Stella Díaz Dreams Big: Stella Díaz, Book 3

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
Stella Díaz Dreams Big: Stella Díaz, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Kind story teaches social skills, scheduling, some Spanish.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Information about ocean creatures and art, some Spanish words and culture, the physics behind an egg toss, and time-management techniques.

Positive Messages

Follow your dreams and work hard, but also take time to relax. Speak up when your feelings are hurt, and ask for help when you need it.

Positive Role Models

Stella's mom is supportive and loving, and values Stella's opinions, as do her teachers and the other adults in her life. Her older brother is kind and cares about their family.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stella Díaz Dreams Big, the third book in the kind, uplifting series by Angela Dominguez, turns Stella's worries about school friends and how to balance her busy schedule into relatable moments. While sprinkling Spanish words and phrases into their conversations, Stella's mom helps her navigate the increased amount of homework in fourth grade and Stella's growing number of interests. Some moments hint toward growing up: There's a nice conversation about whether boys and girls can be "just friends" as they get older, and advice for dealing with feeling overwhelmed when they're overscheduled.

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What's the story?

In STELLA DIAZ DREAMS BIG, the third book in the series, fourth-grader Stella Díaz is excited to start the school year and joins every activity she can find. But soon she discovers that being president of the Sea Musketeers club, taking swim lessons, and volunteering for the school mural project take up so much of her time that she doesn't have time for homework. On top of feeling overscheduled, she's being told that her friendship with Stanley means she "likes" him and she's worried that her mom's new friend might actually be her mom's date.

Is it any good?

This delightful story that emphasizes the importance of speaking up, asking for help, and paying attention to your feelings. Author Angela Dominguez has a nice message about dealing with being overscheduled by taking time away and setting boundaries, which applies to kids and adults alike. The Spanish words sprinkled throughout the story are a lovely acknowledgement of Stella's Mexican heritage and immigrant family, and help young readers see that even when words are different, feelings and relationships are universal.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Stella navigates her commitments in Stella Díaz Dreams Big. How do you react when you feel like there's too much going on? What helps you get control of your schedule again? What isn't helpful?

  • Why do you think some people say that boys and girls can't be "just friends" as they get older? Does that work for you?

  • What clubs would you like to see at your school or in your neighborhood?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love strong girls and Latinx stories

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