If your child enjoys books with strong female protagonists, a hint of mystery, and the joy of Christmas, then Sophie Washington: Secret Santa by Tonya Duncan Ellis will be a perfect gift.
It’s a few weeks before Christmas and Sophie and her friends are busy as school is coming to a close before the break. When Sophie begins receiving presents from a secret Santa, she can only guess who it might be. Is it one of her friends or one of the boys she knows? The answer might surprise her.
Though this is the seventh book in the Sophie Washington series, it’s the first one I’ve read. It’s a quick, fun chapter book with cute illustrations. As the reader gets to know Sophie and her friends, they eagerly turn the pages to see if they can figure out who Sophie’s secret Santa really is. Sophie is spunky and she has a love him/not so in love with him relationship with her younger brother that makes her even more relatable. In addition to the mysterious Santa, the book also addresses the topic of bullying. I don’t think we can have enough books that tackle this issue, and I like the author’s handling of it within this story.
If you set a story at Christmas, you’ve already partially won my heart. Sophie Washington: Secret Santa also inspires me to check out the previous books in the series to follow more of Sophie’s adventures.
“Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg!”
“Be quiet, Cole!” I put my hands over my ears to muffle my brother’s out-of-tune singing and focus back on my laptop to finish my English essay. It’s less than three weeks until winter break and my teachers have been piling on the assignments to make sure we get our end of semester grades in.
There sure is a big change between fifth and sixth grade, workwise, at Xavier Academy, the private school my brother and I go to. Between all the essays and projects and studying for final exams, I feel I can barely take time to pat my dog, Bertram, when I get home; whereas, my eight-year-old brother Cole acts like he’s already on vacation.
Since we got home from school an hour ago, he’s been living it up, shooting hoops in the driveway, eating a snack and now playing on the handheld video game player that my mother would make him put up if she were downstairs with us. I ought to tell on him now…
The doorbell interrupts my thoughts.
“Can you get it, Sophie?” Mom yells from upstairs. “I’m putting some clothes in the closet.”
I would ask her why she wants me to answer the door, and not Cole, but I already know the answer: “Because you’re the oldest.”
Of course, that logic doesn’t hold when it comes to who gets the first dessert or who doesn’t have to do the dishes at night. As the baby of the family and favored child, my little brother has got it made.
I trudge to the front door in time to see the mail carrier heading back to his truck. He’s left a medium-sized box on the porch. Wonder what it is?
My mother sometimes has holiday packages delivered to the house, but Cole and I haven’t made our Christmas lists yet, so I doubt it’s anything for us. I open the door, pick the package up, and check out the label. It’s got my name on it in bright, red ink, “Sophie Washington.”
Who could this be from?
I never get any mail, except for birthday gifts my Granny Washington sends to our house in Houston from Corpus Christi when she can’t be here, and I don’t remember my parents ordering anything for us online. Granny is driving up to see us tomorrow, so I doubt she would mail presents here when she could just bring them with her.
“Mom, I got a package!” I call out.
“What is it?” Cole bounds from the family room to stare at the box as I set it on the kitchen counter.
“Back off, Cole, it’s mine,” I move him to the side with my hip and take a closer look at the delivery. The box is wrapped in brown paper, and there is no return address. It looks difficult to open with my fingers, so I pull a butter knife out of a drawer in the kitchen and slit through the tape on the side. A sweet, sugary scent fills the air.
“Cool!” exclaims Cole in appreciation as the brown wrapping slides off to reveal a box filled with packages of licorice, gummy bears, gum, and red and green M&Ms. I notice a typed note underneath.
Hope your day is super sweet!
Your Secret Santa
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 2 – 6
Series: Sophie Washington (Book 7)
Paperback: 122 pages
Publisher: Page Turner Publishing (September 10, 2018)
Also available in softcover!
I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.
Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.