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Azalea, Unschooled by Liza Kleinman
Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear
Bisbee, Arizona, Then And Now by Boyd Nicholl
Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood
Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew
The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle
CatStronauts: Mission Moon by Drew Brockington
CatStronauts: Race to Mars by Drew Brockington
Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter
The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas
Finding Fortune by Delia Ray
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood
Head, Body, Legs: A Story from Liberia by Won-Ldy Paye
Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall III
"It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
Pantomime by Laura Lam
Pippi Moves In by Astrid Lindgren
Road Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen
Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres
The 39-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Upper Mississippi: A Wilderness Saga by Walter Havighurst
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

Miscellaneous
Crossing the Cornfield
January inclusivity reading and shortening the gap in reviewing
On reading your own books and moving

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


Stef Soto, Taco Queen: 01/29/17

Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer TorresStef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres is a middle grade fiction about a girl who is struggling to distance herself from Tia Perla, the taco truck her father owns. Stef wants more responsibility in her life: the ability to walk home or ride the bus, the ability to stay home by herself, maybe a cellphone, and the ability to stay at her friends house or attend events with friends without parental supervision.

The problem for Stef, though, is that her parents remember how hard it was for themselves at her age. They were immigrants in their teens and life for them was frightening and dangerous. Although they have managed to scrape together enough to own a house, raise a daughter, and buy a taco truck, they don't feel comfortable enough to let Stef have the freedom that some of her schoolmates have.

Stef though is forced to see things from her parents perspective when her father's livelihood is threatened by the city proposing new restrictions on food trucks. Worried about his ability to testify at the town hall meeting, Stef's father (and many of the other food truck owners) fear that they will be put out of business.

This was a story where I could completely relate to the parents — especially on the being over protective. The thing with letting your child go to someone else's house or go somewhere with them (chaperoned or not) is the expectation that somewhere down the line you will be expected to reciprocate. If your situation is such that you can't and you can't see a time in the future where that will change, it's very difficult to say yes.

This is a short book, perfect to read in the course of a weekend, or together has a class over the course of a week or two. While it has a happy ending, it's not a Disney happy ending. Stef doesn't get all her wishes answered. Instead, she gets to better understand her parents and to appreciate the importance that Tia Perla has in her life.

Five stars

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