Fun Summer Series Reads: Zapato Power!

by Ann Jacobus on May 15, 2014

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Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Stomps the Snow by Jaqueline Jules, art by Miguel Benitez (Albert Whitman & Co,, 2014   84 pages. Part of the Cybils award-winning Freddie Ramos series) This early chapter book will be a perfect hot summer read to cool off transitional readers. Freddie Ramos possesses an extraordinary pair of super powered shoes. He lives in Starwood Park apartment complex where people help each other. Freddie says he knows, “…what it was like to worry about rent money. Mom and I did before she got her job at the doctor’s office.” He attends Starwood elementary school with his friend Maria and her little brother, Gio. After a surprise March snow storm closes school and businesses, Freddie helps Mr. Vaslov, who takes care of the apartment complex, by clearing walkways. Freddie uses his Zapato Power! or super powered purple sneakers and wrist band. He goes so fast in them, he blows the paths clear of snow. He can jump two stories high which comes in handy when he’s looking for bad guys who inevitably pop up. Freddie, Maria and her little brother, (of whom Freddie says, ““some people can be bought with guacamole. Gio is one of them,”) enjoy their snow day by going sledding. But the storm also causes the heat to go out in Building D where Erika, a mean girl, lives. Erika and her grandmother and all the other residents take shelter in the school gymnasium, while Mr. Vaslov and Freddie make them comfortable. But the appearance of a Serial School Purse Snatcher who takes Erika’s abuela’s purse, then Maria’s, and even Freddie’s mom’s purse, threatens to ruin everything, until Freddie and his Zappato Power save the day.

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