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Stef Soto, Taco Queen

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,302 ratings  ·  260 reviews
Estefania "Stef" Soto is itching to shake off the onion-and-cilantro embrace of Tia Perla, her family's taco truck. She wants nothing more than for her dad to get a normal job and for Tia Perla to be put out to pasture. It's no fun being known as the "Taco Queen" at school. But just when it looks like Stef is going to get exactly what she wants, and her family's livelihood ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published January 17th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,302 ratings  ·  260 reviews

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Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I seriously need a taco right now.

Books that constantly mention food can be so cruel on one’s stomach. Lucky Stef Soto, her father drives around in a full-food-equipped taco truck.

It started with a dream. Her father wanted to open his own restaurant, but her family couldn’t afford it, so they purchased a taco truck instead. Starting from the bottom and all that.

Stef loved the truck. It was family to her… But not anymore. She’s tired of seeing it everywhere. Her parents don’t even trust her to wa
Wendy MacKnight
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads
I loved this book and its slice of life portrayal of a young girl trying to sprout her wings under the overly-watchful eyes of her immigrant parents. The parents' characters are wonderful, but it is Stef and her classmates that sing on the page. No false steps here, just gloriously messy reality of being twelve years old. A beautiful book and my only complaint is how hungry I was while reading!
Ruth Lehrer
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-debuts
I received a free ARC of this 2017 middle grade book. What a great read! Torres's skillful use of two languages carries Stef Soto through middle school stresses with friends and parents. I loved the way descriptions of the use of Spanish words are seamlessly woven into the text without ever seeming pedantic or out of character. Taco Queen is a great story of a kid with first generation immigrant, working class parents, including the totally realistic details of a child having to play the role of ...more
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
STEF SOTO, TACO QUEEN is a heart-warming middle-grade debut. The main character, Estefania "Stef" Soto, won me over with her sincerity and strength of spirit, okay and her love for art. (Not to mention her art teacher is also pretty great.) I'm a sucker for books centered around authentic family dynamics and relatable friendships, however rocky they may first seem. And this book has both in spades, with a healthy dose of food truck scenes that will leave you hankering for your own Tia Perla burr ...more
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Stef Soto, our endearing protagonist, hates her family's taco truck, Tia Perla. She hates being picked up in it every day (everyone else's parents lets them walk home - or even take the public bus!), and her former-best-friend is always telling her she smells like a taco. Stef also can't stand how overprotective her parents are, especially when she gets the chance to go to the big Vivianna Vega concert. As the child of overprotective parents myself, I could really identify with Stef's struggle t ...more
Jen Petro-Roy
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ebook, middle-grade, 2016
What a fabulous story. Torres has created such a lovable and strong character in Stef, who is *such* a middle-grade heroine, simultaneously embarrassed by and driven to support and protect her parents. Such wonderful details of her culture, too!
Amanda Searcy
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is such a lovely story. The relationship between Stef and her parents felt so authentic and was beautifully written. You will fall in love with Tia Perla. (And all of Papi's food!)
T. Kathleen
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Important, poignant, readable, and relatable. I love Stef and her family.
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it
A good book about a good kid doing good things. What a pleasant time I had reading this book at age 60! If I were 10 I would make this a favorite and hope the author has more Stef Soto stories up her sleeve.
Wendi Lee
*4.5 stars*

I loved this book! Stef is tired of her parents treating her like a child, and she's embarrassed when her father picks up from school in Tia Perla, the family's taco food truck. She especially wants them to let her go to a pop concert with her best friend, unchaperoned.

But things don't always go as planned. Stef understands that her family is the most important thing in her life, and she puts her heart into helping their business and keeping the family together. I especially loved the
Dee Dee G
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anything with the word taco in it instantly makes me crave one lol. Very cute and short book for all ages.
Ms. Yingling
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Stef used to love her father's taco truck, Tia Perla. She was glad that he didn't have to work long hours, and she loved going along with him and getting to eat some of his delicious cooking. Once her former best friend, Julia, starts calling her "taco queen", though, Stef wants her father to stop picking her up at school in the truck, and balks at spending her weekends sitting out in parking lots at markets and festivals. However, when the town starts movi
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sweet sweet book about Stef Soto and the challenges she faces in school due to the family business - the Taco Truck. The middle school relationships aren't surprising - the friend who is not longer a friend - the mean girl, but they'll be comforting to young readers in their authenticity. I loved the relationship between Stef and her parents. It really portrayed the complex combination of love and annoyance that is so real at this age. A middle school great read with so much heart!
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stef Soto, Taco Queen is a middle grade book, which, I’ll be honest, is not a genre I am very familiar with, outside of the books I read when I was in the middle grade book range itself. It tells the story of Stef Soto, an artist, who is having trouble believing in herself, and seeing herself on her own terms, and not in terms of the old taco truck that her family runs. I saw so much of my own pre-teen self in this story. Though the experiences themselves don’t directly mirror my life, the feeli ...more
3.5 Stars

