Discussion Guide: Stef Soto, Taco Queen

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Book Summary Stef Soto, Taco Queen:

Stef Soto is embarrassed by Tia Perla, her family's taco truck, and wishes her dad would get a regular job. Stef Soto also hopes she could have a cell phone, go to pop star Viviana Vega's concert, and gain enough funding for her art class at school. Enjoy this heartwarming realistic fiction story about family, supportive friends, being brave, finding your voice, and tacos.

For children ages 8 - 12 years old and who love: The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez and the Front Desk series by Kelly Yang.

  • Stef Soto does something courageous and outside of her comfort zone near the end of the story. Can you think of a time you did something brave even though you didn't feel entirely comfortable?

  • Author Jennifer Torres does a great job capturing the relatable and different personalities of the middle school students in the book, including Stef Soto, her friends, Amanda and Arthur, and her antagonist, Julia. Did the characters remind you of classmates you went to school with now or in the past?

  • If you were a parent, would you let Stef go to Viviana Vega's concert without them at 12 years old? Why or why not?

  • Jennifer was a newspaper reporter and would go to a nearby taco truck by her office for lunch, and this began the inspiration for Stef Soto, Taco Queen. Spend a week observing and paying attention to everything around you and write down what you notice, and what you find interesting.

—Thank you to author Jennifer Torres, host and executive producer of the Book Club for Kids podcast Kitty Felde and producer of the Book Club for Kids podcast, Ilsa Setziol.

“I think because I worked as a reporter, a lot of my inspiration comes from real life. I really love telling true stories and I think that even fictional stories can have a lot of truth in them. And I think some of the best fictional stories have a lot of truth in them. And so there's a lot of true things in my fiction.”

—Jennifer Torres

Book cover for Stef Soto, Taco Queen
Stef Soto, Taco Queen
Jennifer Torres

Stef isn’t sure that her family’s taco truck is going to be great for her middle-school reputation. Inspired by the author’s experiences in the Central Valley.