Stella Díaz Has Something to Say

Angela Dominguez. Roaring Brook, $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-62672-858-5
Picture book author-illustrator Dominguez (Sing, Don’t Cry) moves into middle grade with the story of Stella Díaz, whose family moved to Chicago from Mexico City when she was a baby. Now in third grade, Stella doesn’t always feel like she belongs, especially after she learns more about her resident status at school (“because of this green card, I’m an alien?”). Stella goes to speech therapy class to learn “how all the letters and words are supposed to sound in English,” but she finds it hard to speak up, especially when new student Stanley arrives in school. Stanley is complimentary of Stella’s artwork (one of her two passions, along with fish), but Stella feels extra shy around him. Drawing on her own childhood, Dominguez smoothly blends Spanish and English into the narration and dialogue, Stella’s Mexican-American culture fully informs her perspective and family life, and chunky spot art helps establish the setting. Readers should easily relate to Stella, her struggle to use her voice, and the way she feels caught between worlds at school and at home. Ages 6–9. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/06/2017
Release date: 01/16/2018
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-250-29410-4
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