Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Becoming Naomi León” as Want to Read:
Becoming Naomi León
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Becoming Naomi León

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  9,913 Ratings  ·  844 Reviews
When Naomi's absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Oaxaca, Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father.
Paperback, 246 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published September 1st 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Becoming Naomi León, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

A. Williams
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 10, 2008 Michele rated it it was amazing
I don't like Skyla, she is a total retard!
Reading is my Escape
Becoming Naomi Leon - review
One of her favorite sayings was that the good and the bad of any situation were sometimes the same.
My thoughts dived into a jumble in the middle of my mind, wrestled around until they were wadded into a fisted knot, and attached themselves to my brain like a burr matted in a long-haired dog.
I always thought the biggest problem in my life was my name, Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw, but little did I know that it was the least of my troubles, or that someday I would live
 (NS) Maria
Oct 10, 2009 (NS) Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This book was intense and a lot of things were happening with the characters. I wanted to keep finding out what was going to happen with Naomi. The main character, Naomi has a strong bond with her disabled brother and grandmother. The two children have been living with the grandmother for a long time. One day, her alcoholic mom reappears after seven years with her boyfriend. The mother was hoping to take Naomi and not the brother to collect welfare. The grandmother was very upset to hear ab ...more
Mary Hoch
Sep 24, 2011 Mary Hoch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1latino-a
Naomi and her younger brother, Owen, live with their Gram, who is raising them in a small trailer in Lemon Tree, California. The children face many hurdles throughout their young lives, leaving Naomi shy and unsure of herself, while Owen remains positive and happy, despite his physical disabilities. Naomi takes to soap carving as a hobby and a way of expressing herself. Unexpectedly, their mom re-enters their lives, along with a new boyfriend and his younger daughter. At first, Naomi and Owen ar ...more
Jessica Prescott
Jul 29, 2016 Jessica Prescott rated it it was amazing
Apparently, I have a new favorite author:

Pam Munoz Ryan.

You guys know how much I enjoyed--no, ADORED--"Echo" a month or so ago? Well, "Becoming Naomi Leon" is every bit as good. And I am one happy reader right now. *blissful sigh*

This book is fantastic, the way it gives a window into a young child's mind and lets you truly SEE everything as it appears to her perspective. You feel like you're ten years old again when you're reading it, honestly. Everything that scares Naomi, scares you; and ev
Stephanie  Weatherly
May 18, 2017 Stephanie Weatherly rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! It would make a great addition to a book club for middle school girls. Told through the lens of Naomi, it takes readers on a journey of both finding out the past and setting up the future. Great read!
Ciara Plackett
Apr 13, 2015 Ciara Plackett rated it it was amazing
Personal Reaction:
I absolutely loved this book! I think it's a book that really belongs in the classroom because it has problems that children really do deal with. Living with grandparents, parents with drinking problems, abusive parents, low income, being different and disabilities. This book has a strong theme of being brave and standing up for yourself and never giving up. This book also shines a wonderful light on the Mexican culture, the characters actually travel to Oaxaca, Mexico for a ra
Deedee Rosky
Oct 27, 2013 Deedee Rosky rated it really liked it
"Becoming Naomi Leon" is about a young girl named Naomi who lived a pretty normal life until her mother comes and Naomi finds herself on a journey to try to keep her family together . The author of this fictional story is Pam Munoz Ryan. This book is is full of adventure and always keeps you on your toes. The theme of this story is to never give and keep trying.

This book is told in 3rd person and the genre is realistic fiction.I like "Becoming Naomi Leon" because it's very adventurous and fun. T
Valeria Ambriz
May 03, 2015 Valeria Ambriz rated it it was amazing
I liked the book how she changed her name and how it was nice of her mom returning back for Naoimi and buying her clothes and doing braids on her hair. How her mom bought Owen a byicle and her mom wanted to take Naoimi to Las Vegas so that she can take care of Clive's daughter. Naomi going to Oaxa to go find her dad she going to El Mercado,a pinaple lolipop La Posada,going to Aunt Teresa's house,doing the carving, finding his dad and meeting him for the first time and finding him in the Posada, ...more
Mrs. Lynch
Mar 12, 2012 Mrs. Lynch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book! The dialogue was great, especially the quirky way that Gram speaks. I loved Naomi's character and the closeness of her and her brother, a diagnosed "funny looking kid." The story was good, although a little too neatly solved. I do feel inspired by Naomi the Lion's ability to stand up and tell her story so that her and her brother and her Gram can stay together when her messed up mom tries to take her away. The characters and the setting made the novel great.
Sep 16, 2011 Jenalyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenalyn by: Paula Soper
This was a really good read. I loved Naomi as a character and following her through her struggles with her family. My favorite quote from the book is "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!"

