ARMANDO AND THE BLUE TARP SCHOOL by Edith Hope Fine

ARMANDO AND THE BLUE TARP SCHOOL

Age Range: 5 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

This affecting tale—of a plein-air schoolroom in a deeply impoverished neighborhood populated by pepenadores (trash pickers)—springs from the real deal. Fine and Josephson have taken the story of David Lynch, who first went to Mexico in 1980 to teach children living in the Tijuana city dump, and fashioned it into a picture book. Fictional, yes, but only marginally so. Their story pivots around Armando, who scours the dump with his father all day long for anything of worth, and his thirst to join the classroom: a blue tarp on the bare ground. Though Armando’s income is vital to the family, his parents come to understand that only an education will allow him to eclipse pepenadore life. The simplicity of the story is what lets it run deep, its bite of realism; no sermons are being delivered here, just a door thrown open to life under reduced circumstances (though Sosa’s artwork, with its look of leaded glass, conveys a benevolent quality to the proceedings). Without patronizing, Señor David defines the essence of humanitarianism, while the pepenadores, ever searching for beauty in the beast, find gold—and prize it. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58430-278-0
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Lee & Low
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2007




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