Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5
Genre: middle-grade realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? Stef is an excellent narrator, and she demonstrates the perfect balance of a middle-schooler’s exasperation with her over-protective parents and a strong sense of family and loyalty to them. Her father runs a taco truck named “Tía Perla”, and Stef helps him after school and on weekends. Stef is willing to help, but she is embarrassed that her parents won’t let her walk home from school alone, particularly when her father picks her up in Tía Perla. Then, some new and daunting city regulations threaten to put him out of business and Stef realizes how much the old taco truck means to her family. In addition, Stef finds herself in trouble with her classmates over a misunderstanding about a famous pop star. The friendship issues ring true, the secondary characters are well-developed and the story is both heart-warming and fun. This would be a great book club selection.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No, this is a fast-moving story with likable characters. It’s a winner.
To whom would you recommend this book? Read Alikes? There’s lots of enticing descriptions of the taco truck specialties, so recommend this book to foodies, as well as to any reader who enjoys stories of family and friendship that are on the gentler side. This is also a good choice for readers seeking novels about young people navigating between two cultures.
Who should buy this book? Middle schools, elementary schools and public libraries should consider purchasing this book.
Where would you shelve it ? Middle-grade fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA
Date of review: January 9, 2017