Stella Díaz Never Gives Up: Stella Díaz, Book 2

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
Stella Díaz Never Gives Up: Stella Díaz, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Girl becomes activist, navigates friendships in fun story.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Lots of information about marine animals, conservation strategies, and how to organize and advocate for a cause.

Positive Messages

Everyone can make a difference. Try new things and don't worry about failing. Apologize sincerely when you make a mistake, then try to make amends. 

Positive Role Models

Stella's mom, babysitter, camp teachers, and others in her life are incredibly supportive of her ideas and efforts.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stella Díaz Never Gives Up, by author-illustrator Angela Dominguez, is a kind, inspiring story that teaches readers about conservation, activism, navigating friendship, and growing up that follows series opener Stella Díaz Has Something to Say.  When Stella's interest in saving the oceans blossoms at summer camp, she faces a struggle many young readers have experienced: how to blend different two groups of friends whose only connection is her. Stella's relationship with her brother is both sweet and authentic, showing how siblings can drift apart and come back together as they grow up. It highlights Stella's Mexican American heritage and seamlessly integrates lots of Spanish phrases. The author's note about why she italicized Spanish words throughout the book offers great insight into bilingual life.

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What's the story?

Environmental activism takes center stage in STELLA DIAZ NEVER GIVES UP after young Stella, already interested in marine life, gets to go in the ocean while visiting family in Mexico. Back at an aquarium's summer camp in her hometown of Chicago, she's devastated to learn that the ocean is filled with trash and plastic. She pledges to reduce her waste and starts a club with friends at camp, trying to raise money and awareness for her cause. Stella's mom supports her efforts, and Stella tries to reach her goals while navigating her teen brother's changing moods toward her, and her friendships outside of camp.

Is it any good?

Filled with passion and warmth, these pages have a lovely blend of environmental activism and personal growth that perfectly targets young readers. In Stella Díaz  Never Gives Up, Stella's passion and voice are natural and relatable, as are the challenges she faces with her friendships. Her concerns about mixing her ocean-obsessed camp friends with her two best friends from school is a worry most kids face at some point, and Stella models some great ways to bring people together. The sprinkling of Spanish words flows naturally throughout the story and enhances the reader's understanding of Stella's experience, especially her hesitation to speak Spanish because she can't do it perfectly. There are a lot of strategies here for budding activists and environmentalists, and a gentle, inspiring story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way adults respond to ideas in Stella Díaz  Never Gives Up. How do their reactions help Stella become a better activist and friend?

  • How do you think Nick and Stella's relationship is going to change as they grow up?

  • What other books about activism have you read?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love books for early readers and stories of activism

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