Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez

Happy Book Birthday to Angela Dominguez and Stella Diaz Has Something to Say!

Stella Diaz is a third grade student who loves to write stories, draw, and read about marine animals. While she is a very good student, Stella is not confident in her language abilities; as a Mexican American, she accidentally speaks Spanish instead of English and turns roja in embarrassment.   This year, school is also more challenging because her best friend Jenny is in another class, which makes Stella feel lonely.

Stella is excited about researching fish for her animal project, but she is nervous about having to present in front of her whole class including the new student Stanley. And it doesn’t help that one of her fellow classmates always picks on her for being quiet.  Fortunately, Stella has the support of her mom, older brother Nick, and best friend Jenny to make her realize her strength.  As her mom told her, “That’s why your full name is Estrella.  You’re my star.  You can light up the dark.”  Can Stella live up to her name?

Stella Diaz Has Something to Say is such a delightful novel.  Children can identify with Stella with a variety of reasons.  Her parents are divorced and she has a strained relationship with her father.  She is shy and finds it difficult to make friends.  I fell in immediately fell in love with Stella and was rooting for her to find her strength.  I appreciate the author’s note where Angela Dominquez shares that Stella’s story is 82.9% based on her own childhood and how like Stella, we all must discover our inner starfish. In addition, Dominguez’s black and white illustrations appear throughout the novel and visually enhance Stella’s story.

Special thanks to Angela Dominguez for sharing an ARC of Stella Diaz Has Something to Say with our #bookexcursion group.  It will be released on January 16, 2018.

This review was originally published on December 11, 2017. Please click here.

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