Everyday stories reminiscent of Ramona in an early chapter book.
Sofia Martinez is a creative 7-year-old whose life revolves around her family. Sofia—who likes to stand out—is frustrated when she notices that she and both of her older sisters wore blue for last year’s school pictures. Swapping the photos into different frames, Sofia is further annoyed when no one notices. In the next chapter, Sofia feels ignored when family members obsess over her baby cousin, who wears a big hair bow. Though Sofia is out of sorts for a while, a conversation with her caring Papá (one of many—but not too many—Spanish words peppered throughout) helps her hatch a plan to draw the spotlight. Two more episodes also appear in a series of short, accessible chapters and are more interesting than the first. Colorful illustrations on at least every other page should draw reluctant readers, while Spanish words and phrases printed in pink are easily identifiable should readers want to use the glossary for definitions (though the meanings of the words are usually made clear through context). The book’s major drawback is that many of the characters look nearly identical; readers will have to look closely at hairstyles and height to distinguish Sofia from her sisters.
In all, Sofia is a likable new protagonist to add to the lineup of chapter-book heroines. (Fiction. 6-9)