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The Resource Becoming Naomi Leâon, Pam Muänoz Ryan

Becoming Naomi Leâon, Pam Muänoz Ryan

Label
Becoming Naomi Leâon
Title
Becoming Naomi Leâon
Statement of responsibility
Pam Muänoz Ryan
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
When Naomi's absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father
Storyline
Tone
Character
Award
  • ALA Notable Children's Book, 2005
  • Amelia Bloomer List, 2005
  • Schneider Family Book Award for Middle School, 2005.
  • Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award, 2005.
Review
  • Gr. 4-7. Half-Mexican Naomi Soledad, 11, and her younger disabled brother, Owen, have been brought up by their tough, loving great-grandmother in a California trailer park, and they feel at home in the multiracial community. Then their alcoholic mom reappears after seven years with her slimy boyfriend, hoping to take Naomi (not Owen) back and collect the welfare check. Determined not to let that happen, Gram drives the trailer across the border to a barrio in Oaxaca to search for the children’s dad at the city’s annual Christmas arts festival. In true mythic tradition, Ryan, the author of the award-winning Esperanza Rising (2000), makes Naomi’s search for her dad a search for identity, and both are exciting. Mom is demonized, but the other characters are more complex, and the quest is heartbreaking. The dense factual detail about the festival sometimes slows the story, but it’s an effective tool for dramatizing Naomi’s discovery of her Mexican roots and the artist inside herself. -- Hazel Rochman (BookList, 09-15-2004, p245)
  • Gr 5-8 –Gram, Naomi, and Owen are happy at Avocado Acres Trailer Rancho until the day the children's mother arrives. After being gone so long that they don't recognize her, Skyla enters their lives, lavishing attention and presents on fifth-grade Naomi; however, she never seems to include Owen. After several weeks, the truth about her reappearance becomes apparent. Clive, her new boyfriend, wants Naomi to live with them and become the permanent baby-sitter for his daughter. The ensuing custody battle forces Gram, Naomi, Owen and a neighbor couple to make a hasty trip to Mexico to look for Santiago, the children's biological father and a well-known wood-carver. After a physically and emotionally exhausting search, they finally find him at the annual Christmas festival in their ancestral village. Even though the children will continue to live with their great-grandmother, this reunion gives them the reassurance of their father's love and support. Ryan has written a moving book about family dynamics. While she explores the youngsters' Mexican heritage and gives a vivid picture of life in and the art of Oaxaca, her story is universal, showing the strong bonds and love that make up an extended family. All of the characters are well drawn, and readers will share Naomi's fear until the judge makes the final decision about her future.–Sharon Morrison, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK --Sharon Morrison (Reviewed September 1, 2004) (School Library Journal, vol 50, issue 9, p216)
  • /* Starred Review */ Fifth-grader Naomi's great-grandmother has been a loving guardian for Naomi and Owen, her handicapped brother, since their mother divorced their father and abandoned them in Lemon Tree, Calif., seven years before. When the children's mother, Skyla, makes a sudden reappearance, she wants Naomi to leave Gram and Owen to move to Las Vegas—and Gram fears that Skyla and her new boyfriend have ulterior motives. "What locked the possibility of catastrophe in my mind, was that Gram and Fabiola were going to miss Wheel of Fortune , and that was going to mess up their 744 nights-in-a-row record," Naomi thinks. Feisty Gram takes action: she and Fabiola and her husband, who hail from Oaxaca City, Mexico, and who knew the children's father, take the children and embark on an odyssey of sorts, in search of their father at Oaxaca's annual radish-carving festival. Once again, Ryan (Esperanza Rising ) crystallizes the essence of settings and characters through potent, economic prose. Through Naomi's first-person narration, the author gently captures the girl's simultaneous attraction to and wariness of her mother with Naomi's first impression: "I couldn't take my eyes off her lipstick. It was the exact same color as her hair and went up and down in a perfect rounded M on her top lip." And the heroine's skill with carving connects her to her father long before they finally meet. Sharing her protagonist's love of language, artistic sensibility and keen sensitivity, Ryan creates a tender tale about family love and loyalty. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed September 13, 2004) (Publishers Weekly, vol 251, issue 37, p79)
  • /* Starred Review */ First-person narrator Naomi León Outlaw and her bright, physically lopsided little brother Owen feel safe in the routines of life in Lemon Grove, California, with great-grandmother Gram. Naomi, a soft-voiced list-maker and word-collector, is also a gifted soap-carver—something inherited, it turns out, from the Mexican father from whom she and Owen were separated as small children. The unexpected arrival of Naomi's long-absent mother throws everything off balance. The troubled young woman's difficulties threaten to overturn the security Gram has worked to provide for Naomi and Owen. With friends' help, Gram takes the children to Oaxaca City to find their father and gain his support in her custody appeal. Here they are immersed in a world of warmth and friendship, where Naomi's longing to meet the father she dimly remembers intensifies. The annual December radish-carving festival gives Naomi's creativity a chance to shine and makes the perfect setting for a reunion. Naomi's matter-of-fact narrative is suffused with her worries and hopes, along with her protective love for her brother and great-grandmother. Ryan's sure-handed storytelling and affection for her characters convey a clear sense of Naomi's triumph, as she becomes "who I was meant to be." (Fiction. 10-14) (Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2004)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
131004
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Ryan, Pam Muänoz
Dewey number
[Fic]
LC call number
PZ7.R9553
LC item number
Be 2004
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 5
  • 8
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Great-grandmothers
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Family problems
  • Mexican Americans
  • Mexico
Target audience
juvenile
Label
Becoming Naomi Leâon, Pam Muänoz Ryan
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
246 p.
Isbn
9780439269698
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2004000346
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780439269698
  • (OCoLC)54415069
Label
Becoming Naomi Leâon, Pam Muänoz Ryan
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
246 p.
Isbn
9780439269698
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2004000346
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780439269698
  • (OCoLC)54415069

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      85 Literary Lane, Newnan, GA, 30265, US
      33.38561 -84.669793
    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797

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