Rummanah Aasi
Description: Estefania "Stef" Soto is itching to shake off the onion-and-cilantro embrace of Tia Perla, her family's taco truck. She wants nothing more than for her dad to get a normal job and for Tia Perla to be put out to pasture. It's no fun being known as the "Taco Queen" at school. But just when it looks like Stef is going to get exactly what she wants, and her family's livelihood is threatened, she will have to become the truck's unlikely champion.

Review: Stef Soto, Taco Queen is a delightful quick read that will make you hungry as well as warm you up. Estefania “Stef” Soto is the daughter of hardworking, rule-abiding Mexican-American parents; she is a skilled artist, but at school she’s best-known for Tía Perla, their family food truck. When not stationed at parks or convenience stores, Papi can be found driving it to and from school to chauffeur Stef, which humiliates her. Stef is an only child who speaks Spanish at home and finds herself translating for her dad from time to time. Stef yearns for independence like being home alone and having a cell phone, but her parents argue that she is not old enough. She is aware that her parents work extremely hard. For Papi Tía Perla is his pride and joy, a symbol of his hard work and their American Dream. Mami works evenings as a cashier at the open-all-night grocery store. 
  The book moves from an ordinary middle grade novel into a story with more depth and meaning. The depletion of art-class supplies in art class leads to a student-driven fundraiser. A new city-government rule threatens the family's food-truck business. Both of these plot-lines allow Stef to use her voice and stand up for important issues. Woven through the story are Spanish words and phrases, which gives the book its authenticity and nod to the Mexican culture. There is also diversity among the other characters too. I couldn't help but cheer for Stef Soto, her family, and Tía Perla. The book is so short and I wanted to spend more time with the characters. Just a friendly warning, don't read this book if you're hungry. 

 Rating: 4 stars

 Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 3 and up.

 If you like this book try: The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya, The First Rule of Punk by Cecila C. Perez
1 Response
  1. This sounds like a book that a number of students (and adults) can relate to. I'm glad it's a fun quick read, but also has depth.

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