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Becoming Naomi Leon
Becoming Naomi Leon
Author: Pam Munoz Ryan
Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw has had a lot to contend with in her young life, her name for one. Then there are her clothes (sewn in polyester by Gram), her difficulty speaking up, and her status at school as "nobody special." But according to Gram, most problems can be overcome with positive thinking. And with Gram and her little brother, Owen, lif...  more
ISBN-13: 9780439269971
ISBN-10: 0439269970
Publication Date: 10/1/2005
Pages: 272
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.

4.5 stars, based on 24 ratings
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
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  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for

Eleven-year-old Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw doesn't like to talk. What is she supposed to say? Abandoned by her parents at age four and raised by her great-grandmother, Naomi is a mixture of Oklahoman and Mexican, but is not able to understand even a word of Spanish--although her new best friend, Blanca, informs her that "Leon" means "lion" and "Soledad is some big saint in Mexico" (p. 54). All these years, her heritage, although with her daily, has escaped her. Who knew? Not Naomi.

Then Naomi's mother, Skyla, returns, and life becomes chaotic. At first, Skyla claims to want a relationship with Naomi and her brother, but can her sudden burst of sentimentality be trusted? Naomi dreams that Skyla has found herself and truly wants to wear mother/daughter outfits and build a family. But if that is true, why hasn't she been showering presents upon Owen, Naomi's physically-disabled brother, as she has been doing for Naomi since she resurfaced in their lives?

Ryan, an award-winning author, gives readers permission to ask the question some may think is silly: Who am I? BECOMING NAOMI LEON demonstrates that who a person is, in fact, is more--much more--than just her name.

Pura Belpre Award Honor Book, 2006

Book Sense Book of the Year Award Honor Book, 2005

SCBA Book Award Nominee, 2005

Schneider Family Middle-School Book Award Winner, 2005

Skipping Stones Honor Awards Winner, 2005

Americas Award-Commended, 2004

Parent's Choice Award-Silver, 2004

Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award Winner, 2004

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  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Becoming Naomi Leon on + 17 more book reviews
Great story of a girl finding herself even with several obstacles in her path. Highly recommended!