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Overview

One day Freddie Ramos comes home from school and finds a strange box just for him. What’s inside? ZAPATO POWER—shoes that change Freddie’s life by giving him super speed! But what will Freddie do with his fast new skills? Weird things are happening at the Starwood Park Apartments where he lives, and his friends at school need his help. Is Freddie Ramos ready to be a hero? In this imaginative new story by Jacqueline Jules, an ordinary boy in a city neighborhood learns how to use his newfound powers ...
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Freddie Ramos Takes Off

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Overview

One day Freddie Ramos comes home from school and finds a strange box just for him. What’s inside? ZAPATO POWER—shoes that change Freddie’s life by giving him super speed! But what will Freddie do with his fast new skills? Weird things are happening at the Starwood Park Apartments where he lives, and his friends at school need his help. Is Freddie Ramos ready to be a hero? In this imaginative new story by Jacqueline Jules, an ordinary boy in a city neighborhood learns how to use his newfound powers for good. Illustrations by Miguel Benitez lend just a touch of comic-book style to this chapter book adventure.

“Designed for early readers, this chapter book includes frequent black-and-white cartoon illustrations featuring kids with outsized round heads. . . . The few Spanish words establish the boy’s ethnicity but will be understood in context. . . . An unusually appealing early chapter book.” —Kirkus Reviews

Jacqueline Jules is the author of numerous books for children, including Duck for Turkey Day. She is also a librarian, teacher, and poet. She won the CYBILS award for best short chapter book for the first book in the Zapato series. She lives in Arlington, Virginia. jacquelinejules.com

Miguel Benitez likes to describe himself as a “part-time daydreamer and a full-time doodler.” He lives with his wife and two cats in England.   
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2–3—Freddie has a single, overworked mom; a soldier father who never came home from war; and an unstable urban landscape in which to play. He finds a pair of winged sneakers that let him run so fast no one can see him, and as he tries to solve the mystery of the shoes' origins, he finds ways to be a hero to those around him. Black-and-white comic-book-style illustrations boost the story's energy and set Freddie up as a superhero. However, the impact of his speed falls a little flat as the author gets caught up in introducing the characters, leaving the bulk of the adventure for the ending. Young readers may lose patience waiting to get to the action. While Freddie fills a gap in most early chapter book collections as a Hispanic hero for new and reluctant readers, most children won't be clamoring for a sequel.—Sarah Townsend, Norfolk Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
When a mysterious gift turns out to be superpowered purple sneakers, Freddie Ramos looks for ways to be a superhero. Using his super speed, he fetches a library book. He cleans a wall and a sidewalk where someone had written a bathroom word, and he saves a small dog. Designed for early readers, this chapter book includes frequent black-and-white cartoon illustrations featuring kids with outsized round heads. At one point two comics-style pages interrupt the text to show Freddie searching for the dog. The few Spanish words establish the boy's ethnicity but will be understood in context. Unusually, for the genre, the author works in a back story for her characters: Freddie's soldier father was killed two years earlier; his mother has recently finished school and gotten a better job and nicer apartment for herself and her son. Episodic in nature, the narrative leaves open the possibility for sequels when Freddie discovers the sneaker inventor. An unusually appealing early chapter book. (Fiction. 6-9)
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Purple sneakers with silver wings on the sides were waiting in a package for Freddie Ramos when he arrived home from school. The note inside the box read, "Zapato Power for Freddie Ramos," but there was no name to indicate who gave the sneakers to Freddie. They were not from his uncle or his mother. The shoes arrived, however, with good timing since Freddie really needed a new pair. His current shoes were too well-worn. So, Freddie tries out the new shoes. Zoom, he is off and running; he discovers that he can outrun the trains on the overhead track. Now, with his super speed shoes, he attempts to be a superhero and help his friends. Besides trying to figure out who gave him the shoes, Freddie investigates some of the mysterious things that are happening around his apartment complex. Cartoon-like pictures in black and white illustrate the story and headings set up the chapters. Read to find out how Freddie figures out who sent him the shoes, and what is behind the mysterious happenings. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781480461994
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 12/24/2013
  • Series: Zapato Power , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Digital Original
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,165,554
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Jules is the author of numerous books for children, including Duck for Turkey Day. She is also a librarian, teacher, and poet. She won the CYBILS award for best short chapter book for the first book in the Zapato series. She lives in Arlington, Virginia. jacquelinejules.com 

Miguel Benitez likes to describe himself as a “part-time daydreamer and a full-time doodler.” He lives with his wife and two cats in England.   

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    My Review: Freddie was trying to find out who left him a mysterious package with no return address but a note that says 'Zapato Power for Freddie Ramos'. Was the mysterious package from his uncle Jorge in New York? But uncle always sends funny cards with his gifts and there was no card in the box but a pair of purple sneakers with silver wings on the side. Later that day Freddie found out that the sneakers wasn't from his uncle or his mother. But Freddie was happy because he was ready to be a hero.

    The positive thing about this book is that Freddie decided to use his new-found powers for good. He was eager to use his new power to help his friends and save the day. By using his super speed he was able to pick up forgotten lunches and library books.
    The mystery is who sent Freddie the purple sneakers and would he figure it out in the end? An interesting read for early chapter readers.


    FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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