SENSITIVITY WARNING: Maybe some language, some abuse (mostly verbal)
Apr 27, 2011 Brianna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Naomi's gram and brother are terrific characters, and I admired the way this story showed the warmth and strength of an alternative family structure. My frustration with this book is that Skyla was almost too evil to be believed. She was more of a caricature than a character.
Ciara Alamillo
It’s not easy growing up with the name Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw, but she doesn’t let the kids teasing her get the best of her. Naomi is a shy girl who kids at her school refer to her as “nobody special”. Naomi lives with her great-grandmother who she calls gram and her younger brother Owen in Avacado Acres. Not only does Naomi have a hard time with other kids picking on her, but her brother has it even worse because he has a health condition which makes his face look abnormal. Naomi thin
Loveliest Evaris
Jun 30, 2011 Loveliest Evaris rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who want a book with family members reunited and happy endings
Shelves: ya-novels
I love this book. The first book I read by Pam Munoz Ryan was Esperanza Rising which I was assigned to read by my team at school for a contest held near the end of the year to answer questions about the books on a pre-determined list. Something to encourage kids to read. Hell yeah we read, there were MEDALS.

Anyways. I love this book. Esperanza Rising was approached with a groan and a sigh, but Ryan's style of writing hooked me into the story quickly. And the same happened in Becoming Naomi Leon.
Aug 03, 2015 Emiliann rated it it was ok
Shelves: ugh
I really don't like the review, the stars, or my own reaction I'm designating to this book. I especially don't like that I'm giving up on it after...well, after not too many pages. Maybe I'm a little burnt out after reading something as fantastic as Burial Rites, or maybe I've finally subconsciously made the switch to adult fiction. Whatever the case, this book really grated on my nerves.

The book stars Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw, a fifth grader who lives with her great-grandmother and physically
Bella Puentes
Oct 07, 2015 Bella Puentes rated it really liked it
Bella Puentes p.6

Goodreads Review

“Becoming Naomi Le’on- Pam Munoz Ryan

1. The book “Becoming Naomi Le’on” is very interesting and wants you to read the book all in one day. It all takes place in Lemon Tree, California, in a trailer with a great grandmother, a brother who has slightly physical problems, and the main character Naomi, she is shy and is amazing at soap carving, but also gets teased at school by boys who make fun of her last name, Outlaw. She takes us on a journey along with her going
Q_Jill Burke
This book makes you think about all the troubles some children have to deal with on a daily basis. Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw lives with her Grandmother because her mom is an alcoholic and her father lives in Mexico. Both parents have not had contact with Naomi or her brother Owen for years. She and her brother are happy with their Grandmother, who has always taken very good care of them. Trouble begins when their mother comes back to claim only Naomi because she needs someone to watch her boyfri ...more
Pura Belpre Honor Book 2006

This book tells the story of Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw and her brother Owen. They live with their great-grandmother, who they call Gram. Naomi has trouble speaking up is school and is teased because of her last name, and Owen has some kind of disability, that is not identified, but it seems to be a physical one because he is said to be very smart and can beat everyone at checkers with very few moves. They are basically happy with their lives until their mother shows up
Mar 18, 2016 Rosie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was amazing!! I loved the characters and the style in which it was told. It seemed like I was READING a MOVIE. What could be better? :P

