SERIES THURSDAY: Zapato Power #5/#6 by Jacqueline Jules
ABOUT THE BOOK
When a freak spring blizzard buries Starwood Park, Freddie works with Mr. Vaslov to clear the sidewalks using a new invention--Zapato Power snowshoes! But not even the snow can stop a thief from causing trouble in the neighborhood. Can Freddie solve the case, even if it means helping Erika, the Starwood Park bully?
Freddie Ramos has the coolest pair of shoes ever! They allow him to run fast (faster than a speeding train) as well as bounce really high. The shoes even shoot smoke to hide him when he is using his superpowers. But what will happen when a blizzard hits? Will his shoes still work? Soon enough Freddie has other things on his plate, such as snuggling down with his mother during the blizzard and helping neighbors from a different building after their heating goes out. And on top of that a thief seems to have come to the neighborhood. Freddie is a great early chapter book character who like many children his age is fascinated by the idea of superpowers. The difference is that he has superpowers through the shoes that Mr. Vasquez, the building maintenance man invented for him. I think that is the part that kids will especially love about this series. I also love the fact that the main character/hero in this case is Latino. Spanish words and phrases are scattered throughout the book, but Freddie's ethnicity is not the focus of the story, it's just one part of the story. The other thing about this series that I particularly like is Freddie's efforts to help those around him. In this book, Freddie uses his superpowers (including his new snowblower snowshoes) to help clear sidewalks as well as catch a thief.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Freddie and his mom are visiting Uncle Jorge in New York City! Just before they leave, Mr. Vaslov gives Freddie a new pair of zapatos to replace the ones that were getting too small. But Freddie worries if his new zapatos will work as well as his old ones. Will Freddie be able to save the day when Uncle Jorge misplaces an engagement ring in the middle of a New York City traffic jam?
Freddie Ramos is off to New York to visit his Uncle Jorge. Luckily, Mr. Vasquez has given him a new set of superpowered sneakers to replace his too tight pair. As Freddie checks out his new sneakers to make sure they work as well as his old ones did, he discovers that he has a new superpower. This new superpower helps him figure out his Uncle's special secret as well as seek to save the day. Once again Freddie's enjoying his secret superpowers. Frankly as I've read these books, I've wished that I had a pair of superpowered shoes to get me around faster than normal. The idea behind these books is a good one and the suggestion that soon Freddie might be training a new superhero opens the door for future books. Zapato Power makes for a fun kid-sized superhero story that doesn't involve violence or hurting people.