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Becoming Naomi León

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  10,954 ratings  ·  951 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)
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Popular Answered Questions
Susan Grebe Clive also said he was interested in getting child support money from the state.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Susan Grebe If the women in each generation has a child when she is in her teens or early 20s, it's possible to be a great-grandmother at 69 years old.

Community Reviews

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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,954 ratings  ·  951 reviews

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Katie  Hanna
Jul 29, 2016 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
 (NS) Maria
Oct 10, 2009 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
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
Mary Hoch
Sep 24, 2011 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
Aug 03, 2015 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
Deedee Rosky
Oct 27, 2013 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
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was very I love the love they share.
Valeria Ambriz
May 03, 2015 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 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 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)
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 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.
Stephanie  Weatherly
May 18, 2017 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!
Apr 27, 2011 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.
Read it in library school; totally loved it. I think I cried at the end, too.
Smitha Murthy
Pam Munoz Ryan is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I had read ‘Esperanza Rising’ at the beginning of this year, and how fitting that at the end of this year, I read ‘Becoming Naomi Leon!’ What I liked about Ryan’s books is that it’s unlike the regular fluff YA you get to read about. Most YA is rooted in the US. Most YA features a dark, brooding boy or girl. Most YA then explores the dark, brooding boy or girl’s sexuality before they all fall in love with each other. I know there are ...more
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 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.
Bella Puentes
Oct 07, 2015 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
Sam Grace
I wanted to give this book three stars, because I really LIKED Naomi and I liked her brother and grandmother and friend Blanca. I liked the central conflict about being un/loved by parents/family. I don't know much about disability, but I liked the way it was presented as any other trial except for the person who was so blinded by her own prejudice she couldn't even really see how it would impact her life let alone her son's.

What I didn't like, and yeah, this is spoilery, is that the villains i
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
Ciara Plackett
Apr 13, 2015 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
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 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 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 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 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
I once had an English professor who told us if she ever wrote "clever" in response to one of our writings, it was not a compliment.

This book began with a lot of clever metaphors that nearly made me put it away. I persevered and it ended up a fairly decent read. It seems like sometimes authors figure things out somewhere in the middle and quit doing the really annoying things like trying to be clever. That was mostly the case here, and it improved the experience greatly.

The story situation was
I think I loved this even more than I loved Echo!

I loved seeing Naomi flourish and grow throughout this book. I loved supportive Gram, bright Owen, and loving Santiago. I was surprised when Gram was so permissive of Skyla, and equally as surprised when Gram took Baby Beluga tg.

Naomi's soap carvings were a small but unique addition to the story (+ the radish-carving festival), and I kind of love that Pam Muñoz Ryan's books always have this magical little extra eccentricity added to the story. Ju
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Spring 2019, Wild...: Christein Weigum's Review 1 5 Feb 08, 2019 07:39PM  
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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
“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!” 19 likes
“There it was again, the good and bad all rolled into a meatball.” 9 likes
More quotes…