A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Jennifer Torres' Stef Soto, Taco Queen, offers young readers a lot of relatable situations, a raft of positive messages about family, friends, and community, plus a chance to pick up a bit of conversational Spanish as characters switch between languages. Thirteen-year-old protagonist-narrator Stef is a good kid who obeys her parents, helps out in the family business, and makes things right with her friends when she's in the wrong. But she'll also strike a chord with many readers as she deals with middle-school issues, tries to get her parents to be a bit less overprotective, and really wishes she didn't get picked up from school in a taco truck.
What's the story?
Middle school has enough problems without your former best friend turning into a mean girl who calls you STEF SOTO, TACO QUEEN and acts like you reek of onions and cilantro, all because your family includes Tia Perla, your father's beloved taco truck. Along with your dad, it's always in the parking lot waiting to pick you up from school, which is definitely uncool. And your parents are so overprotective they won't even let you go to the upcoming Viviana Vega pop concert that's the talk of the school. This is the life of 13-year-old Estefania Soto, who just wishes Tia Perla would go away. But when their town starts to consider food-truck regulations that might put her Papi and Tia Perla out of business, Stef starts to reconsider.
Is it any good?
Jennifer Torres' tasty, funny, heartwarming tale of a Latina middle-schooler, her loving parents, the family food truck Tia Perla, and their sometimes-surprising adventures is a satisfying treat. Along the way there are lots of positive messages about responsibility, family, friendship, and community -- plus frequent opportunities to improve your Spanish vocabulary as characters switch languages and narrator Stef translates.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the family businesses in Stef Soto, Taco Queen. Do you know kids who work in their family's business? How do they like it?
A character's food allergies lead to some inspired cooking in this story. Do you know any kids who are allergic to certain foods? What do they have to avoid? How do you deal with it?
Have you ever written a letter to a pop star or other famous person? What did you write about? Did they respond?
- Author: Jennifer Torres
- Genre: Family Life
- Topics: Cooking and Baking, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Middle School
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
- Publication date: January 17, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 11
- Number of pages: 176
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: March 29, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love books about middle school and the Latino experience
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.