Becoming Naomi León

I always thought the biggest problem in my life was my name, Naomi Soledad León Outlaw, but little did I know that it was the least of my troubles, or that someday I would live up to it.

Pam Muñoz Ryan is becoming one of my favorite authors! I recently read her book, Esperanza Rising, and loved it. I just finished her book, Becoming Naomi León, and loved it equally as well. She is an author that writes beautiful, heartfelt, honest, uplifting books for young and old alike.

Naomi is a young girl with a lot going on in her life. She lives with Gram and her little brother, Owen, in a trailer affectionately called “Baby Beluga,” in Avocado Acres Trailer Rancho in southern California. They’ve been living with Gram ever since their mother left them. Naomi is bright and talented (she carves beautiful little figures out of soap), but she has a hard time speaking out and standing up for herself. This is a wonderful story of a young girl growing up, finding out what is really important in her own life, and learning that she has hidden strengths.

Something fun about this book is that each section and the chapters in that section are the names of collective nouns — for example, the first section is called “A Rabble of Yesterdays,” and the first chapter is called “A Paddle of Ducks.” The collective nouns each fit the story perfectly in one way or another.

A lovely read, highly recommended.

Click here to see a fun list of collective nouns.

Click here to read about Oaxaca’s Noche de Rábanos (Night of the Radishes), which plays an important part in this story.

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