Stef Soto used to like to see her father’s taco truck, Tia Perla, in the school parking lot. When they saw each other, her father lifted her up into the front seat and had some chips and soda for her and friends. It made her feel special for as long as she remembers, but she is in middle school now and the old taco truck is just embarrassing. Even her old friend has given her a nickname, “Taco Queen”. Plus, she thinks her parents still treat her like a baby. They don’t allow her to walk home from school alone, and she has to spend her afternoons on Tia Perla because there is no one at home when school ends. One day things change when a new city regulation threatens her fathers food truck business; now Stef decides to help her dad, and Tia Perla.
This story captures the pressures and contradictions of the middle school years. It’s about a school project, mean classmates, favorite pop singer, friends, family and more. Which former middle-schooler wouldn’t sympathize with Stef a lot? This heartwarming story can be a page turner even for reluctant readers.