Sophie Trophy

“Aside from all the amusing mishaps, this is a story about friendship and doing the right thing regardless of the cost to oneself. The message is so deftly woven throughout this entertaining story that boys and girls of elementary school age will likely enjoy every word, not to mention the lovely illustrations.” 

Reviewer: Debra Purdy Kong, author of the “Alex Bellamy” and “Casey Holland” mystery series.

“Eileen Holland’s … writing talent shines in her characters’ development, plot twists, and bringing the classroom to life. … [Sophie is] a real kid in her kind-hearted attempts to do the right thing, yet making mistakes in the process. Young readers will identify with her goals and struggles, and enjoy a few laughs along the way.” Highly recommended.

Reviewer: Karen Autio, author of Growing Up in Wild Horse CanyonKah-Lan the Adventurous Sea Otter, and Canadian history trilogy Second Watch, Saara’s Passage, and Sabotage.

“Holland’s word play around what Sophie says versus what she means will delight the age group for whom the book is intended … Sophie Trophy would make great independent-reading fare for classroom and school libraries as well as an addition to science units on spiders, particularly as there is a nice segment of internet research on arachnids as part of the storyline.” Recommended.

Reviewer: Bev Brenna (inCM: Canadian Review of Materials), author of many books for young people including her Wild Orchid” trilogy, professor at USASK in literacy and children’s literature.

“Eileen Holland’s great sense of humour and her years of experience as a teacher shine through in her debut children’s book. Sophie’s wild imagination pulls readers into her wacky world and has them rooting for her all the way. I highly recommend this book for young readers.”

Reviewer:  Loraine Kemp, illustrator of Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon and Growing Up in Wild Horse Canyon.

“As soon as her school day begins, Sophie’s rich and mercurial imagination lands her in an ever-deepening quagmire of trouble, and her escapades keep us riveted to the page. We can see the images in her head as she imagines them; we can feel the doubt and insecurities of an eight-year-old in her thoughts and the choices she makes. As an adult reader, I spent most of the book seeing those choices simultaneously through Sophie’s eyes and those of the adults around her. This double-vision gave me pause: is this what’s possibly going on inside the head of a child behaving in bizarre and seemingly random ways? Eileen Holland has me convinced that it is.” 

Reviewer: Karyn Huenemann, There Will Be Books 

“Early reader fiction is tough to write well. Too often the books are too juvenile … or lack the content to develop stories fully. They can’t rely on illustrations to carry the bulk of the story as is possible in picture books … and don’t have the volume of text to establish characters and plots as read in middle grade novels. But, when it’s done well, as BC’s Eileen Holland does in Sophie Trophy, young children get to know a few great characters, can empathize with their stories and cheer for an ending that makes sense without being artificial.” 

Reviewer: Helen Kubiw, CanLit for Little Canadians 

“Dear Eileen Holland, I really enjoyed the book you wrote. It was interesting, funny and it had a problem and a solution. It was a great book … PS The best part was when the spider got loose.” Ruby, age 9

Sophie Trophy Too

“Eileen Holland’s sequel to her earlier title Sophie Trophy is consistent and characterful, drawing in authentic school details with vivid authenticity…. children … appreciate the comical antics of a girl who strives for something they all can recognize—acceptance.”

Reviewer: CM: Canadian Review of Materials, review by Bev Brenna, author of over a dozen books for young people including her “Wild Orchid” trilogy. She is a professor at the University of Saskatchewan.

“Eileen Holland keeps Sophie’s story at the emotional level of children in the younger grades, making Sophie Trophy Too an exceptional early reader. Young readers will feel for the girl with joie de vivre who gets caught doing things she shouldn’t be doing.  They’ll know that feeling, unfortunately. And they’ll understand wanting to fit in and be liked and sometimes messing up.” 

Reviewer: Helen Kubiw, CanLit for LittleCanadians

“The author unfolds the story in a fun, creative way, and as in the first book, there is plenty of humor. Sophie’s a well-drawn character; friendly, imaginative, but also insecure, and she definitely cares about doing the right thing. Young readers will love her.” (5 stars, Goodreads)

Reviewer: Debra Purdy Kong, author of the Alex Bellamy and Casey Holland mystery series

“A heartfelt and humorous friendship-focused chapter book in a school setting—trust a seasoned teacher to nail those Grade 3 details and experiences! … Highly recommended!” (5 stars, Goodreads) 

Reviewer: Karen Autio, author of several books, including Growing Up in Wild Horse Canyon and Kah-Lan and the Stink-Ink (October, 2020).