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Zapato Power: Freddy Ramos Takes Off

(Zapato Power #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  364 ratings  ·  84 reviews
One day Freddie Ramos comes home from school and finds a strange box just for him. What's inside? ZAPATO POWER-shoes that change Freddie's life by giving him super speed! But what will Freddie do with his fast new skills? Weird things are happening at the Starwood Park Apartments where he lives, and his friends at school need his help. Is Freddie Ramos ready to be a hero? ...more
Hardcover, 77 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Albert Whitman & Company
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  364 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Jan Williams
Apr 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: done
My 9 yr old grandson read the book and had comments on it. He liked it! Heres what he had to say: He liked it a lot. His favorite character was Freddys dad because he was a hero in the army. He died as a hero and that part was sad. Ages 7-10 would like reading this and boys and girls both would enjoy it.
This was one of the free books I got from good reads
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fast read. Not deep but I think my 2nd and 3rd readers will like it.
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Zapato Power by Jacqueline Jules, illus. by Miguel Benitez
This book was brought to my attention thanks to the Cybils Awards. In 2010 it won the short chapter book category.

Freddie and his mother have recently moved to Starwood Park Apartments. One day Freddie Ramos comes home to find a box with his name on it. Inside is a new pair of purple sneakers. There's no name with the gift, just a note saying Zapato power for Freddie Ramos. With his new shoes, Freddie is very fast, faster than a train.
May 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: early-readers-je, paw
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: level-n
Genre: Fantasy (Fiction)

Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading Level: Approximately Level N

Summary: Freddie Ramos comes home from school one day to find a box outside his door. Inside are a pair of purple sneakers with silver wings. When he slips them on and starts to run he is astonished to discover that he can zoom around as fast as a superhero! Who did the sneakers come from and can Freddie use them to become a superhero?

Why I Liked/Disliked the Book: The beginning of this book is just perfect.
Amber M
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fab-40-file
Genre: Multicultural

Awards: Oregon State Beverly Cleary Reader's Choice Award Master List; Great Early Elementary Reads, ALSC 2011-2012 Age Programs and Services Committee; Honor Book, 2011 Maryland Blue Crab Young Readers Award, Transitional Fiction; The Oregon Battle of the Books 2012 List; Winner 2010 Cybils: Short Chapter Book

Grade Level: K-2

I could use this book in my classroom to introduce the K-2 students to chapter books. In the book Freddie Romas comes home from school and finds a
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
recommended for ELL310 @ Chase Academy

This is a cute read. I genuinely enjoyed it, and appreciated Jacquleing Jule's light touch of humore. I think I especially liked the fact that Freddy isn't your typical kid lit smart-alack who gets caught up in some zany mischief. Freddy is a nice boy who is curious and adventurous. In Zapato Power, Freddy receives a mysterious pair of sneakers that give him the power of speed. I love how he uses his "super power" to help others. The illustrations are also
Gabriela Sansoval
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is a Cybils Award winning book. This is a great book because many kids can relate to the character. Freddie is a Hispanic kid that has grown in a single parent family and he considers his community his family. The book contains great illustrations and it is a chapter book for older children.
Meghan Nels
I'm always searching for easy chapter books for 1st - 3rd grade boys! There seem to be many more choice for girls than boys. I think the boys at my school will enjoy this series. I'm glad I stumbled upon it!
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middlegrade
A cute little mystery, perfect for early chapter book readers. Freddy is Hispanic and lives with his single mom (dad died while serving in the army). I believe many of my students will connect with Freddy and will want to read the next books in the series to follow Freddy's adventures (I do!)
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cute new series for kids who enjoy superhero books. Main character Freddie Ramos is Latino and lives in an apartment building with his mother. His father was a soldier who was killed. Freddie is kind to his friends and uses his Zapato Power for good!
Edward Sullivan
Oct 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Great to see a story with a young Latino superhero. Freddy Ramos is an appealing character.
Sally Dumenil
Freddie Ramos, just and average kid, finds out one day that he has special powers; powers that can help so many and change many lives. What should he do? Can he handle this task?

Freddie spends time solving mysteries and helping where he is able. But can he keep this up?

