Zapato Power Series
By Carrie Kingsley,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Young boy solves fun mysteries with help from special shoes.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows problem-solving skills.
Freddie is always curious, and shows a lot of empathy and perseverance during his adventures.
Positive Role Models
Mr. Vaslov and Freddie's mom are kind and understanding, and want the best for Freddie. Freddie wants to help his neighbors.
Freddie's neighborhood and school have families of many races, and Freddie's family speaks Spanish.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Zapato Power Series, by Jacqueline Jules, is a wonderfully layered, fun, and engaging early chapter book series. There's a lot of heart and depth woven into the adventure that arise when young Freddie finds a mysterious pair of shoes that give him superpowers. Readers learn throughout the series that Freddie's Spanish-speaking family is solid and loving, but struggling with the death of his soldier dad and his mom's return to school. Young readers can relate to Freddie's desire to be an amazing superhero who changes people's lives but who is also worried about being late for school and doing his chores. The illustrations are cartoonish and lively, bringing even more joy to the mysteries.
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
Soon after young Freddie Ramos moves into the Starwood Park Apartments in the ZAPATO POWER SERIES, he finds a mysterious gift addressed to him: shoes ("zapatos" in Spanish). And not just any shoes, but shoes that make him run faster than anything, shoes that help him race the train and zip around the neighborhood in a blur. With this secret superpower on his feet, Freddie tries to solve mysteries and help the people in his neighborhood -- all while doing his homework and not being late to recess.
Is It Any Good?
The layered stories in these books are a delight, pulling young readers into the small details of Freddie's life in a way that's rare for early chapter books. The Zapato Power Series has a wonderful set of characters and adventurous mysteries that keep readers engaged. Freddie is always trying to help others and has befriended Mr. Vaslov, who does the same, giving the entire series a sense of warm camaraderie. And the shoes' superpowers are the kind of magic kids dream of having.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what makes Freddie trust Mr. Vaslov so easily in the Zapato Power Series. What is it about Mr. Vaslov that is so relatable? Is there anyone in your life that you've met and trusted like that?
What kind of superpowers would you like to have? What would you use them for?
What would you like to invent? What problems would you like to solve?
- Author: Jacqueline Jules
- Illustrator: Miguel Benítez
- Genre: For Beginning Readers
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models
- Character Strengths: Curiosity, Empathy, Integrity, Perseverance
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co.
- Publication date: March 1, 2011
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 5 - 8
- Number of pages: 88
- Available on: Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, Kindle
- Last updated: June 17, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
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