I am so excited to have discovered this book! Tonya Duncan Ellis has written a delightfully engaging book about a fourth grader named Sophie. It is written for ages 7-11. Sophie is an African American 10 year old who lives with her parents and her brother in a small town outside of Houston Texas. She attends a private school, but isn’t very thrilled with the uniforms she has to wear. Her best friend Chloe is in her class which makes it all ok. Sophie has to participate in the school’s first spelling bee, which starts off good, but then this nerdy kid Nathan begins to start teasing her that she has no chance of winning because he is going to win. Sophie is not having any of that! Just watch, she knows how to study, she can win!
There are 20 chapters in the book with the spelling bee running through all of them. Each chapter contains a different aspect of Sophie’s life. Sophie is a typical 10 year old. Life gets messy and hard but you struggle through and get support from various places, some you know about and some surprise you.
Ellis does a terrific job with character development. Her chapters are fun and entertaining, often with a lesson in them. It is all about being 10, in fourth grade and making life work well. This is the first book in a series. I hope the book ends up in every school library!