Read for Booktubeathon 2017

This was definitely more than just a book about a taco truck and a girl. It was a coming of age story, a story about family, and a story about fighting for what you want the most in life and I loved that. I didn't realize that Stef would be so willing to give up so much in order to make sure her family was ok and happy. It was nice to see the blend between Spanish and English as well. I really enjoyed that aspect. If you're looking for a diverse middle grade
The Campbells Clan
Good book

I really liked this book, it had happy and sad moments, liked when they were thinking of selling the truck. I'm glad that they did not sell the taco truck. In my mind I think it turned out pretty. I recommend it to other 4th graders and above. -Tharon Campbell 4th grader.
Lesley Looper
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, 2017
This is a super charming YA book! What a delight to read over the holiday weekend! Just delightful. There's a little angst thrown in, but it's manageable. Love the food truck theme winding through. And, of course, I have a taco craving now.
Brandy Painter
This is a short, quick MG read that any middle schooler experiencing the utter embarrassment of having parents will be able to relate with and understand. (So all of them.) Stef is starting to find many of the things her parents do humiliating to the point of not wanting them around when her friends are present anymore. Added to that is the frustration that they don't seem to understand her. This is a good add to libraries because it is a story of friendship, family, and school woes with a diver ...more
Abby Johnson
Stef Soto hates Tia Perla.

Nope, Tia Perla is not her aunt. Tia Perla is her family's taco truck, her father's American Dream realized. It was fun riding around in the taco truck and helping out when she was younger, but now Stef's in seventh grade and it's totally embarrassing to get picked up from school by the giant taco truck. When her former best friend and sometimes mean girl Julia tells another girl that Stef smells like tacos, that she's the taco queen, Stef has had enough. She wants Tia
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
Tía Perla is at the center of this middle grade novel: Stef's dad's taco truck, which is kind of like a member of the family. I love how true this feels, that the things we wish we could shed are often the very things we come to treasure about ourselves and our lives. Stef's story is realistic and memorable in terms of family, friends, school, and the desire to both fit in and find yourself, and how the latter is often the key to the first.
Maile Adams
I really enjoyed this book. It had some sad parts and some really funny parts. It was about a girl named Stef Soto. Her family owns a taco truck. One day the family realized that new food truck regulations had been made, and their food truck was no longer eligible to sell food. The whole family then went to this meeting to discuss how everyone owning a food truck could pass these regulations.

Some of the regulations were that you could not stay at the same spot with the truck for more than an ho
Imagene Wonders
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stef Soto is a young girl who's dad runs a taco truck. There is a Viviana Vega concert coming up. Everybody in her class is going, except there is one little problem. Stef's parents won't let her go! The closest she can get to the concert is outside, in her taco truck, selling burritos! But then a mysterious lady walks up and asks for an egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free, meat-free, and gluten-free burrito, and it turns out to be Viviana Vega herself! Her popularity suddenly goes up in her class, l ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: by-and-about-poc
i got warm and fuzzy feelings reading this :')
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
We've all been embarrassed by a member of our family. For Stef, it's her Tía Perla. Except her aunt isn't a person . . . she's her dad's taco truck. Órale!
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great middle grade read! I needed a book about food for a staff reading challenge and this was perfect! The only problem is that it made me hungry for tacos!
Natalie  Sapkarov Harvey
Work hard. Dream big. Get things done. I do appreciate the messages of this book and how a family can fight to save their livelihood and a girl and her friends can work to save their art program.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sweet story of middle school drama and family ties. And now I want a taco.
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
I find that, as a librarian, and a teacher in general, my purpose for reading has taken on a new angle. I loved this book for so many reasons, but the biggest one had to do with the new purpose I've found. I'll quote the P.E. teacher that read this one with her 4th grader: "I saw our kids in here".

This book is a sweet, touching story about a girl named Stef. Stef is the daughter of a man who dreams of having his own restaurant, but for now, he has a taco truck, named Tia Perla. The beginning of
Sharlene Robertson
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Simply adored it and didn’t want to stop reading!
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My only wish about this book would be that I want it to be longer. Totally great, FAST, middle level read. Will make you crave tacos.
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