A family trip to Mexico inspires a girl to save the oceans.
Stella is going to have a great summer. Her mother is taking her and her older brother to Mexico to visit family, and when they return to Chicago, she’ll be attending day camp at the Shedd Aquarium! But she soon finds out the ocean isn’t all fun and games. It’s filled with plastic and trash. With her friends from day camp, Stella starts a club and pledges to reduce her own impact on the ocean and to encourage others to do the same, passing along what she learns to readers as she goes. Stella’s narrative voice is earnest and authentic to her age; the text is not detailed enough to make for a good classroom complement to an environmental or marine unit or to satisfy avid ocean fans, but it may inspire readers to start to be interested in marine ecology and environmental activism. Dominguez explains her choice to italicize Spanish words in an author’s note as an aid for children unfamiliar with the language. Readers who are comfortable with Spanish already may feel that words seem sprinkled in just to teach vocabulary rather than being a true, natural use of Spanish for a heritage speaker of the language. This is Stella’s second outing, but readers don’t need familiarity with Stella Díaz Has Something To Say (2018) to fall in love with her.
The protagonist will endear readers to her; she may also create some environmental converts. (Fiction. 6-10)