The character of Freddie was inspired by the students I taught when I was a school librarian. So many of my students asked for a book on superheroes that I got the itch to write one. But I didn’t just want to write about any superhero. I wanted to write a book that imagined one of my students learning to how to handle a super power. Freddie’s first name comes from one of my students and his last name comes from another.
After I came up with a name, I had to decide what super power to give Freddie. Once again, my students helped me, as I remembered many great class discussions after reading the folktale The Seven Chinese Brothers. It’s a story about seven brothers who each have one special power. I often asked my students which brother they would choose to be. The brother with super strength? Or super hearing? Super eyesight? These conversations helped me consider what superpowers Freddie Ramos needed for his story.
I chose super speed because I wanted Freddie’s power to come from special sneakers. As I continued the story, I gave Freddie a few additional powers, like telescopic eyesight, invisibility, and super bounce. These powers help Freddie solve mysteries and help others in the Zapato Power series.
As you read Freddie’s adventures, I hope you will imagine what you would do if one day you came home from school to find a box with super-powered purple sneakers. How would you use super speed? And how would it complicate your life? Could you use your super speed on the playground or at gym? Could you tell your friends you had magic sneakers? These are all questions I had to consider while writing the Zapato Power series. I had a lot of fun thinking about these things and I hope you have fun reading the answers I came up with.
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Download a copy of “Your Friend, Jacqueline (A Letter to Readers)” HERE.
For more about Jacqueline visit her website HERE.