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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Sophie Washington: The Snitch is the second book in Tonya Duncan Ellis’s series for children, grades 4-6. Ten-year-old Sophie has an awful secret that only her best friend, Chloe, knows. Sophie is being tormented by an older girl who is new to the school. Lanie is twelve, but she’s in the fifth grade with Sophie and Chloe, and ever since she transferred to the school, Sophie has been miserable. Lanie takes Sophie’s lunch money and is physically abusive, and she’s much bigger than Sophie, who is small for her age. Sophie has run out of money in her piggy bank from paying off Lanie, and she doesn’t know what she can do next. Sophie and Chloe know from experience that the last thing they want to do is to tell the teacher or their parents about Lanie. Being a snitch gets you ostracized in school. No one will ever trust you, tell you things in confidence or even be your friend again. But when Lanie breaks Sophie’s new glasses and seriously injures a boy who tries to stand up for her, Sophie finally realizes she needs to confide in her parents.
Tonya Duncan Ellis’s children’s book for grades 4-6, Sophie Washington: The Snitch, broaches the very important issue of bullying and how children should feel comfortable about getting adult help when they are being victimized. Bullies delight in causing pain, and young victims frequently feel that they are on their own in such a situation. Ellis’s story shows how failure to stop a bully will usually have devastating results. Parents and teachers or any safe adult a child feels they can confide in, like a school nurse or guidance counselor, can help address the situation. Kids need to realize that stopping a bully and telling on others are two very different things, and this book makes that quite clear. Both Sophie and Cole are also fitted with glasses in this book, something that can make kids feel nervous about, and Ellis addresses the subject beautifully. Ellis’s plot is convincing and fun to read, especially the ongoing antics between Sophie and her little brother, Cole. This is a series worth watching. Sophie Washington: The Snitch is most highly recommended.