haven’t yet will be hoping for their own chance at a retreat or summer camp in the near future. Ellis’ characters have come to feel like old friends as I’ve followed their adventures in the Sophie Washington series. That said, each of the books can be read and enjoyed as a standalone novel, including this one. I loved seeing Sophie and her classmates in this setting and particularly enjoyed how the mystery of Big Foot becomes very much a part of their camping experience. Ellis’ plot is well-constructed and imaginative, and her story reads like the grand adventure it is. Sophie Washington: Class Retreat is most highly recommended.

Michelle Stanley

“Go camping," they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said. Sophie Washington: Class Retreat by Tonya Duncan Ellis is for children in grades 4 to 6. Sophie is excited about going camping with her classmates. They’ll have so much fun swimming, playing games, and eating s’mores by the campfire. What she hopes doesn’t happen is encountering Big Foot. Her annoying brother Cole constantly talks about him. When they arrive at Camp Glowing Springs, students from another school bully Sophie and her friends and put peanut butter in their shoes. Timid Sophie refuses to join her friends when they retaliate, but when she sees a huge shadow in the woods, she knows she must do something or her friends will be in trouble.

I’m sure you will remember the good times and pranks that occurred while camping. New campers will learn a few pranks from reading Class Retreat from the wonderful Sophie Washington series. It’s a great story with realistic characters with very healthy appetites, and these kids love to eat! It also included bullying and being tactful when speaking. Tonya Duncan Ellis's approach to solving these social issues was great. Sophie and her friends were really offended by the bullies, but they did not cower. There are several morals in the story that will teach children it’s all right to be different, to look different, and that words can offend, even if it was not intentional. I like the cover illustration of the campfire scene. Class Retreat from the Sophie Washington series is highly recommended.