Real Life: Imagined
Freddie Ramos’s story is pretty common: Mom worked to get through community college in order to get a better job, Dad passed away while in the service; neighbors, friends, and teachers all make up the atmosphere for his ordinary life. But one day Freddie gets a box with a pair of purple shoes (which is great because now mom doesn’t have to buy any!) and these shoes give him ZAPATO POWER! So Freddie has the power to zip by in a flash of dust and smoke. How does he use his super powers? Where did the shoes come from? How will this saga continue? Keep reading…
This book is really fantastic because it oscillates between real world concerns and the imagination. Often times adults may feel uncomfortable talking about real-world issues like poverty, death and struggle, but one thing we have to remember is that children are receptive and intelligent; they will see the world you see and feel the world you feel; and in a number of ways it’s important to let them into the light through discussion. Zapato Power, Freddie Ramos Takes Off is a perfect opportunity for children to learn about hardship. It’s also a lighthearted journey which doesn’t focus on hardship, but on ways that life can be made easier – that is, if we all had magic shoes.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended; Ages 6-9
Reviewer: Rachelle Escamilla
Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company; Published: March 1, 2011