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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Gamer: Sophie Washington is a novel for children, grades 4-6, written by Tonya Duncan Ellis. Sophie’s in sixth grade now, and she’s beginning to understand more of what the pastor is preaching in church on Sundays. Today’s sermon was on resisting the temptation to indulge in things that might not be so good for us. That message was particularly on point as the Lenten season was swiftly approaching. As she, her parents and her little brother, Cole, were driving home from service, her dad asked Sophie and Cole if they had considered what they would be giving up for Lent. Cole, who normally got his way with everything as far as Sophie was concerned, was told that he should give up his video games. Sophie was given an even more difficult challenge. Would they be able to keep those commitments until Easter Sunday?
Tonya Duncan Ellis’s novel for children, grades 4-6, The Gamer: Sophie Washington, finds Sophie, who is a sixth grader now, having to reconcile her feelings of envy and jealousy regarding the relationships of her friends in school and trying not to constantly complain about and tattle on her little brother. There are a number of high points in this engaging book including the arrival of a new member of Sophie’s household, Bertram, the Portuguese Water Dog, and the further development of Cole’s artistic talents. While, as a gamer, I was sympathetic to Cole’s plight in being denied all access during the Lenten season, the story had me wondering just how much I might be missing during those hours I play. While this is not the first book in Ellis’s Sophie Washington series, it can be read on its own; however I would strongly advise that each volume of this compelling and intelligent series be read in order. The Gamer: Sophie Washington is most highly recommended.