Review of Stella Díaz Never Gives Up

Stella Díaz Never Gives Up
by Angela Dominguez; illus. by the author
Intermediate    Roaring Brook    196 pp.
1/20    978-1-250-22911-3    $16.99

This sequel to Stella Díaz Has Something to Say (rev. 5/18) finds Stella wanting to do something big: save the oceans. After a family vacation to Mexico, Stella (less shy than she used to be, but still a little nervous) attends summer camp at Shedd Aquarium and finds new friends among her “fellow sea-creature enthusiasts.” Although old friends Jenny and Stanley (and teenage brother Nick) have interests of their own, and her mother is muy ocupada at work, Stella eventually manages to bring everyone on board with her new environmental group — the Sea Musketeers. The group gets off to a great start under Stella’s leadership, and a more self-confident Stella is optimistic about making a big difference and starting a new school year. The character’s concerns about her Spanish-language skills and her conscientious efforts to connect to family and friends in both languages ring true, although some of the text’s Spanish words and phrases (in italics, with occasional small typos) may not feel natural to Spanish speakers. Cheerful black-and-white illustrations are scattered throughout, and an author’s note includes tips and recommended resources for learning more about ocean conservation.

From the March/April 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Anamaría Anderson
Anamaría Anderson is a writer, translator, and museum educator at the National Gallery of Art.

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