Becoming Naomi Leon [NOOK Book]

Overview

A reissue of Pam Munoz Ryan's bestselling backlist with a distinctive author treatment and new cover art by Raul Colon.

Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw has had a lot to contend with in her young life, her name for one. Then there are her clothes (sewn in polyester by Gram), her difficulty speaking up, and her status at school as "nobody special."

But according to Gram, most ...
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Becoming Naomi Leon

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Overview

A reissue of Pam Munoz Ryan's bestselling backlist with a distinctive author treatment and new cover art by Raul Colon.

Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw has had a lot to contend with in her young life, her name for one. Then there are her clothes (sewn in polyester by Gram), her difficulty speaking up, and her status at school as "nobody special."

But according to Gram, most problems can be overcome with positive thinking. And with Gram and her little brother, Owen, Naomi's life at Avocado Acres Trailer Rancho in California is happy and peaceful...until their mother reappears after seven years of being gone, stirring up all sorts of questions and challenging Naomi to discover and proclaim who she really is.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fifth-grader Naomi's great-grandmother has been a loving guardian for Naomi and her brother since their mother abandoned them seven years before; now she has suddenly reappeared. In a starred review, PW called this "a tender tale about family love and loyalty." Ages 8-12. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Naomi, half Mexican and half Oklahoman, has many names; but by the end of the book she truly grows into the lioness name. A victim of child abuse by her alcoholic mother, Naomi suffered from selective mutism until her great grandmother took her and her deformed brother Owen under her wing. After seven years of proper care and medical attention, the 11-year-old girl and the 8-year-old boy are suddenly visited by their long-absent mother. As Gran might say, the good and the bad of it is that they have a mother again but she is still trouble. Naomi manages to stand up to her mother's slaps and threats this time around and to lay the groundwork for escape. Gran, Mexican-American friends, and the children run away in a trailer to Mexico to seek the kids' Mexican father. Naomi discovers she has always been like her father in looks and in her amazing talent for carving. This becomes apparent in the Night of the Radishes carving contest in Oaxaca, Mexico. A wonderful reunion with her dad gives Naomi the voice to speak out against her mother in court, once Gran and the kids return to the States. Naomi is no longer "nobody special" in the fifth grade, too, when her soap carvings are displayed in the school library. The book treats very serious subjects (child abuse and physical handicaps) with grace and humor. The girl's narration, often in a language of metaphor, both amuses and wrings the heart. 2004, Scholastic Press, Ages 10 to 12.
—Carol Raker Collins, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw lives with younger brother Owen and her fiercely practical Gram in a trailer park in California in this novel by Pam Munoz (Scholastic, 2004). An unpopular fifth grader, she spends lots of time in the library with the other outcasts and the kind librarian. Naomi's talent is carving objects out of soap. After being gone for seven years, her mother shows up one day with a scary boyfriend, Clive. Gram lets the children know that their mother, Terri Lynn, has always been wild and irresponsible. They're worried that she will assert her parental rights and take the children away. Naomi is insecure and particularly susceptible to her mother's attention. Owen is essentially ignored by Terri Lynn because he has some physical deformities, but Clive thinks he could use Owen's deformities to make money gambling. Gram, the neighbors, and the children go to Oaxaca to find the children's father and get him to sign papers making Gram their guardian. Their dad is thrilled to see them, and Naomi learns that her talent for soap carving is inherited from her father. This deeply moving story is expressively and sympathetically narrated by Annie Kozuch. Characterization is excellent and listeners will be happy that Naomi finds confidence, love, and security. A good choice for most collections.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
First-person narrator Naomi Len 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)First printing of 50,000
From the Publisher

Voice of Youth Advocates
December 1, 2004

Naomi Soledad LeŽn lives with her brother and great-grandmother in a trailer in Lemon Tree, California. Her biggest problem is being teased by boys in her fifth grade class. Naomi inherited her father's gift for carving and takes after the Mexican side of the family. Quirky little brother, Owen, is an FLK, funny looking kid, with physical defects. When their mother reappears after a seven-year absence, the children are happy to see her, but it soon becomes apparent that she wants to take Naomi with her so that she and boyfriend Clive can collect child support and Naomi can baby-sit Clive's daughter. After the children's mother starts drinking, Gram, who does not have official custody of the children, obtains temporary guardianship and takes the children to Mexico. Naomi takes part in the traditional La Noche de los R?banos carving competition, and the children meet their father. After an emotional reunion, the children and their great-grandmother return to California to go to court, where Gram is granted guardianship. Themes of divorce, absent parents, biculturalism, inherited traits, physical disabilities, and triumph over adversity are woven through this novel that features realistic characters, both lovable and despicable, and a believable plot. The list-making, soap-carving main character who loves words and the librarian who provides a sanctuary for Naomi and other troubled children will find favor with librarians and teachers. As in Esperanza Rising (Scholastic, 2000/VOYA December 2000), symbols abound, and readers of all ages will enjoy reading of Naomi's transformation and triumph.-Sherry York.

