Note: Miss Magee’s Reads was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thanks for reading!
Sometimes, you pick up a book, and you just know it will make a difference for your students. Stella Díaz Has Something to Say is, without a doubt, that type of book.
Stella Díaz is a third grade student with a lot to think about. Her best friend is in a different homeroom, she is attending speech therapy, and she wonders what life would be like if her family had stayed in Mexico City instead of immigrating to Chicago. Stella struggles with turning these thoughts into spoken words, and shyness seems to prevent her from saying what she wants to say. With the support of her best friend, her brother, and her mom, she is able to focus on her strengths. She is a talented artist, and she loves learning about animals. When Stella’s teacher assigns a research project with a 5-minute class presentation, Stella worries. How can she show the world what she has to say?
What I absolutely loved about this book is that Stella is, in so many ways, more than one thing. She has so many strengths and so many things she is working on. We have so many students in our classroom who are more than one thing, and they need to find themselves in books like this. My students whose families have immigrated will connect with Stella. My students who are in speech therapy will connect with Stella. My students who have ever wanted a new friend will connect with Stella. My students whose parents are separated or divorced will connect with Stella. I know that so many students will see themselves in Stella. I also know that through reading Stella’s story, students may begin to empathize with their classmates who are like Stella in some other way.
This book allows kids to celebrate all the things that they are. I can’t wait to put this book in the hands of my third grade students, who all have something to say.