Cover image for Stella Díaz never gives up
Stella Díaz never gives up
Physical Description:
194 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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R.H. Stafford Library (Woodbury)1On Order
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From award-winning author Angela Dominguez comes the novel Stella Diaz Never Gives Up , a story about a shy Mexican-American girl who becomes an environmental activist and makes a difference in her community.

Stella gets a big surprise when her mom plans a trip to visit their family in Mexico! Stella loves marine animals, and she can't wait to see the ocean for the first time . . . until she arrives and learns that the sea and its life forms are in danger due to pollution.

Stella wants to save the ocean, but she knows she can't do it alone. It's going to take a lot of work and help from old and new friends to make a difference, but Stella Díaz never gives up!

This is the second middle-grade novel from award-winning picture book author and illustrator Angela Dominguez. Based on the author's experiences growing up Mexican-American, this infectiously charming character comes to life through relatable story-telling including simple Spanish vocabulary and adorable black-and-white art throughout.

Author Notes

Angela Dominguez was born in Mexico City, grew up in the great state of Texas, and now resides on the east coast. She is the author and illustrator of several books for children including Maria Had a Little Llama , which received the American Library Association Pura Belpré Illustration Honor. Recently, she received her second Pura Belpré Honor for her illustrations in Mango, Abuela, and Me written by Meg Medina. When Angela is not in her studio, she teaches at the Academy of Art University, which honored her with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013. She also enjoys presenting at different schools and libraries to all sorts of ages. Angela is a proud member of SCBWI, PEN America, and represented by Wernick and Pratt Literary Agency. As a child, she loved reading books and making a mess creating pictures. She's delighted to still be doing both.

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3--5--Stella Diaz takes on summer with the same energy and curiosity she brought to school when first introduced in Stella Diaz Has Something to Say. Whether she's seeing the ocean for the first time or attending the Shedd Aquarium summer camp, Stella finds support and confidence to raise her voice in advocacy. Worried that her passion for protecting the marine life is hers alone, Stella's heart soars when her new camp friends join her saving-the-oceans club. The racially diverse group of friends raise money for the Marine Mammal Center and work together to spread awareness about reducing plastic consumption. Culturally specific details, especially during a visit to Mexico City to see family, are seamlessly woven into Stella's first-person narrative. Although conflicts are minor, the character dynamics shine. Readers with teenage siblings will identify with Stella's struggle to understand her older brother as he gains independence. Dominguez deftly navigates Stella's feelings of helplessness when confronted with the enormity of the impact of human consumption, providing readers with reassurance that even little changes make a big difference. Grayscale illustrations, sprinkled throughout, provide context for new vocabulary. Spanish words are printed in italics--an intentional, inclusive choice according to the author's note--so the text is easier for readers to navigate, no matter their familiarity with the Spanish language. Back matter includes information about ocean conservancy and a list of websites to explore. VERDICT A stellar sequel or stand-alone title with a plot that strikes the perfect balance between character-driven action and activism.--Amy Seto Forrester, Denver Public Library

Kirkus Review

A family trip to Mexico inspires a girl to save the oceans.Stella is going to have a great summer. Her mother is taking her and her older brother to Mexico to visit family, and when they return to Chicago, she'll be attending day camp at the Shedd Aquarium! But she soon finds out the ocean isn't all fun and games. It's filled with plastic and trash. With her friends from day camp, Stella starts a club and pledges to reduce her own impact on the ocean and to encourage others to do the same, passing along what she learns to readers as she goes. Stella's narrative voice is earnest and authentic to her age; the text is not detailed enough to make for a good classroom complement to an environmental or marine unit or to satisfy avid ocean fans, but it may inspire readers to start to be interested in marine ecology and environmental activism. Dominguez explains her choice to italicize Spanish words in an author's note as an aid for children unfamiliar with the language. Readers who are comfortable with Spanish already may feel that words seem sprinkled in just to teach vocabulary rather than being a true, natural use of Spanish for a heritage speaker of the language. This is Stella's second outing, but readers don't need familiarity with Stella Daz Has Something To Say (2018) to fall in love with her.The protagonist will endear readers to her; she may also create some environmental converts. (Fiction. 6-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.