Review: Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres


25150366Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Family, Food

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BLURB:

A middle grade debut about family, friendship, and finding your voice by author Jennifer Torres. Plus, tacos!

Estefania “Stef” Soto is itching to shake off the onion-and-cilantro embrace of Tia Perla, her family’s taco truck. She wants nothing more than for her dad to get a normal job and for Tia Perla to be put out to pasture. It’s no fun being known as
the “Taco Queen” at school. But just when it looks like Stef is going to get exactly what she wants, and her family’s livelihood is threatened, she will have to become the truck’s unlikely champion.

In this fun and heartwarming middle grade novel, Stef will discover what matters the most, and ultimately embrace an identity that even includes old Tia Perla.

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I seriously need a taco right now.

Books that constantly mention food can be so cruel on one’s stomach. Lucky Stef Soto, her father drives around in a full-food-equipped taco truck.

It started with a dream. Her father wanted to open his own restaurant, but her family couldn’t afford it, so they purchased a taco truck instead. Starting from the bottom and all that.

Stef loved the truck. It was family to her… But not anymore. She’s tired of seeing it everywhere. Her parents don’t even trust her to walk alone from school or go to a concert! It’s like they don’t see how responsible she is.

Stef Soto needs to learn to find her voice and stand up for what is important to her and realize that some things are more precious than they look.

It was a real pleasure to read this book. It’s fairly short – around 160 pages – and feels very much alive with love and hope. Stef Soto’s voice is an authentic one. The chapters are short and well-written, making me always want to keep reading.

Jennifer Torres may have used her imagination to create all of these peculiar situations the characters are put in, but never did I once stop and frown at anything. It’s a realistic story that is filled with important themes and lessons.

Although I know everything will be just fine for Stef Soto, I’m a little sad to have spent such little time in her company.

So anyway, I seriously need a taco right now.
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