Naomi was a really neat heroine. She doesn't talk much, but she loves her brother and grandmother very much and would do anything for them. I really like how she carves soap, something she got from her father. The scene where she accidentally cuts the sculpture so that the dog loses a leg and her father tells her not to worry about it, that that is what
James Govednik
Oct 21, 2009 James Govednik rated it really liked it
I loved this book. The author does a great job with a plot that seems standard at the outset and taking us in a fresh direction that elevates our concern for the characters. Naomi de Soledad Leon Outlaw encounters her mother for the first time she can remember, and it leads to more than just your typical family renunion. Naomi ends up on a journey--literally and figuratively--as she tries to live up to her name. Mom has a new boyfriend, and wants to get reconnected with Naomi, even though Naomi ...more
Lisa  Skripps
Becoming Naomi Leon is the story of Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw, a young Hispanic girl who lives her great-grandmother and younger brother Owen. The three live happily in a trailer park in “Baby Beluga,” their trailer home. Owen, her brother was born with some medical difficulties. Naomi lives a carefree life in Avocado Acres Trailer Rancho. She loves to go to school and to eat lunch in the library. Naomi also makes lists about everything she encounters. Life is good for Naomi and her family until ...more
Michelle Pegram
May 16, 2014 Michelle Pegram rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rll528-latino
This is a powerful story about family, acceptance, culture and empowerment. Naomi lives a happy life full of love with her Grandmother and her brother, Owen, who is an intelligent boy who is coping with a physically disability. Naomi has a fragmented memory of being rescued by her father and little knowledge of her mother. The novel starts with her mother, Skyla, returning with a boyfriend and inserting herself into the children's lives by showering them with gifts and making promises. Skyla soo ...more
Sep 22, 2011 528_Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-latino-a
Half-Mexican Noami Leon and her younger brother Owen live with their Gram in a trailer in Lemon Tree, California. Although Naomi has difficulty speaking up, she leads a reasonable happy life, carving soap sculptures and comforted by the only family she knows. When her mother reappears after seven years of being away, Naomi is forced to find herself and deal with the many questions she has about her heritage and past. In a quest to stay with her brother and Gram, Naomi travels to Mexico to find h ...more
Chris Flores
Nov 20, 2015 Chris Flores rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like is Book beautiful I recommend this book to Jairo because it's about ninjas.
Naomi Soledad León Outlaw ha tenido que enfrentarse a mucho en su corta vida, empezando por su nombre. También está el problema de su ropa (hechas por su abuela en tela de poliéster), su timidez y la fama que tiene en la escuela de no ser nadie especial. Pero según su abuela, la mayoría de los problemas se solucionan con mentalidad positiva. Y su vida, junto a su abuela y su pequeño hermano, Owen, en el parque de c
Adam James
Jan 15, 2016 Adam James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Becoming Naomi Leon is an absolutely wonderful book; every late-elementary/middle school L.A. teacher should keep a copy on his/her bookshelf.
And not just because Pam Munoz Ryan is such a champion of Hispanic culture, but because her stories, much like Jacqueline Woodson, encourages its readers to search for and embrace who they truly are.
And every child, regardless of his/her walk of life, needs to be reminded to find the good in herself.
Sarah Weiner
It may just be the fact that I finished a very good book, but I was not impressed. I did enjoy the story, but it all seemed to be rushed. I think it also is aimed for a lower age group, so I didn't have much interest in it. The book itself was good though, and I would recommend it to readers ages 10-12, or anyone who wants a good story and a short, easy read.
Feb 13, 2010 Trisha rated it liked it
March mother/daughter bookclub
a great children's book that deals with something hard. Your parents not being the "perfect" people. This one deals with alcoholism. It's very well done. I can't wait to talk to a group of little girls at the bookclub.
Debra Landay
Oct 16, 2010 Debra Landay rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book. I thought the story was realistic, and I also very much enjoyed the description of the holidays in Mexico. I thought the great grandmother and her friends were terrific role models in protecting the children's well being and supporting their uniqueness.
Mar 30, 2013 Ashlin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: march
The reason I wanted to read was my sister read me a interesting part and it made want to read it. Turned out to be really good, next I want to read Esperanza Rising and The Tiger Rising by the same author
Mar 16, 2015 Zoe rated it it was amazing
it was so good I couldn't put the book down an it was kinda emotinal
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Multi-age Read? 1 5 Jan 27, 2014 12:24PM  
  • Just a Minute!
  • Sahara Special
  • Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale
  • Project Mulberry
  • Love, Ruby Lavender
  • Gracias/Thanks
  • Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez (Pura Belpre Honor Book. Illustrator (Awards))
  • The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano
  • The Tailypo: A Ghost Story
  • Breaking Through
  • The Tequila Worm
  • Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur: A First Book of Manners
  • My Diary from Here to There/Mi diario de aquí hasta allá
  • Ruby Holler
  • The Liberation of Gabriel King
  • Hidden Roots
  • Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote
  • The Color of My Words
Pam Muñoz Ryan is the author of the New York Times Best Seller, ECHO, a 2016 Newbery Honor Book, and winner of the Kirkus Prize. She has written over forty books for young people—picture books, early readers, and middle grade and young adult novels. She the author recipient of the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, the Willa Cather Award, the Pura Belpré meda ...more
More about Pam Muñoz Ryan...

Share This Book

“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!” 13 likes
“There it was again, the good and bad all rolled into a meatball.” 8 likes
More quotes…