10 Behind the Scenes Facts about Mission Costa Rica and a Giveaway!

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About the Book





Series: Sophie Washington
Children’s, Fiction
Publisher: Indie
Publication date: June 2018

Sixth grader Sophie Washington, her family and friends are in for an adventure-filled week of boa constrictors, monkeys and mayhem after they sign up to take part in a church mission trip to Costa Rica.






My Perspective


This is a sweet story for pre-teens to read (and grown-ups too!). Not only does it give a glimpse into going on a short term mission trip – it provides entertainment, excitement and fun. The illustrator did a wonderful job of creating pictures that really bring the story to life. The monkey that was in Sophie’s room had me laughing out loud like a school girl. I may be an adult, but while reading this I was transported back to my youth, wanting to be in Costa Rica with Sophie and her friends.

Although this was a quick read, it gives a lot of laughs, a few gasps (I mean, who wants to even think about encountering a snake!), and an escape. It was nice to see a child’s viewpoint of a mission’s trip such as this, as quite often we only see the viewpoint of the adult. I look forward to reading more books from this author!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review.



About the Author


Tonya Duncan Ellis

Tonya Duncan Ellis is the author of the Readers’ Favorite “Five Star” rated Sophie Washington children’s books series, geared toward readers ages 8 to 12, and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She has received awards for literary excellence and worked as a journalist and freelance magazine writer.

The Sophie Washington book series recounts the adventures of a precocious African American preteen from Houston, TX and her diverse group of friends. Each funny and heartwarming story teaches lessons about friendship, responsibility, truthfulness and perseverance. Books in the series include Queen of the Bee, The Snitch, Things You Didn’t Know About Sophie, The Gamer, Hurricane, and Mission Costa Rica.

Tonya lives in Houston, TX. When she’s not writing, the author enjoys reading, biking, swimming, travel and spending time with her husband and three children.



10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book


  1. Tonya Duncan Ellis took a family vacation to Costa Rica in 2012.IMG_0176
  2. On her first day in the country the author stepped in a fire ant pile and had an allergic reaction.
  3. Sophie Washington: Mission: Costa Rica was originally planned to be the third book in the Sophie Washington series, but the author kept getting inspired to write about other topics and it became book number six.
  4. The many animals mentioned in Sophie Washington: Mission: Costa Rica are no exaggeration. The country hosts more than five percent of the world’s biodiversity, though it’s landmass takes up only .03 percent of the planet.IMG_0170         IMG_0171

    IMG_0172         IMG_0173


  5. Most of Sophie Washington: Mission Costa: Rica was written from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. during a three-month time span.
  6. Tonya Duncan Ellis still fondly remembers the delicious meat, rice, bean, and salad dishes she ate while in Costa Rica.




7. Howler monkeys are the loudest animals in the world, and their calls can be heard as far as three miles away.




8. The author keeps a bowl made in the Costa Rican pottery village Guaitil on her family room coffee table.


9. The “Agnese” character was originally planned to be a Costa Rican boy who would play soccer with Sophie’s little brother Cole, but then the author changed her mind.

10. When first conceived, the book was planned to be about a school trip with Sophie’s class that would be called Sophie Washington: Costa Rican Caper.


Tour Schedule

Tour Landing Page

July 9-cherylbbookblog
July 11-Paulette’s Papers
July 14-A Baker’s Perspective
July 17-Singing Librarian Books
July 19-Locks, Hooks and Books
July 20-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic



Sophie Washington Tour Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.


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