This is a great story/series/lesson on finding strength, noticing need, and seeing good in others. For a lesson students could read individually or as a group, reflect, and discuss together their take aways and reactions to text.
Michael P Campana
A transitional paperback chapter book (and first book in a series), Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off is the fictional story of an elementary school-aged Hispanic boy living with his widowed mother in an unidentified city (presumably either Chicago or New York) who gains super speed after receiving the anonymous gift of a pair of "magic" purple sneakers. Principal characters include Freddie, his mother, his Uncle Jorge, apartment building maintenance man Mr. Vaslov, classmates Jason & ...more
Cute illustrations accompany a tender story of a boy who has lost a father and slowly builds a surrogate relationship with another father-figure.
A pair of "special" zapatos appear at his door. When he tries them on, he feels relieved that his torn and worn down shoes can finally be replaced and that his mother won't be financially burdened. The gift comes just at the right time. But Freddie quickly learns that these shoes are not only timely, but also special.
Jennifer Panton
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Zapato Power is a transitional chapter book about a boy who receives a pair of powerful shoes. The boy, Freddie Ramos, discovers they give the ability to run at super speed, so he decides to use them to help out his friends and neighbors. He finally discovers that his building's maintenance man is an inventor, created the shoes, and gave them to Freddie.
Tarawyn Baxter
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a great chapter book. A kid who gets mysterious shoes with special powers tries to find ways to use them for good. He also solves problems using brain power. I like that his mom went to community college and got a better job and that homework is important. I love that the main character is Latino.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thanks for the heads up on this title, Latinxs in Kid Lit!

This is exactly the book I need for exactly the readers who need it -- in this case, upper elementary students who benefit from lower-elementary reading support. This book is not particularly funny, precise, sharp, or noteworthy, but it tells a story about magic shoes that readers will engage in and care about.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Freddie Ramos gets a new pair of shoes, shoes that his mother can't afford. Although the Ramos family is experiencing some trying times, Freddie Ramos remains undaunted by the loss and hardship. He quickly learns to take on the hero role for his family after the death of a father.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-readers, 2018
Boy gets magic shoes that make him run very fast, so he tries to be a hero. Great moral, a little bit of Spanish, small ways you can help others, and an accessible mystery that would be great for new readers.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Freddie Ramos is surprised by the appearance of a mysterious package on his doorstep with his name on it. When he opens it, he finds a brand new pair of purple shoes with wings on the back. Freddie soon figures out that his new shoes give him "Zapato Power," and he can run at astounding speeds. As he uses his new found powers to help others around the neighborhood, he is working to solve the mystery of who sent him his new kicks.
Marlene Scholfield
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Im looking for read aloud for my class next year... I think they will enjoy this character Freddie who is going on an adventure to solve a mystery. Freddie gets a new pair of shoes that make him as fast as a train... but who did they come from.. ...more
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very cute story about a boy with superpower shoes. I read it aloud to my second graders at the beginning of the year, and they loved it. Theyve been reading the entire series themselves and the books dont stay on my library shelves for long. ...more
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun and quick read. Freddie gets a mysterious new pair of shoes that give him super speed. He tries to use his new power to help others, but he soon realizes that brain power is sometimes even more useful than super speed.
Karen Arendt
A fun story about a boy who receives a package with super power shoes in them. He thinks they are from his uncle but finds out it was not his uncle. As Freddie tries to solve the mystery of the shoes he uses his new found speed to help others in need. Great read aloud for 1st and 2nd graders.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jfic
A step above your average early chapter book.
Michael Lent
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Good for four year-old boys like our son.
Ann Williams
The first in a series of books about a child with sneakers that give him superpowers. It will be a hit with many students.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Entertaining. Hopefully a series that transitional stage readers will want to explore further. Guessing it's written at about a mid-2nd grade level.
Joshua Krieger
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Jules, J. (2011). Zapato power: Freddie Ramos zooms to the rescue. Chicago, IL: Albert Whitman.
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Goodreads Librari...: Zapato Power #3 3 15 Dec 23, 2013 10:54AM  

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I am a children's author, teacher, librarian, and poet. My books include the Zapato Power series, the Sofia Martinez series, Pluto is Peeved, Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation, Duck for Turkey Day, Never Say a Mean Word Again, and Feathers for Peacock. Please visit me at

Other books in the series

Zapato Power (6 books)
  • Freddie Ramos Springs into Action (Zapato Power, #2)
  • Freddie Ramos Zooms to the Rescue
  • Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash (Book 4)
  • Freddie Ramos Stomps the Snow
  • Freddie Ramos Rules New York

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