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Grade 4-7–Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw lives with younger brother Owen and her fiercely practical Gram in a trailer park in California in this novel by Pam Munoz (Scholastic, 2004). An unpopular fifth grader, she spends lots of time in the library with the other outcasts and the kind librarian. Naomi's talent is carving objects out of soap. After being gone for seven years, her mother shows up one day with a scary boyfriend, Clive. Gram lets the children know that their mother, Terri Lynn, has always been wild and irresponsible. They're worried that she will assert her parental rights and take the children away. Naomi is insecure and particularly susceptible to her mother's attention. Owen is essentially ignored by Terri Lynn because he has some physical deformities, but Clive thinks he could use Owen's deformities to make money gambling. Gram, the neighbors, and the children go to Oaxaca to find the children's father and get him to sign papers making Gram their guardian. Their dad is thrilled to see them, and Naomi learns that her talent for soap carving is inherited from her father. This deeply moving story is expressively and sympathetically narrated by Annie Kozuch. Characterization is excellent and listeners will be happy that Naomi finds confidence, love, and security. A good choice for most collections.–B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Gr. 4-7. Half-Mexican Naomi Soledad, 11, and her younger disabled brother, Owen, have been brought up by their tough, loving great-grandmother in a California trailer park, and they feel at home in the multiracial community. Then their alcoholic mom reappears after seven years with her slimy boyfriend, hoping to take Naomi (not Owen) back and collect the welfare check. Determined not to let that happen, Gram drives the trailer across the border to a barrio in Oaxaca to search for the children's dad at the city's annual Christmas arts festival. In true mythic tradition, Ryan, the author of the award-winning Esperanza Rising (2000), makes Naomi's search for her dad a search for identity, and both are exciting. Mom is demonized, but the other characters are more complex, and the quest is heartbreaking. The dense factual detail about the festival sometimes slows the story, but it's an effective tool for dramatizing Naomi's discovery of her Mexican roots and the artist inside herself. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I thought it would be like a biography but it was most definitely not. It was the best book I've ever read! I read it in one night and then reread it again and again!Published 16 days ago by Carmen Staicer
Bought for students, but loved it myself. Beautifully written and intriguing.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Naomi and Owen's mother left them to live with their great-grandma when they were young so she could "find her life. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tonya
Very good story I LOVE IT.it was the best book I read this year also my favorite book ever it was a great book.Published 5 months ago by Kindle
This is a great book for young adults. I think this author is amazing.Published 6 months ago by Trit