Booklist
September 15, 2004

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 Copyright 2004 Booklist

Kirkus
Review Date: SEPTEMBER 01, 2004
STARRED
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-

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545532327
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 59,685
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Pam Munoz Ryan is the recipient of the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award and the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for multicultural literature. She has written more than thirty books which have garnered, among countless accolades, the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award. Pam lives near San Diego. You can visit her at www.pammunozryan.com.
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Table of Contents

A rabble of yesterdays 1
1 A paddling of ducks 3
2 A skulk of foxes 16
3 A lamentation of swans 26
4 A memory of elephants 34
5 A charm of hummingbirds 43
6 A school of fish 52
7 An unkindness of ravens 61
8 A burden of mules 75
9 A shiver of sharks 88
10 A schizophrenia of hawks 107
11 A flight of swallows 123
A passel of todays 137
12 A drey of squirrels 139
13 A sleuth of bears 154
14 A leap of leopards 167
15 A piteousness of doves 178
16 A team of horses 189
17 An exaltation of starlings 201
18 A pride of lions 211
19 A cry of hounds 218
20 A crash of hippopotami 227
21 A brood of chicks 241
A murmuration of tomorrows 244
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 79 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(58)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 79 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 4, 2010

    Listen to me now...

    Pam Munoz Ryan tells the story of a young girl named Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw and her brother Owen, who were abandoned by their mother and left in the care of their great-grandmother, "Gram." Naomi is a girl who feels like an outsider, and uses carving as a form of expression and Owen is a physically challenged boy who wears tape as a form of protection and gets bullied. After years of no contact with their mother, she returns and feelings of confusion, excitement, and anxiety fill the minds of Naomi and Owen. After learning of their mother's alcohol addiction, the children realize the intentions of their mother is to take Naomi away and leave Owen behind. Gram quickly decides to take the children to Mexico to find their father for help. Through this ordeal Naomi learns who she really is and finds her voice. This is a common story known to society, it deals with alcoholism, bullying, uncertainty of identity and love. This is a book that once you begin to read, you do not want to put down. This is book is definitely one of my favorites.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2011

    Knowing Naomi

    Becoming Naomi Leon is a contemporary realistic fiction that is easy for youngers to identify with. Naomi the main character and her bother Owen's live in a pleasant and quiet trailer park with their great grandmother. After missing for seven years their mother, Skyla, re-appears to stir up their lives. Curious about their mother and their past the children start asking all sorts of questions. Their gram tries to ease the questions by answering and telling them the truth. Their mother tries to be a good mother and petition custodial rights but she lets the children down time after time. With this book children can identify in many ways with Naomi. Weather they have some similar problems like the ones Naomi has or the way she is tease at school. I don't read many chapter books but this book kept me interested in every chapter. I kept on reading because I wanted to know how and with whom the children would end up.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    Great for teens

    The book Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Muñoz Ryan is great book for students from 5th to the 12 grade. This book would fall under the Contemporary Realistic Fiction genre and could be especially appealing and interesting for the Mexican American culture. This book has received the Tomas Rivera Mexican American Childers Book Award. The story is very well put every character seems to play a very important role for the process and conclusion of the story. Naomi and Owen Leon Outlaw the main characters have lived with their great grandmother since they were very young. Their mother a troubled lady had abandoned them because she felt she needed to get on with her life and their father had also been out of the picture for most of their life. After a long time the mother decides to come with intentions of taking Naomi with her. In this journey Naomi, Owen, Gram, and some of the other characters go out of their way to make such a thing impossible. So they travel into Mexico with the hope of finding their father and it is here that Naomi learns more about herself and her Mexican culture. The book is very interesting and somewhat emotional it is amazing and moving to even think how Naomi and Owen have gone through such events in their life. It could be very related and equal with the life of any other child whose parents have split up or gone through a rough patch.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2010

    Becoming Naomi Leon: "A Mouse with a Lioness's Voice"

    Naomi Soledad León Outlaw is a very soft-spoken and timid young girl. She is very good at making lists, carving animals out of bars of soap and.worrying. Her greatest worry, for the moment, is her name; the boys in class her love to tease her about her last name, Outlaw. Little did she know, though, that soon, very soon, she would learn about her true Mexican heritage and live up to her name, León, in more ways than one.

