|Pura Belpre Honor Book|
Ryan, P. (2004). Becoming Naomi Leon. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.
This book is geared toward the 9-11 age group. I really enjoyed it. The book moved at a good pace. Sometimes I think this age-range book seems rather slow or simple. This one was not like that. The characters and plot seemed well developed. Although we've heard the storyline of kids left to be raised by their grandma before, this one also takes Naomi, the main character, and develops her understanding of "who she was meant to be". One of things that I really enjoyed is how Naomi is a list-maker. When I was a child, I was a list-maker, though not to the extent of Naomi . I loved to make lists on our Saturday cleaning day and then cross the things off that I had accomplished. As I got older, I would make lists of what I needed to accomplish in a week (homework, practices, whatever) and then cross them off as I accomplished them. Naomi's lists were quite different and sometimes comical. She had "Things I am Good At", "Regular and Everyday Worries", and sadly, a list of "Possible Moms". She thought her name, Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw, was very strange and she had a couple lists that addressed it. She had her "Unusual Names" list and her "How to Get Boys to Stop Making Fun of My Name" list. I do recommend this books for others to read and I would like to read Esperanza Rising by the same author.