When Lupe is born with spina bifida, her mother makes the dangerous journey across the Mexican desert to California, where better medical care will hopefully help Lupe live an improved life. As Lupe adjusts to her new home and new school, she struggles to fit in with other students. She speaks Spanish and uses a wheelchair. An aide, an understanding teacher, and a friendly student join Lupe's Mami in sharing faith and confidence that Lupe will do just fine. She's smart and valuable. Lupe begins to see the truth in these words and to develop her own dreams and goals.
This is a simple story, told elegantly and with a strong positive message. The tale both encourages children in wheelchairs to have confidence and be bold and also encourages other children to see beyond physical limitations of their peers and value them for their personhood. A few Spanish words and phrases appear in the text of the story and are defined in a glossary at the back of the book. An author's note relates that this tale is in fact based on a true story. Because the book relates the social struggles Lupe faces both as a Spanish-speaking student and a wheelchair-bound one, this book may make a worthy companion to a social studies curriculum about community and valuing others who are different than we are. Recommended. Reviewer: Kasey Giard; Ages 5 to 9.
Review from Woodbine House
"This book has the potential of being a great teaching tool for all children as it normalizes the presence of youngsters living with a physical limitation, and inspires those experiencing a handicap."
--CAPHIS Consumer Connections (Consumer and Patient Health Information Section of the Medical Library Association)
Top Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars
Inspiring True Story About Perseverance
By NebraskaIcebergs on January 26, 2016
Without being sentimental, Blue Skies for Lupe narrates the story of a girl with spina bifida who left her native Mexico for California when she was only a baby tucked in her mother's shawl. Author Linda Kurtz Kingsley has skillfully turned interviews with Lupe and her mother into a sweet and realistic story of perseverance in the face of physical challenges. Moreover, Kingsley's bright watercolors beautifully capture the colorful landscapes and people in Lupe's life.
"When I was born," Lupe says, "I wasn't perfect. My spine stuck out, my head was too big, and my body was too small." Doctors told her mother that Lupe would never walk because she has spina bifida. Right from the start, Lupe's Mami encouraged her ear, "Just you wait. You'll do fine." Those weren't hollow words either. When Lupe's Mami heard that American doctors were best, she carried Lupe across the Mexican desert and into California. Unfortunately, the doctors couldn't help.
Instead when Lupe's legs stayed short and weak, while her friends' legs grew longer and stronger, Lupe received a wheelchair and an aide to help her. Lupe also learned, among other things, how to use a whiteboard and marker so she could complete and show her schoolwork. In response to every adversity, with the help of family and friends, Lupe learned to do things in her own way and did just fine. As such, Lupe serves as an example to all of us how to be ourselves and to follow our dreams, a message that I appreciate both as a reader and as a special education teacher.
5.0 out of 5 stars ...... a wonderful book on a topic that is rarely covered ...
By Amazon Customer on February 22, 2016
I have been a children's librarian for many years and have read, and purchased, literally thousands of books during that time. I recently read: Blue Skies for Lupe, a wonderful book on a topic that is rarely covered in children's books. There are several titles on the topic of spina bifida for parents, but only a few for the children's book audience. This book is quite special as it relates the thoughts and experiences of a young girl born with spina bifida, who came to California from Mexico.
We hear how she feels as she grows from a very young age to her first school graduation. Her insecurity when she first starts school, through her adjustments in her wheel chair, making friends, becoming part of her class, how she joins in sports in her wheel chair,and especially how her mother always gives her encouragement, "that I could do almost anything I want."
The author is also the illustrator. The wonderful colors and watercolor technique give all the many half and full page illustrations a special quality.
I highly recommend this book for anyone and also public and school libraries.