Tuesday, January 30, 2018

VBT: Sophie Washington: The Snitch by Tonya Duncan Ellis

Sophie Washington: The Snitch
by Tonya Duncan Ellis


GENRE: Children's (Middle Grade)



There’s nothing worse than being a tattletale…

That’s what 10-year-old Sophie Washington thinks until she runs into Lanie Mitchell, a new girl at
school. Lanie pushes Sophie and her friends around at their lockers, and even takes their lunch
money. If they tell, they are scared the other kids in their class will call them snitches, and won’t be
their friends. And when you’re in the fifth grade, nothing seems worse than that.

Excitement at home keeps Sophie’s mind off the trouble with Lanie. She takes a fishing trip to the Gulf
of Mexico with her parents and little brother, Cole, and discovers a mysterious creature in the attic
above her room. For a while, Sophie is able to keep her parents from knowing what is going on at
school. But Lanie’s bullying goes too far, and a classmate gets seriously hurt. Sophie needs to make
a decision. Should she stand up to the bully, or become a snitch?


Excerpt Two:

“Nice glasses,” smiles Mariama, one of my other good friends in our class. Mariama’s family moved to our neighborhood from Nigeria last year. Some people make fun of her because she dresses different sometimes and talks with an African accent, but she’s really nice.

“Thanks, this is my first time wearing them,” I say. “I was a little nervous this morning.”

“Well, you shouldn’t be because they look really good,” she assures me. A few of our other classmates come through the hall, and no one seems to pay too much attention to me wearing glasses. Seems like it’s not a big deal after all.

“Hey Soph,” calls Chloe, rushing over to join us at the lockers, “those are some cute specs. I may get some with red frames to match my uniform logo.”

“You’re supposed to wear glasses to see, Chloe,” Mariama and I laugh.

“Well, they can be used for fashion, too,” she informs us.

We compare notes on last night’s science homework and grumble about the many review packets Mr. Simpson assigns.

“He must really want us to become astronauts,” Chloe complains.

“Yeah, it took me over an hour to get mine done,” I say.

Suddenly, I hear Mariama whistle under her breath.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

I see Lanie moving in our direction.

You mean she bothers Mariama, too? I think to myself.

“Hey, Miss Tarzan,” Lanie says, turning toward our friend. “I see you’re wearing that necklace from Africa that you promised me,” she says, pointing at the string of colorful wooden beads my friend is wearing.

Mariama, who is at least a foot shorter than Lanie and probably 15 pounds lighter, starts to shake.

“My mother gave me this necklace,” she says, “and it was a gift from her mother to her.”

“Well, it’s going to be my gift now,” Lanie snarls, reaching out to grab it.

“Why don’t you give it a rest?” says Chloe, moving to block her.

“And who’s going to make me?” Lanie smirks.

I feel my face getting hot under my new glasses. I am so tired of Lanie bothering everybody and spoiling all our fun. If I wasn’t so scared of people calling me a snitch, I would march right down to the principal’s office and tell on this bully.

“Leave her alone, Lanie,” I say through gritted teeth.

“And who’s going to stop me?” she asks.


Lanie laughs and shoves me against the locker.

“You couldn’t stop a flea.”

“Come on, Sophie, let’s just go,” Chloe urges.

But I’ve had enough.

I shove the bully back.

“I said, leave her alone.”

Lanie looks surprised for a second.

“Fine, if she won’t give me her necklace, then I’ll take yours.”

She yanks my precious silver friendship chain from my neck and knocks me to the floor so quickly that my new glasses fall off.

“Sophie!” Chloe and Mariama rush over to help me as the bully hurries off down the hall.

“I hate her!” I reach on the floor for my new glasses and see that the glass is cracked in one of the lenses.

“Oh no!”

What am I going to do now?


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Tonya Ellis remembers hiding in the restroom from a few bullies during her elementary school days.
She encourages kids to speak out if they are being mistreated. She knew she wanted to become a
writer after an article she wrote was published in her hometown newspaper. Since then, Tonya has
worked as a journalist, written for newspapers and magazines and won awards for her books. When
she’s not busy writing, she enjoys reading, biking with her husband and two sons and daughter, and
travelling to interesting places. SOPHIE WASHINGTON: The Snitch is the second book in a series
about Sophie and her friends.
Facebook: @tonyaellisbooks
Twitter: @TonyaDEllis

Interview with Tonya Duncan Ellis
  1. Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reins of the story? When I begin all my books I am the tour guide leading my characters on the path I’ve mapped out for them to follow. I write out chapter headings to use as a loose outline and begin to fill in the details. As the story continues on the journey, events in the plot or even my own life sometimes cause the story line to veer in other directions and the characters show the way. I had no idea that one of the characters would end up in the emergency room when I started writing Sophie Washington: The Snitch, for example, but with their actions the characters took control.  
  2. Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
    1. It’s entertaining – The on-going bickering and antics between Sophie and her little brother Cole will make you laugh and make your heart sing.
    2. There’s excitement – The scenes between the kids and the bully add plenty of suspense and action.
    3. It’s current and thought provoking– bullying is a hot topic nowadays that many are interested in.
    4. It’s relatable – The school, home, and field trip scenes are common to most kids so they can relate the action and character choices to their own experience.
    5. The book is fun – Sophie Washington: The Snitch is a funny and heartwarming tale that kids will learn from without knowing it and won’t soon forget.
  3. Have you written any other books that are not published? I just finished the fifth book in my series, Sophie Washington: Hurricane, which is due to be released in March. In this book Sophie learns lessons about appreciation and gratefulness after she and her family are evacuated from their home during a natural disaster. I am super excited about this release and believe fans of the series will love it.
  4. Pen or typewriter or computer? Does anyone write with a typewriter anymore? My kids look at those as antiques! It’s definitely a computer for me. I type as quickly as I talk so I would be far less productive if I were doing my work with a pen, plus writing my hand makes my hands hurt. Typewriters don’t have a built-in thesaurus or spell check so there’s no way I’d want to go back to using them.
  5. Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans? Thanks so much for checking into my blog tour! I hope to hear from you at other stops on the tour. Please feel free to shoot me a message on the contact page of my website at to join my email list. I may be offering free advance review copies of my upcoming book Sophie Washington: Hurricane!


Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via
rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. Thank you for featuring me on your blog!

  2. I enjoyed getting to know your book; Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  3. Thanks Lisa. Best wishes in the giveaway!

  4. Are there any books that you like to reread regularly? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com