La Mariposa by Francisco Jimenez

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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 can't understand their meaning. Illustrated with paintings as deep and rich as the wings of a butterfly, this honest, unsentimental account of a schoolchild's struggle to learn language reveals that our imaginations powerfully sustain us. La Mariposa makes a subtle plea for tolerance in our homes, our communities, and in our schools.

About Francisco Jimenez

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Francisco Jimnez emigrated from Tlaquepaque, Mexico, to California, where he worked for many years in the fields with his family. He received both his masters 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 Through, La Mariposa, and his newest novel, Reaching Out. He lives in Santa Clara, California, with his family.
Published September 26, 2000 by Sandpiper. 40 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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A Spanish-speaking boy struggles through first grade in this disjointed tale. Arriving in January for his first day of school, Francisco, the son of a migrant worker, gets a headache as he listens to

Sep 28 1998 | Read Full Review of La Mariposa

Publishers Weekly

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Francisco eventually does earn the respect of his peers because of his talent as an artist (his drawing of a butterfly--la mariposa--wins first prize in a contest), but this story line is eclipsed by other threads in the plot (including a fist fight with the most popular kid in class resulting fr...

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