    I felt I connected with these characters (the good ones: Naomi, Gram, Owen, Fabiola, Bernardo, and Santiago) and I felt very protective over Naomi and Owen. I was always worried whenever Skyla was around, even before she showed her true colors. I could tell what kind of person she was and sided with Gram; I did not think Skyla should have been around those poor children. They had no idea who she was when she dropped in on them out of the blue and she fully expected them to not only know her, but to fulfill her every expectation. Of course any child who longed for a mother for so many years would grasp at any chance to be close to their mother. Naturally, they would not know to be cautious, especially when they had been romanticizing the ideal mother figure and wanting to believe their mother was capable of that idealness. I am glad that in the end, Skyla and Clive did not get their way, but disappointed because I felt they needed further punishment for what they had done, but unfortunately, that is how life goes sometimes.
    One of my favorite quotes in Becoming Naomi León is located at the very end: "I had also found my father, who had loved me for a long time without being nearby. How many others were walking around and not even knowing that someone far away cared for them? Imagine all that love floating in the air, waiting to land on someone's life!" (Ryan, p. 245). Ryan makes the reader believe a little girl is telling this tale, and to imagine a young girl speak with such depth and wisdom truly touched my heart. Ryan shows the maturity and wisdom a little girl gains through trials and turmoil. This is one thing I love about this novel - Naomi develops into a confident young lady as she learns of her heritage and matures as she finally confronts the bad in her life, gaining her true voice as the result. This quote is definitely food for thought.

    I believe this book is wonderful for older children. Becoming Naomi León could possibly aid as an eye-opener to reality - the fact that life just simply isn't rosy and circumstances such as what Naomi goes through really do happen to some children. I hope children of better home lives than Naomi and Owen are grateful for what they have after reading this.

    I absolutely love this book and will soon be reading it again when I have the extra time!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    Amazing

    Becoming Naomi Leon is an amazing tale of a girl trying to stay with her family. The reader feels so heartbroken with all the hardship Naomi, Owen, and their grandmother have to face in order to keep their family together. Naomi realizes the truth about both her parents throughout the book. Her mother is very selfish, which is the exact opposite of what Naomi pictured. Her father loves Naomi and Owen very much but Naomi realizes that he made the right decision in letting her grandmother raise them. This book is great for children in the 5th to 12th grade.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2010

    Roarrrrr (loved it!)

    While growing up in an unconventional setting, Naomi Leon comes into her own skin while learning about some aspects of her past and the characters of people from it. This young girl's testimony would be a great tool in lifting any one's spirit or self-esteem. Pre-teen years can be particularly difficult for some girls so this book could be used as a guide for them to use while learning to walk through the world with their heads held high, while doing the right thing with confidence!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    awesome read!!

    This children's chapter book is perfect for young girls or just girls in general! I'm 21 and i could not put this book down!! Becoming Naomi Leon is your average coming of age story about a girl struggling to find her way. The author, Pam Ryan, has a great way of vocalizing the many different trials and tribulations Naomi experiences while growing up and ultimately captures the essence of how she becomes who she is, Naomi Leon.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2010

    Highyly Recommended- A Must Read!

    Becoming Naomi Leon, by Pam Munoz Ryan, is a fantastic read for all ages. I found the fictional novel to be such an inspirational read, letting readers know that we all have courage and strength deep down inside of us, even when we feel weak and small. The readers find themselves immediately connected with the character Naomi, her strengths, her hopes, and her aspirations. This connectedness keeps the reader from wanting to put down the book and follow and young girl on a journey to discovering herself.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    becoming naomi leon ,by pam munoz leon

    Becoming Naomi Leon,by Pam Munoz Ryan entertains the reader with drama and compeling sentences that that put vivid images in your mind.you can can get a compeling image in the next few sentences when skyla slaps Naomi.<BR/>skla took to steps across the room ,then siapped me across the check.it was such a hard slapthat my head turned and slapped against my shoulder.this book taught that be proud of your self and speak up for others and others.i recomend this book for people who like charishing family stories that are tradagies and glorious mixed in one.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Amazing

    Im reading this book in school and i love it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Awesome

    I have a real copy of this book. I have read it a lot of times and i never get tired of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Naomi leon RULES

    BEST BOOK EVER WHO EVER DOSENT LIKE IT IS INSAINE

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    Great book.

    Great book.we read this in class and I loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    Naomi

    It was so alsomw
    e

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2013

    Naomi

    I have to read this for middle school i have read the sameple it was super good and i want to read more so im goingnto buy the book before summer ends

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2013

    This book stinks

    THE MAIN CHARACTER IS a jerk to her mom, dontt like at all

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    Anonymous

    Hey everybody out there if you looking forward to buying this book than you are correct this is the best book ever even though i got this book from the library at school this is a really good book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Bw Becoming Naomi Leon

    Great book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    Naomi leon

    I loved this book, it relates to my BFF's life.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    AWESOME

    This is a book that we read in my advanced reading class in school. It was my FAVORITE one of all! so good! I COULD NOT STOP READING

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