Sunday, April 7, 2013

Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan

My 6th grade son read this book for Battle of the Books at school.  I was intrigued that he enjoyed a book with not only a girl's name in the title, but a picture of her on the cover!  He told me I had to read it, and I loved it!

Naomi lives with her brother and Great-grandma.  They live in a trailer park, Gram makes all her clothes, and her brother has some physical challenges.  So you can imagine Naomi struggles a bit to fit in.  Luckily, she is surrounded by people who love her: her teacher, the librarian, and the neighbor lady, make up for the friends and parents she is missing.  Life is going OK until her mom comes back into town. 

Naomi explains, "One of her (Gram's) favorite sayings was that the good and the bad of any situation were sometimes the same.  When I was little I had trouble holding my brain on that thought, but now it was starting to make sense." Their mother has plans for the future that are scary and lead to Naomi, Owen and the grandma taking a road trip to Mexico.  I liked how the situations have enough conflict to feel real, but they are kept age appropriate, and nothing too horrible happens.

Naomi keeps a notebook full of lists.  I loved this habit of her character.  On the back cover of my copy of the book, it says: "Things I am Good At: 1) S
oap carving 2) Worrying 3) Making Lists.

I love the writing style and the way the words are pretty, but feel natural.  "Her fingers were nimble and gentle.  It felt as though she was playing the piano on my head." or "Gram said Fabiola's mission in life was to feed the world with a smile."  This book has won a few awards, and I think they are well deserved! 

I loved the story, the characters and the writing style!  I recommend it.

1 comment:

Tara @ Tales of a Trophy Wife said...

sounds like a good one-adding it to my list