A Time magazine headline on page 66 of its Dec. 12 issue:: “It’s a mean, sometimes sad world ¬ but reading can help.”
Writer Kirsten Salyer adds: “As much as we may (sic) want to shield children from all the terrible, horrible no-good, very bad things in life, too often we don’t get a choice.”
Jennifer Torres Siders, a former Record reporter, is one children’s author who helped provide some of that emotional shelter in 2016, though her 176-page book won’t be released by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers until Jan. 17.
Salyer chose “Stef Soto, Taco Queen” ¬ Torres’ first full children’s novel ¬ as one of five examples that can help young people cope with a sometimes-difficult world.
Salyer’s synopsis: “Now in middle school, Estefania ‘Stef’ Soto has become embarrassed by her Mexican-American family’s food truck and is tired of being teased at school as the ‘taco queen.’ But when the family business is threatened, she becomes one of its biggest defenders and, in the process, learns to embrace her identity.”
The other four books listed:
“Why Can’t Grandma Remember My Name” by Kent L. Karosen
“Goodbye Days” by Jeff Zentner
“The Secret Horses of Briar Hill” by Megan Shepherd
“Gertie’s Leap to Greatness” by Kate Beasley