Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “La Mariposa” as Want to Read:
La Mariposa
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

La Mariposa

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  82 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In his first year of school, Francisco understands little of what his teacher says. But he is drawn to the silent, slow-moving caterpillar in the jar next to his desk. He knows caterpillars turn into butterflies, but just how do they do it? To find out, he studies the words in a butterfly book so many times that he can close his eyes and see the black letters, but he still ...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published September 26th 2000 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about La Mariposa, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about La Mariposa

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 189)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
La Mariposa by Francisco Jimenez follows the school year of a young boy, Francisco, who has recently moved to the United States with his family and he nor his family barely know English. In the story, Francisco struggles in the classroom as he doesn’t understand the instruction or his classmates – he feels like an outsider. He can only relate to the classroom’s pet caterpillar that he sits and watches the entire day in order to escape from his reality. Over the course of the year, we watch Franc ...more
La Mariposa
Written by Francisco Jimenez; Illustrated by Simon Silva
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Company, NY, NY 1998
Approx. Interest Level: Grade 2-4

This story revolves around a young boy, who is a native Spanish speaker, and how he copes with living in a culture that he is struggling to understand. In this story, Francisco, the young boy, struggles to understand English and loses interest in school while increasing his interest in a classroom caterpillar, which is the only thing he can connec
Gladys Sosa
I love this book because when I read this book to them, they were able to make connection immediately. This book talks about Francisco in his first year of school and how he struggles with the language. The majority of my students are Spanish-speakers and when we are reading the book togethers they always make connections with their own experiences. Students are very engage all the time.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In La Mariposa, Francisco Jimenez recalls a time when immigrants were forbidden to speak in their native languages in schools in order to encourage them to assimilate. The folk art and autobiographical text portray a migrant child's perspective, from the different physical and social environments of home and school to the overwhelming, indecipherable cacophony of a new language. La mariposa, the butterfly, represents the natural world which is usually of intrinsic interest to all children. Franc ...more
Daniel L.
Having read "The Circuit" by the same author, I was eager to read "La Mariposa" to my younger students. Francisco Jimenez creates beautifully written semi-autobiographical stories about life as a child of a family of migrant farmers from Mexico. The the eyes of the main character, Francisco, we experience a child's first day in a new school, where he is the object of stares and, at the hands of a bully, ridicule. However, Francisco is a dreamer, and he conveys his dreams through beautiful pictur ...more
Chelsea Bucci
It is Francisco's first year at school in an English speaking classroom. He only knows a little bit of English which limits his understanding of what his teacher says to the class. During the school day, he is intrigued by a catepillar that sits in a jar next to his desk. He decides to devote all of his energy into learning how a catepillar turns into a butterfly. This story addresses the struggles ELL learners face while they are learning a new language. It also shows how imaginative children c ...more
This is taken from his larger book "the circuit". To be honest, I did not get the message of 'the transformation in the life of a young bicultural, bilingual child...'. To me, this was a story of a young child struggling in a school that could/would not provide bilingual teaching or ESL. This poor child wasted a whole year in first grade - I realize that at the time, the point was to immerse the child in English so that they would learn English faster, however, the social isolation and the stude ...more
This story becomes more meaningful to the reader once you come to find out that this is an autobiographical account of the author's experience in 1st grade. A boy who comes into a classroom with limited language proficiency. A great perspective on how a student feels by not being able to express himself and not feeling like he belongs. Great for grades 3 and up, but can be a read aloud for any age.
Jessica Gin
This is a story about a young boy named Francisco who becomes disengaged with school, due to a language barrier. He speaks Spanish and cannot understand what is going on in class, and quickly becomes discouraged and loses interest. A catepillar captures his attention, which inspires him to read a book about how catepillar’s become butterflies. This is a story about overcoming obstacles and assimilation.
Jun 12, 2009 Jen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers, butterfly lovers, English Language Learners, young artists
About being the odd one out and trying to adapt or just make it though.
Good for me to read as someone who often teaches bilingual or English language learners and who also loves butterflies.
Book-it Repertory Theatre
Book-It All Over tours this charming story in a bilingual presentation all over Washington State. Its first public performance will be September 6.
Wonderful, motivating story about a Mexican boy struggling to acquire English that is drawn in by the beauty of butterflies.
Jaime Contreras
This is a touching story of growing up and accepting change.
Sarah Evans
A poignant story with gorgeous illustrations.
I love Francisco Jimenez's stories.
Alma Meza
Alma Meza marked it as to-read
Dec 17, 2014
Jane marked it as to-read
Dec 14, 2014
Michelle Smith
Michelle Smith marked it as to-read
Dec 02, 2014
Jamie Carter
Jamie Carter marked it as to-read
Nov 11, 2014
Maria Castro
Maria Castro marked it as to-read
Oct 07, 2014
Danielle Tune
Danielle Tune marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2014
Janine marked it as to-read
Oct 05, 2014
Brett marked it as to-read
Oct 02, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Francisco Jimenez emigrated from Tlaquepaque, Mexico, to California, where he worked for many years in the fields with his family. He received both his master's degree and his Ph.D. from Columbia University and is now chairman of the Modern Languages and Literature Department at Santa Clara University, the setting of much of Reaching Out. He is the award-winning author of The Circuit, Breaking Thr ...more
More about Francisco Jiménez...
The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child Breaking Through Reaching Out The Christmas Gift: El regalo de Navidad The Identification and Analysis of Chicano Literature

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »