Summary: Stella Diaz Dreams Big
Stella Diaz Dreams Big is the third book in the Stella Diaz series and Stella is finally in fourth grade! Her brother Nick is a high schooler, and both he and Stella are shocked by the volume of HOMEWORK they now have to do compared to what they did in their prior classes. Nick is also working part-time at a pizzeria and Stella’s fourth-grade goals have her signing up for several extracurriculars.
In addition to being president of her Sea Musketeers club, she’s taking up swimming, joining art club, and tackling several new science projects in class. She also has to be a good friend and spend time with her family at home. Suffice to say, she is stretched. On top of that, her mom seems to be getting cozy with their new neighbor Diego, who also has a daughter, Izzy. Can Stella handle all her big dreams while keeping her sanity intact?
I did not get to read the second book in this series, although the first book is one of my favorites to recommend to third graders. So it was exciting to see Stella’s growth into a more confident version of herself. Stella is such a sweet, creative, and ambitious character, and it’s nice to see her have friends just like her. I also liked that we got a peek into Nick’s life as an older kid, and it is always heartwarming to read of sweet family dynamics.
The major theme in this book is really overloaded kids. Many kids are over-scheduled either by themselves or their parents. In this case, Stella’s noble goals had her stretched thin. She learns that sometimes it’s okay to accept help, and that not everything has to be “productive” — a lesson that even some adults are still learning. I loved that her mom was super supportive, creating a schedule and always ensuring that her kids made time to be kids. Stella’s mom is an all-round rockstar, even in the way she approaches her relationship with Diego.
Overall: Stella Diaz Dreams Big
Stella Diaz Dreams Big is a heartwarming addition to the Stella Diaz series. This relatable early middle-grade book has lovely black and white illustrations perfect for kids who are just getting into thicker chapter books. With a theme affecting many young people today — over-scheduling — this book is sure to make waves among young readers who will see themselves in Stella’s predicament. I would highly recommend this for kids ages 7-10!
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I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read this book or any of the books in the Stella Diaz series? What did you think? I included Stella in a list of books like Ramona Quimby, Age 8.
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