- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
- Series: Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature. Commended
- Hardcover: 246 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic Press; First Edition edition (September 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0439269695
- ISBN-13: 978-0439269698
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,143,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Becoming Naomi Leon (Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature. Commended) Hardcover – September 1, 2004
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8–Gram, Naomi, and Owen are happy at Avocado Acres Trailer Rancho until the day the children's mother arrives. After being gone so long that they don't recognize her, Skyla enters their lives, lavishing attention and presents on fifth-grade Naomi; however, she never seems to include Owen. After several weeks, the truth about her reappearance becomes apparent. Clive, her new boyfriend, wants Naomi to live with them and become the permanent baby-sitter for his daughter. The ensuing custody battle forces Gram, Naomi, Owen and a neighbor couple to make a hasty trip to Mexico to look for Santiago, the children's biological father and a well-known wood-carver. After a physically and emotionally exhausting search, they finally find him at the annual Christmas festival in their ancestral village. Even though the children will continue to live with their great-grandmother, this reunion gives them the reassurance of their father's love and support. Ryan has written a moving book about family dynamics. While she explores the youngsters' Mexican heritage and gives a vivid picture of life in and the art of Oaxaca, her story is universal, showing the strong bonds and love that make up an extended family. All of the characters are well drawn, and readers will share Naomi's fear until the judge makes the final decision about her future.–Sharon Morrison, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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
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Top customer reviews
have been raised in Lemon Grove Trailer Park with their great grandmother, a feisty, loving, and wise old woman. Naomi and her brother a different - they don't have
the right clothes and can't seem to make many friends but they live a peaceful and structured life with their grandma and older residents in the trailer park. One day
Naomi's recovering alcoholic mother shows up unannounced and decides she wants to take part in her children's lives.
The kids are thrilled to see their mother but their great grandma is suspicious of her motives from the start.
From that moment on Naomi, her brother, and grandma are taken on a journey with many highs and lows. Her structured and routine world is shaken up
and Naomi begins to discover the reasons for her mothers and fathers abandonment. While reading this story I was rooting for the kids and
hoping that their mother would not cause them any pain or angst. I was disappointed to find that Naomi's mother did not have good intentions for
her children. The story takes an uplifting turn when Grandma is forced to hitch up the trailer and flee to Mexico to locate Naomi's long-lost father. It
is imparative that they find him and the clock is ticking because Naomi's mother wishes to take her and move her away from her
brother, grandma, and home.
This journey was hard and confusing for little Naomi but she was able to discover her past, who she is, and where she belongs.
Pam Munoz Ryan did a beautiful job writing this story. The theme of the story is that your family is whomever happens to love you and
take care of you. Whoever would go to the ends of the earth to keep you safe and protected. It would serve to speak to
many children who have different types of family structures, those that don't have the traditional
mother and father home.
This book is a contemporary realistic fiction story of a young girl who realized she must find her voice to find herself. Readers will relate to Naomi Leon as her emotions and thoughts are presented through a third person point of view. The main characters, Naomi, her brother Owen, and her Grandma, are believable and well rounded. The author stated in an interview, that she used her own personal experience of Oaxaca, Mexico and southern California to bring to life the settings of this story. This is a book I would recommend for any classroom library.
The two children, Naomi and her brother Owen have been raised by their great-grandmother, Gram, for the past seven years when their mother surprisingly walks back into their lives and wants to take Naomi with her. Before this can happen, Gram tries to get help from Naomi and Owen's father who is from Mexico. They must find him so that the family does not get separated and along the way they learn more about where they came from.
I will most definitely have my own son read this marvelous chapter book.
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A book review of Becoming Naomi León By Pam Muñoz Ryan book review by Dillon Carney.Read more