Monday, April 4, 2011

Armando and the Blue Tarp School by Edith Hope Fine

Title: Armando and the Blue Tarp School
Author: Edith Hope Fine & Judith Pinkerton Josephson
Illustrator: Hernan Sosa
Copyright date: 2007, Lee & Low Books, Inc., New York.
Grade Level: 3
Theme: Education, poverty, scarcity, human resources, child work.


This story is about a young boy named Armando, who works at the dump with his father in order to support his family. Armando is very busy working each day, so he doesn't have time to go to Senor David's school. One day, Armandos father decides that education is important, and he lets Armando go. He learns to write, read and draw and he enjoys being at school. One day Armando draws a picture that ends up being published in a newspaper.

Pre-Reading Activity:
Have the students draw their own school; however they picture it.

Post-Reading Activity:
Ask them to add anything to their picture after reading the story. Also, talk about why school is important and ask the students what they want to be when they grow up. Have students draw themselves as "grownups" in their picture next to the school.


This is a wonderful book, that shows how passionate one child is about education. He seems very dedicated and he helps his father work to support his family, but he longs to go to school. I love this book, because it shows me why I choose teaching as my profession. It's nice to know that there are people out there wanting to go to school and learn. The book has beautiful illustrations as well; it's full of color.

      Edith Hope Fine

About the Authors:
The two authors are full-time writers of children’s books and stories. Fine’s Under the Lemon Moon, published by Lee & Low Books, was a Parents’ Choice Award Honor book. Josephson’s biographies of Walt Disney and Beethoven won first place in the San Diego Book Awards. Fine and Josephson met David Lynch—whose work in a colonia of Tijuana, Mexico, was the inspiration for this story—in 1985 while freelancing for the Los Angeles Times. Fine and Josephson both live in Encinitas, California. Their Web site is A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to Responsibility, Inc.

                     Judith Pinkerton
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About the Illustrator:
Hernan Sosa was "born in Argentina and raised in Paraguay, received a degree in visual communications from the Colorado Institute of Art. He currently works as an illustrator of children’s books and as a graphic designer focusing mostly on magazines. Sosa and his wife live in Denver, Colorado. "

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