Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off

Yeah, Freddie! Freddie Ramos is an engaging boy who receives a remarkable present out of the blue--a pair of purple sneakers with silver wings that allow him to go so fast he can outrace a train. Freddie, like all superheroes, uses to powers to do good. In this first book of the series, he retrieves a classmate's library book, tracks down an underage graffiti artist, and rescues a lost puppy.

Written by Jacqueline Jules, this early chapter book features a Latino child who lives in Starwood Park Apartments, an apartment complex a few short blocks from his elementary school. Freddie recently moved there with his mother, a single parent who struggles to make ends meet. Freddie's father, a war hero, died two years earlier. The text is sprinkled with Spanish words, but their meaning is always put in context, making them easy for beginning readers to figure out. Miguel Benitez's black-and-white illustrations lend a comic-book style that fits in perfectly with the superhero theme.

Freddie Ramos Takes Off recently won a Cybils Award in the short chapter book category. A second book, Freddie Ramos Springs into Action, shows Freddie learning to control his superpowers in a responsible way. The third book in the series, Freddie Ramos Zooms to the Rescue, is due out next month. Viva la Freddie!

Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off
by Jacqueline Jules
illustrations by Miguel Benitez
Albert Whitman and Company, 88 pages
Published: 2010

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for drawing attention to this series. I just checked, and my library system has book 1 and 2. I wondered if the child's background would be too "heavy handed," instead of being interwoven with the story line. School Library Journal reviewed the second book favorably, but had reservations about the first book (two different reviewers). I'll be reading them myself to decide what I think. I like the idea of a child becoming a superhero.