Parent & Daughter Book Club – Alma Flor Ada

Our January book selection for the Girls Leadership Parent & Daughter Book Club is…

My Name is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada!

About the Book

& the Girls Leadership Connection

Maria Isabel already feels nervous about starting at a new school where she doesn’t know anyone. Then, her teacher tells her the class already has two Marias, and she decides to call Maria Isabel “Mary,” instead.

Maria Isabel, who felt so proud of the name that connects her to her grandmothers, feels lost. She doesn’t like being Mary, and doesn’t remember to answer when her teacher calls her. This leads to misunderstandings and trouble between her and her teacher. Most importantly, the teacher mistakenly believes that Maria Isabel doesn’t want to sing in the winter pageant.

The problems in school become worse the longer Maria Isabel remains silent. She has to find a way to express her feelings. Instead of hoping that the problem will go away on its own, she asks for what she needs.

Buy, borrow, or download a copy of this book and read it before your January book club meeting.

Parents, please be aware of your child’s independent reading level. This book will be above the level of some 2nd and 3rd graders. If that’s the case, you can read this book out loud to your daughter. (Even if your child is able to read it on her own, you might wish to read it together – it’s really fun, and it teaches your child so much about growing ideas while reading.)

We’ll send everyone who has signed up for Book Club a Meeting Guide and Discussion Questions, including a chance to win a copy of Alma Flor Ada’s The Malachite Palace.

Not signed up yet?

Take me to the Book Club Sign Up!

About the Author

Alma Flor Ada was born in Cuba, into a family of storytellers. She loved reading and spending time in nature. She has spent most of her life as a teacher and has written many book in English and Spanish, both for children and for adults.

Ms Ada now lives in California. Her books have won many awards. My Name is Maria Isabel was a National Council for the Social Studies and CBC Notable Book, and a “Pick of the List” by the American Booksellers Association.

Ms Ada wrote a book of eleven true stories about her childhood and family in Cuba. Written from the point of view of a child, Where the Flame Trees Bloom would be a wonderful book to read aloud to your daughter, or for more advanced readers to read to themselves.

To learn more about Alma Flor Ada, visit her web site at

We can’t wait to hear what your book club thinks of this selection!

Read more

on Book Club

  1. Aimee S.

    what will the january book club selection be for 2nd graders?

    • Dorothy Ponton, Digital Marketing Manager

      Hi Aimee,
      This year’s Grade 2/3 book for January is Upside Down Magic by Sarah Mlynoswski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins. We’re making the announcement to the public next week. By the way, the list of the entire year’s book selections is available as a “File” in the Parent & Daughter Book Club Facebook Group

  2. Heather Silvestri

    Hi bout book club is wondering when February’s book choice is coming out. Pls advise thx!
    Heather — NJ

    • Dorothy Ponton, Community Engagement Manager

      Hi Heather! We’re announcing it early next week!


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