BECOMING NAOMI LEÓN by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Kirkus Star

BECOMING NAOMI LEÓN

Age Range: 10 - 14
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

First-person narrator Naomi León Outlaw and her bright, physically lopsided little brother Owen feel safe in the routines of life in Lemon Grove, California, with great-grandmother Gram. Naomi, a soft-voiced list-maker and word-collector, is also a gifted soap-carver—something inherited, it turns out, from the Mexican father from whom she and Owen were separated as small children. The unexpected arrival of Naomi’s long-absent mother throws everything off balance. The troubled young woman’s difficulties threaten to overturn the security Gram has worked to provide for Naomi and Owen. With friends’ help, Gram takes the children to Oaxaca City to find their father and gain his support in her custody appeal. Here they are immersed in a world of warmth and friendship, where Naomi’s longing to meet the father she dimly remembers intensifies. The annual December radish-carving festival gives Naomi’s creativity a chance to shine and makes the perfect setting for a reunion. Naomi’s matter-of-fact narrative is suffused with her worries and hopes, along with her protective love for her brother and great-grandmother. Ryan’s sure-handed storytelling and affection for her characters convey a clear sense of Naomi’s triumph, as she becomes “who I was meant to be.” (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-439-26969-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2004




MORE BY PAM MUÑOZ RYAN

ChildrenYO HO HO, HALLOWEEN! by Pam Muñoz Ryan
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
ChildrenECHO by Pam Muñoz Ryan
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
ChildrenBUDDY TROUBLE by Pam Muñoz Ryan
by Pam Muñoz Ryan

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenIF I COULD FLY by Judith Ortiz Cofer
by Judith Ortiz Cofer
ChildrenDESPERATE MEASURES by Laura Summers
by Laura Summers
ChildrenLONG STORY SHORT by Siobhán Parkinson
by Siobhán Parkinson