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Felita Paperback – July 19, 1999


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Felita + Situational Context of Education: A Window Into the World of Bilingual Learners
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (July 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141306432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141306438
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nicholasa Mohr's award-winning books include the National Book Award finalist El Bronx Remembered, and the ALA Notable Book In Nueva York. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Felita is a story of a Puerto Rican family struggling to give their children a brighter future in the face of racism and prejudice. I think these are important issues that need to be addressed with children, in the classroom or in the home. I found it especially poignant that the children immediately accepted Felita as a friend, but it was the adults that rejected differences and cultivated the prejudice in their children. I am confused about the previous review stating that this book is appropriate for chidren ages 4-8. The back of the book states that it is for children 7-11 years of age and the top of this page states that it is appropriate for ages 9-12. Children of these ages should become familiar with short chapter books such as this one. Overall, I found this to be a good addition to a culturally diverse selection of childrens books-- one perspective to add to the many that make up life in the United States.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Usually, I don't read the backs or book flaps of the books I intend to review. I like to keep a fresh mind open and to come across a book without any expectations or any plot points given away. But in the case of "Felita", I made an exception. I read that the book was all about a girl's move from her predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood into a "better" German/Irish neighborhood and the strife that occurs there. And yes, that is part of the book. But what's remarkable about "Felita" is that its more an examination of separate events in Felita's life than a single one that defines her. Her confrontation with racism is, in some ways, just as important as her ways of dealing with the death of her beloved abuelita. This book is one to be taken as a whole. Not glorifying a single plot point.

In the course of a year, Felita has a lot to deal with. First there's her family's move to a neighborhood that will provide good schools for Felita and her brothers. When the neighbors turn out to be prejudiced and not afraid to make their threats physical, the family is forced to move back to their old area at a bit of a loss. Then there's the fire that burns down poor Old Bernie's candy shop. Felita also has to deal with her supposed best friend stealing of the lead in the school play out from under everyone's nose. Fortunately, Felita's grandmother, Abuelita, is there to listen to everything her granddaughter has to say and to offer advice. But when Abuelita becomes ill, it's Felita who must find the courage to continue on.

The book's an excellent follow-up to the slightly similar, "My Name is Maria Isabel". Both books involve Puerto Rican girls dealing with the problems and prejudices of the adults around them.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
Felita introduces the reader to a strong and loving Puerto Rican family living in New York. The characters are well-developed and interesting. The plot is interesting enough to engage young readers. The book is recommended for children 4-8, but I feel it is more appropriate for children comfortable with chapter books. I realize that age levels are subjective, but I believe that a 4-8 year old would be better off sharing this book with a caregiver or teacher. The book deals with racism and death of a loved one, and for these reasons I feel that it makes an appropriate shared reading book. It is important to offer children a chance to discuss Felita's experience with racism. Without open discussion,it could lead the reader to believe that all Irish and Germans are racist. In this story Felita's beloved grandmother dies, but the death is dealt with in three pages at the end of the story. I don't think given the care taken to describe the relationship between Felita and her grandmother, this ending does the characters or subject justice.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son really appreciated this book. The fact that this book made my son feel the emotions of the characters involved made me feel good that finally a book caught his attention allowing him to imagine every part of the scene. He really enjoyed this book. It made him laugh and cry. He is only 9 years old, so it was nice to him get so into the book.
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Format: Paperback
Felita is the narrator of this story. She is an eight-year-old Puerto Rican girl who lives in an American city with her mom, dad, and two older brothers, Tito and Johnny. She also lives nearby her grandmother and her Uncle Jorge. At the start of the book, Felita's family is moving to a nicer part of the city with better schools and where her father promises her a better life. They are also moving from a more Hispanic neighborhood to a White neighborhood. When they arrive in their new apartment, the neighbors are brutally mean to them, calling them "spicks" and other names, beating them up, and telling them to go back where they came from with their own kind. Eventually, the family is forced to move back to the old neighborhood where Felita has some other new experiences, including a fight with a friend, a neighborhood fire, and the death of her grandmother, with whom she is very close. The move is just one issue in the story and is just one of the many problems Felita deals with in her life.

I think this is a great book for 3rd-6th graders. Felita's story still has resonance with children's experiences today but also things have changed in the U.S. since the late 70s. I think that racial discrimination and prejudice still exist, but I don't think Felita's family would have been attacked today as they were back then in the book.
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