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Me llamo María Isabel (My Name Is María Isabel)

Me llamo María Isabel (My Name Is María Isabel)

4.0 4
by Alma Flor Ada, K. Dyble Thompson (Illustrator)

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Third grader Maria Isabel, born in Puerto Rico and now living in the U.S., wants badly to fit in at school; and the teacher's writing assignment "My Greatest Wish" gives her that opportunity.


Third grader Maria Isabel, born in Puerto Rico and now living in the U.S., wants badly to fit in at school; and the teacher's writing assignment "My Greatest Wish" gives her that opportunity.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Armed with her new blue bookbag, Maria Isabel bravely faces her first day at a new school. But when she meets her new teacher, she is told there are already two other Marias in the class. ``Why don't we call you Mary instead?'' her teacher suggests, unaware that Maria was named for both her grandmothers, a grandfather and her father. Maria's inability to respond to ``Mary'' leads to more problems. Simply told, this story combines the struggle of a Puerto Rican family's efforts to improve their life with a shared sense of pride in their heritage. The author's carefully drawn characterizations avoid stereotypes, thus increasing their appeal and believability. An essay involving a wish list gives Maria a chance to reclaim her name, and allows her teacher to make amends. Abetted by Thompson's straightforward black-and-white drawings, this contemporary tale serves as a good reminder that no two names are really alike. Ages 7-10. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-4-- This gentle story tells of Maria Isabel Salazar Lopez, who finds herself dubbed ``Mary Lopez'' when her family moves and she is placed in a class with two other Marias. Maria Isabel finds it hard to respond to a name that does not seem like hers. Her teacher doesn't understand why it is so difficult for her to answer to ``Mary'' until the child is inspired to address her paper on ``My Greatest Wish'' to the topic of her name. The result is not only a happy ending, but also an affirming study of heritage and how it is integrally bound up in an individual's sense of self. The brief text, adequately extended by line drawings, reads aloud well and could certainly be used in conjunction with Gary Soto's The Skirt (Delacorte, 1992) to illustrate the Hispanic culture that is part of the lives of many contemporary children. --Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Alma Flor Ada, an authority on multicultural and bilingual education, is the recipient of the 2012 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and in 2014 she was honored by the Mexican government with the prestigious OHTLI Award. She is the author of numerous award-winning books for young readers, including Dancing Home with Gabriel Zubizarreta, My Name Is María Isabel, Under the Royal Palms (Pura Belpré Medal), Where the Flame Trees Bloom, and The Gold Coin (Christopher Award Medal). She lives in California, and you can visit her at AlmaFlorAda.com.

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Me llamo María Isabel (My Name Is María Isabel) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
unodostres More than 1 year ago
This is a very good and straightforward read. A beautifully told tale of a typical experience of immigrants confronting the US culture. I would highly recommend this book to both native speakers and to learners of Spanish. As a teacher, I will be using it as reading material for learners of Spanish, and as a talking tool to broaden understanding of diverse experiences. I am a big fan Alma Flor Ada -- both as a writer and a translator she always delivers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, Me Llamo María Isabel, tells the story of a girl who moved from to New York City from Puerto Rico, recounting how she sought to adapt to her new society while preserving her cultural identity. On her first day of school, María Isabel¿s teacher introduced the new girl as Mary Lopez, for no other reason that there are already two girls named Maria in the class. María Isabel, however, did not like the sound of the English name, which sounded strange to her. María Isabel Salazar López is proud of her name, which honored two much-admired members of her family. She knew that the teacher meant no harm, but does not know how express what she really wants. While reading Charlotte¿s Web, María Isabel discovered how her spider hero conveyed her message and finds an ingenious way to tell her teacher, along with everyone else, how she really feels. Alma Flor Ada weaves a beautiful story about dignity without preaching. My only reservation is that, with other Latino students in her class, Maria Isabel could not have asked them to translate her desire to the teacher; futher, why was María Isabel not in a bilingual class? The story¿s central theme, though, is very real; this story is a true gem and a great way to brush up on one¿s Spanish. El librito Me llamo María Isabel cuenta la historia de una niña quien se mudó a Nueva York de Puerto Rico; ahora está buscando cómo se va ajustar a la sociedad nueva mientras retiendo su identidad cultural. En el primer día de escuela, la maestra la presenta a los estudiantes como Mary López, solamente por qué ya hay dos niñitas que se llaman María. Tambien, a María Isabel le parece el sonido del nombre Mary un poquito extraño. María Isabel Salazar López está muy orgullosa de su nombre, que su familia ha llamado de después de dos personas muy queridas. María ya sabe que la maestra no lo hace por maldad, pero ella tiene difucultad de pensar como decir a ella lo que realamente desea. Cuándo ha terminado leer el cuento Las arañas de Carlota, María realiza como su héroe comunica su mensaje. Por fin, María encuentra una manera ingeniosa de decirle a su maestra y a otros lo que verdaderamente siente. Alma Flor Ada cuenta una historia bien linda sobre la dignidad - sin predicar el mensaje. Mi única crítica es, aunque habia tantos estudiantes latinos en la clase, María Isabel no podía preguntarles ayudar o traducir a la maestra lo que ella realamente quiere. Y ¿Porque María Isabel no estaba en una clase bilingüe? La tema, sin embargo, es auténtica; este librito es precioso y una manera buena para practicar el español.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ALREADY READ THIS AT SCHOOL SO SCREW IT ASK YO MAMA IF yo can go to u.s.a fremont elementary antioch california my names jeremy type in on you tube:the lion king fremont elementary so if you go there im in 4th grade k